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As bitcoin becomes the next ‘digital gold’, crypto industry increases ad spends by 4x for festive season

Brands in the category aim to transform the festive shopping culture with bitcoin gifting and expect a boost in crypto adoption this season. Apart from digital, crypto brands are going for mass mediums such as TV and print

The crypto currency industry in India, which is trying to create a new asset class in investments, expects more traction this festive season.

The lockdown boosted crypto adoption in India, pushing the number of crypto currency users to an estimated 10 million. The number is expected to further rise exponentially as crypto brands aim to transform the festive shopping culture this season.

Brands not only see this enthusiasm sustaining but rather growing this season. While India is a nascent crypto market, brands said bitcoin is more like digital gold with great future potential.

Avinash Shekhar

Avinash Shekhar, Co-CEO, ZebPay, said more people are using digital payment modes and are comfortable transferring gifts digitally. Because of the lockdown, many had the time to learn about crypto, he said, adding he has seen increased adoption of this new asset globally.

“Festivals are a time for get-togethers and we are looking forward to seeing more people sharing their crypto investment experiences and, maybe, gift crypto to their friends and family,” he said.

Crypto currencies have been gaining a lot of traction and the sentiment is only getting stronger, experts said.

Sharan Nair

Sharan Nair, Chief Business Officer at CoinSwitch Kuber, said that last year, more than 50,000 people used its platform to gift bitcoins to their loved ones.

This year he expects this number to increase by 200%.

Indians have a habit of saving before spending. As the festive season is approaching, there will be more transactions and expenditure, which means more cash flow into the market.

Sathvik Vishwanath

And with this, Sathvik Vishwanath, Co-Founder and CEO, Unocoin, hopes there will be a rise in economic activity in the market, especially from the middle-class Indian. The platform has collaborated with 90+ brands and expects a good number of people to get gift coupons and vouchers via its shop feature.

He said the Indian crypto community is growing exponentially.

“People are getting to understand the crypto market more. The laws are getting relaxed, so I believe the sentiments of the consumers are positive and strong. Though sometimes, global sentiments reflect a lot in the Indian market; the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) around crypto is stabilising,” he added.

For Unocoin, the spending will be higher, probably up to 4x the normal monthly budget this festive season, and it is optimistic that there will be a huge growth in adex in this period.

Digital to lead ad spend growth, followed by TV and print

The crypto industry has been going aggressive since the start of the bull run last year and this market cycle is expected to continue till the year-end or beyond, some experts said.

During this time and the festive season, the industry is expected to increase the overall adex, Vishwanath said.

He sees a lot of promotion and marketing activities from the crypto space.

“From visual to audio podcasts to display ads, the crypto space is trying to get hold of the market. Last year during this time, there was not much noise in the market but this year is different. The reason being the pandemic and other political stuff occupying people’s minds. Brands who are in the crypto space and blockchain are spending huge on promotions,” he added.

Unocoin will bet big on digital media. However, he said as print media has its audience during the festive season, there will be ads covering the entire space of the newspapers. Its customer interaction has increased in terms of the transactions and it hopes to see coupon codes shared and vouchers being availed too.

Nair said ad spends will depend on the opportunities that open up. He expects adex to increase in the festive season and with the World Cup coming, he foresees much more action on this front.

Digital media might see an increase in ad revenue as crypto currency exchanges are actively targeting tech-savvy and mobile Indians.

CoinSwitch Kuber is looking at using all mediums to its best advantage.

“As almost 50% of users of our platform are below 28 years of age, we will be using TV and digital more as compared to print to reach potential customers,” Nair said.

It aims to transform the festive shopping culture in India and wants to make crypto currencies a mainstream gifting option. It is already witnessing a lot of people coming to its exchange to gift crypto currencies to their relatives or friends.

He added, “We have on-boarded eight million users on our platform and aim at a target of 12 million users by the end of 2021.”

ZebPay believes in education-driven long-term investments and is focusing its advertising efforts towards this goal. It has partnered with multiple mainstream publications such as News 18 and CNBC Awaaz with vast reach in Indian metro cities and other regional areas.

Shekhar believes these collaborations will help spread awareness in their regional language about the basics of crypto assets, investments, and blockchain technology.

“We believe crypto is for everyone—from a fresher, salaried employee, homemaker to a businessman to those who come under the HNI (high net-worth individual) category. Even though the world is moving digital too fast too soon, we believe different demographics prefer different media and we hope to be present on their preferred channels,” he said.

According to him, bitcoin is more like digital gold with great future potential and there are many crypto investors in India who have benefited from using a long-term investment strategy. He expects to see these investors share their crypto journey and inspire others to start theirs as well.

Festivals are a time for new beginnings and platforms in the category expect to see more people begin their bitcoin and crypto journey this festive season.


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