- Matt Damon appeared in a 2021 ad campaign for Crypto.com to raise funds for water.org, the clean water project he co-founded with philanthropist Gary White.
- Crypto.com donated $1 million to water.org in response to Damon's involvement in the commercial.
- The ad received criticism and controversy, with some calling it "grotesque" and an "embarrassing cash grab."
Matt Damon has finally opened up about his controversial appearance in a 2021 advertisement for Crypto.com, revealing that he took part in the campaign to raise funds for water.org, the clean water project he co-founded with philanthropist Gary White.
Matt Damon opens up
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the Hollywood star said, “We had a down year in water.org and I did that commercial in an attempt to raise money for water.org.”
The 52-year-old actor partnered with Crypto.com for the “Fortune favors the brave” ad in 2021, in which he compared cryptocurrency investors to astronauts, mountain climbers, and the Wright Brothers.
Damon confirmed that he gave his entire salary from the commercial to water.org, which was struggling at the time. In response, Crypto.com donated $1 million to the non-profit, demonstrating the company’s commitment to transforming lives through equity and access.
The Crypto.com ad was featured during the 2022 Super Bowl, known as the “crypto bowl” due to the number of crypto companies advertising during the game.
Crypto.com also aired another commercial featuring LeBron James and a CGI version of himself, both ads were part of the exchange’s reported $100 million global marketing scheme.
Controversy and criticism surrounding the commercial soon followed, with some calling it “grotesque” and an “embarrassing cash grab.” Damon’s involvement with cryptocurrencies led to scrutiny from critics and the public alike. However, the actor’s recent comments clarify the purpose behind his appearance in the ad, showing that it was for a charitable cause.
In October 2021, Crypto.com announced its $1 million direct donation to water.org to support the non-profit’s mission to provide clean water and sanitation to those in need. The partnership aimed to launch initiatives to encourage Crypto.com’s global user base to support the cause.
Despite the controversy surrounding the ad, Crypto.com’s marketing efforts appear to have been successful. In November 2021, the company paid a reported $700 million for the naming rights to the Los Angeles Staples Center, home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers.
The crypto industry has faced challenges in recent times, with several major exchanges and lenders collapsing in 2022. In this context, Damon’s involvement with cryptocurrencies has been viewed by some as ill-advised.
Furthermore, Crypto.com reportedly laid off 40% of its staff after the start of the 2022 crypto winter, despite initially claiming it had only laid off 5% of its workforce.
In light of these challenges, regulators are tightening action against celebrities who heavily promote cryptocurrencies without disclosing their sponsored endorsements. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently took action against several celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Jake Paul.
Matt Damon’s comments offer insight into the motivations behind his controversial Crypto.com ad. While some may continue to question his involvement in the crypto industry, the actor’s commitment to charitable causes and his desire to support water.org are admirable.