More than three months after its release, the ad from crypto exchange Crypto.com featuring Hollywood star Matt Damon was the subject of ridicule in the latest episode of the animated series South Park.
In the first episode of its 25th season titled “Pajama Day”, the creators of South Park took on people in the United States refusing to wear a mask and once again associated crypto investments with scams. Characters in the show attacked Damon’s appearance in an TV spot titled “fortune favors the brave”, showing the actor speaking about Crypto.com amid a digital landscape of historic figures.
“My dad said he listened to Matt Damon and lost all his money…” “Yes, everyone did! But they were brave in doing so!”
The criticism is likely related to cryptocurrencies losing more than $500 billion in combined market capitalization in January, with Bitcoin (BTC) falling from more than $42,000 to the $35,000s. According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the BTC price is $36,373 at the time of publication, having fallen more than 40% since Crypto.com released the ad featuring Damon.
“We just have to be brave.” “But not too brave or else Matt Damon will come and take all our money.”
Many know South Park for its criticism of the United States government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis, popularized by the meme “aaaand… it’s gone” — referring to one of the characters immediately losing all his money after depositing it in a bank. The show has since gone on to jokingly predict crypto will become the only acceptable form of payment in the future, and nonfungible tokens have the power to destroy the world.
Initially released in October 2021, many in mainstream media seemed not to comment on the Crypto.com ad until it aired during a National Football League game on Jan. 2. Stephen Colbert, the host of CBS’ The Late Show, took aim at the TV spot on the same evening as South Park, comparing Damon’s endorsement of crypto to the accuracy of groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicting six more weeks of winter.
“You never rely on groundhogs for advice, no matter how convincing they are when they pitch you crypto with Matt Damon,” said Colbert.
The first TV series to feature Bitcoin was the CBS drama The Good Wife in January 2012, but referencing crypto and blockchain in mainstream media has become somewhat more common as the space grows. Celebrities and others in entertainment including comedians Jim Jefferies and Bill Burr announced cryptocurrency investments in 2020, and reality star Kim Kardashian shilled the EthereumMax token to her Instagram followers the following year.