BlackRock drops ‘boomer’ Bitcoin ETF ad as marketing blitz ramps up


BlackRock may have gone with a “boring” ad campaign for its spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) — but it may just be the secret sauce for the rich “boomer” market, according to commentators. 

On Jan. 11, investment giant BlackRock released its first video ad for its newly launched iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT). The ad consists of a 1:56-minute video featuring a BlackRock executive outlining Bitcoin’s value proposition and how investors can receive exposure to its new ETF. 

Jay Jacobs, the U.S. head of thematics and alternative ETFs, states in the ad that IBIT is easily accessible, conveniently removes operational burdens and is issued under BlackRock’s reputation and expertise in the ETF space. Commentators noticed an intentional lack of flair and crypto jargon compared to other Bitcoin ETF ads.

“This is how you market to rich boomers, folks. The calm disposition, easy to understand inv case, soft new age music, suit with no tie.. everything about it says “it’s ok now, the adults are here,” observed Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas in a Jan. 14 post.

Chris Dark, founder and managing partner of Fourth Turning Investments, referred to the advertisement as “so boring it’s brilliant” because of its apparent effectiveness in targeting boomers.

Digital asset investor Fred Krueger also sees the ad as being more palatable for “wealthy boomers.”

“My generation of wealthy boomers doesn’t particularily like tatoo-covered Gen-x ers telling them that the entire financial system needs to be scrapped.” But they’re happy now that they can invest in Bitcoin via traditional finance firms.

“We’re happily adding IBIT and FBTC to our portfolios, because we trust BlackRock and Fidelity […] This is a Wall-Street take-over of the Bitcoin narrative. Resistance will be futile.”

Related: Spot Bitcoin ETF approved in the US: What to expect next

The Bitcoin ETF marketing war has been heating up since the first ad dropped from Bitwise on Dec. 18. ETF issuers Hashdex and VanEck released ads soon after.

In January, ARK Invest and Grayscale also released new advertising campaigns and the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund, tickered BRRR, was seen advertising on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square, New York City, last week.

Meanwhile, several ETF issuers, including VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, and Franklin Templeton, have featured the new Bitcoin ETFs on their homepages, while BlackRock and Fidelity Investments have reportedly done something similar.

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