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BlackRock Builds Its Bitcoin ETF-Related Marketing Strategy Around “Boomers”

BlackRock's advertising approach for IBIT with a note of conservatism

BlackRock has carved out a unique niche with its recent advertising strategy for the iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT). Straying from the norm of flashy, pop-culture-infused ads commonly seen in the crypto sphere, BlackRock has opted for a more subdued and mature approach. This strategic pivot caters specifically to an older, wealthier demographic, often referred to colloquially as 'boomers'. 

The company's first video ad, released on January 11, eschews the typical crypto jargon and high-energy visuals, instead presenting a straightforward, value-focused message about Bitcoin and the ease of investing through their ETF.

Alessandro Ottaviani (@AlexOttaBTC) January 14, 2024:

“Amazing ads from Blackrock on $IBIT, the Blackrock Bitcoin Spot ETF.

Definitely a new market of investors is reached through $IBIT”

Going against the tide of other Bitcoin ETF ads

While the cryptocurrency market is often associated with a younger, tech-savvy audience, BlackRock's latest advertising campaign for its iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT) intentionally diverges from this trend. The almost two-minute video, featuring a BlackRock executive, breaks down Bitcoin's value proposition in a manner that's easily digestible for those less familiar with digital currencies. 


Notably absent are the complex terminologies and vibrant visuals typical of crypto advertising, replaced instead with a focus on accessibility, ease of management, and the trusted reputation of BlackRock in the ETF space. This contrast is stark compared to the marketing blitz of other Bitcoin ETF issuers like Bitwise, Hashdex, and VanEck, who lean heavily into contemporary pop-culture references and eye-catching imagery. 


Dr. Chris Dark (@Darky999) January 14, 2024:

“My god this is a great Boomer ad for Blackrock BTC ETF

Absolutely everything that will drive BTC maxis insane

The ad is so boring it’s brilliant (for the intended audience)”


BlackRock's strategy reflects a nuanced understanding of its target demographic: affluent boomers who prioritize stability and simplicity over trendiness in their investment choices.

Industry feedback and the effectiveness of the strategy

The industry response to BlackRock's advertising strategy for the iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT) has been overwhelmingly positive, especially among market analysts and investors who recognize the campaign's appeal to a wealthier, older demographic. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas remarked on the ad's effectiveness, noting its calm and straightforward presentation, which he believes resonates well with affluent boomers. Similarly, Chris Dark from Fourth Turning Investments lauded the ad for its 'brilliant boredom,' perfectly tailoring its message to its intended audience without the need for flamboyance. 


This sentiment is echoed by digital asset investor Fred Krueger, who appreciates the appeal to traditional finance norms, making Bitcoin investments more palatable for his generation. These reactions underline a significant shift in cryptocurrency marketing, where BlackRock's 'less is more' approach seems to be setting a new standard, proving that sometimes, subtlety and directness can be the most powerful tools in reaching a sophisticated audience.


Fred Krueger (@dotkrueger) January 14, 2024:


“Newsflash: Wall Street will be a better marketer of Bitcoin than Bitcoiners. 


The latest ads from BlackRock are case in point. 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. We generally don't think very highly of El Salvador as an example of "success". 


We get that the deficit is high. But bringing up Argentina and Lebanon every 10 minutes is not going to Orange Pill Us. We're happily adding IBIT and FBTC to our portfolios, because we trust BlackRock and Fidelity. More so than we trust Coinbase, and certainly more so than hardware wallets. 


This is a Wall-Street take-over of the Bitcoin narrative. Resistance will be futile.”