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Coin Cloud picked Spike Lee to film the cryptocurrency advertisement because of his experience investigating societal themes, and the company stated that the ad campaign will “spark important dialogue.”
Spike Lee’s new ad, “The Currency of Currency,” debuted online today, and it presents cryptocurrency as new money for a varied society.
The 64-year-old Oscar winning filmmaker directed and starred in the commercial for crypto ATM provider Coin Cloud, and in the ad, he explores themes such as racial and financial inequality, diversity, and inclusivity.
“Old money, as rich as it looks, is flat out broke,” Lee says, adding “they call it green, but it’s only white” as he cites the lack of diversity in people depicted on U.S. dollar bills and coins. While the ad spot had previously been touted as being a “Bitcoin” commercial, BTC isn’t mentioned by name at all in the ad. Instead the concept of crypto in general is referred to as “new money.”
The advertisement does make a passing mention to Bitcoin via a Coin Cloud ATM with the BTC logo, but the company’s ATMs handle more than 30 digital assets.
The advertisement was produced in conjunction with the Campbell Ewald marketing and advertising firm, and it includes actor and activist Kendrick Sampson, singer-songwriter Teyana Talyor, RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor Shangela, and Emmy-nominated Pose star MJ Rodriquez.
In the commercial, Lee mentions problems with fiat and traditional banks, as well as the fact that there are “7 million unbanked” and “20 million underbanked Americans.”
NEW: First look at Spike Lee’s Bitcoin commercial
“Old money is not going to pick us up – it pushes us down, exploits, and systematically oppresses. The digital rebellion is here. Old money is OUT, new money is IN.” pic.twitter.com/eD1nCenXBX
— Yano (@JasonYanowitz) July 14, 2021
“Old money will not lift us up – it will push us down, exploit us, and systematically oppress us,” he adds. According to the director, “new money” is “positive, inclusive, fluid,” and “culturally rich.”
Lee is known for addressing social and racial themes in his films, and the spot’s identity politics subject has elicited a mixed response online.
In response to ‘Documenting Bitcoin’s’ post about the ad user ‘The LogicalShaman’ stated that “making this about race at the beginning is super fucking tacky,” while Watchdog Capital’s Bruce Fenton said “Spike Lee cares more about what color skin people have than he cares about #Bitcoin.”
However “Analytics4Bitcoin” responded that they like that “more people feel included in the Bitcoin ecosystem,” and added that:
“Lots of focus on the negatives of the community but look around and what you see is a truly diverse collection of millions of people worldwide looking for better money. Pretty neat!”
Coin Cloud noted in a July 14 press release that the firm wanted to “spark important dialogue” from this ad campaign, and chose Lee specifically for his expertise in exploring social issues.
“His deep connection with communities of color, plus his track record of contextualizing issues of equality, make him an ideal partner for our goal of making digital currency accessible to all,” said Amondo Redmond, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Coin Cloud
Coin Cloud’s advertising campaign will air nationwide on cable TV networks like Comedy Central and Adult Swim, as well as on social media sites like YouTube and Reddit.