Fresh off its direct listing last month, Coinbase, the platform dedicated to creating a secure space for consumers to exchange cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and numerous others, has picked The Martin Agency as its creative agency of record after a two-month review.
Coinbase wasn’t available for comment; the other two finalists were not disclosed.
Despite the company having 56 million users and the conversation around cryptocurrency growing over the years, there is still “widespread confusion amongst consumers, and perceptions around accessibility and trustworthiness are mixed,” according to a statement by Martin Agency.
The agency will be tasked with building consumer trust in the cryptocurrency space and scale Coinbase as the go-to brand for consumers looking to avoid the “sketchiness and uncertainty” that comes with trading cryptocurrency on other apps, Mark Pavia, senior VP and managing director of performance at Martin, told Ad Age.
“When you think back to Airbnb, there was a point when we couldn't imagine staying in a stranger's home on vacation and now, we can,” Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo says. “So, while there's a lot of confusion, or nervousness around cryptocurrency, one day there won't be, and we'd like to be part of that kind of transformation.”
Martin is well-known for traditional clients like Oreo and Geico, so Coinbase seems to stand out. But Cavallo claims it does not, noting that Martin looks more at the clients behind the brand, rather than the category.
“We look for a like-mindedness and connection around the role of cultural relevance,” Cavallo says. “We look for clients that are open to being talked about and open to being debated in pop culture because that is the way that brands grow today.”
In fact, a 2020 Twitter study found that a 10% increase in brand conversation could increase brand sales revenue by up to 3%.
Coinbase, which was founded in 2012, has recently been a big subject of media attention.
Last month Coinbase made its debut as a publicly-traded company and ended its first day on the market with a share price of $328.28—which set the company’s first-day market cap at $85.7 billion. Earlier this week rapper Nas, who was an early investor in Coinbase and has a stake in the company worth at least $40 million, according to Forbes, released a song in which he name-dropped the company and called himself the “cryptocurrency Scarface.” NBA star Kevin Durant was also an early investor through his investment company ThirtyFive Ventures, which was part of Coinbase’s Series D funding in 2017 that raised $100 million at a $1.6 billion valuation, according to MarketWatch.
“We are always looking to tap into things that are culturally relevant, whether we're hijacking momentum already fueled by someone else, or creating conversations ourselves,” Cavallo says.
“While cryptocurrency is next-generation finance, it's not brand new, there are millions of people that are already engaged in the crypto economy. There is a degree of stability and scale that already exists, and Coinbase is the foundational infrastructure for the whole crypto economy.”
This is the latest win for Martin this year. In early May the agency won global AOR duties for Axe to work alongside MullenLowe. In March the agency was named creative AOR for Terminix.