Spike Lee is a legendary filmmaker whose body of work often includes messages of justice and equality for marginalized communities. Now crypto wallet Coin Cloud has commissioned the Academy Award-winning director to help with its marketing by pushing cryptocurrency as a great equalizer.
In a two-minute short commercial entitled “The Currency of Currency,” Lee discusses the pitfalls of “old money” and the opportunities “new money” brings. “Our currency is not current. Old money – as rich as it looks – is flat-out broke,” Lee says with passion in the commercial’s opening minutes.
Then Lee says he has “receipts” to prove his point. “They call it green, but it’s only white. Where’s the women, the Black folks, and the people of color? Native Americans got a nickel – a nickel! People don’t even stop and pick up a nickel outside,” Lee quips.
“Old money is not gonna pick us up,” he continues. “It pushes us down. Exploits. Systematically oppresses. New money is positive. Inclusive. Fluid. Strong. Culturally rich. Where status is anything but status quo.”
Founded by early crypto-miner-turned-CEO Chris McAlary, Coin Cloud offers digital currency machines or DCMs — ATMs for cryptocurrencies. In addition to Lee, the company partnered with Detroit-based ad and marketing agency Campbell Ewald to produce the film, which features notables such as actress, singer and songwriter Teyana Taylor and actor and activist Kendrick Sampson.
Coin Cloud’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Amondo Redmond said the campaign was about more than raising awareness of their services.
“For me, this campaign is as much a prophecy as it is a look at where we’ve been,” Coin Cloud Redmond said a statement. “Beyond generating awareness, my vision is that this campaign not only sparks important dialogue, but introduces marginalized communities to an innovative, new and inclusive way to take control of and grow their wealth.”
Lee said he was drawn to the project not only because Redmond intimately knows his work and viewpoints, but McAlary’s backstory revealed some commonalities in thought, proving the founder “really got it.”
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“The creative relationship is much more natural when a brand knows who you are, knows your body of work and point of view— versus being total strangers to it,” Lee told Adweek. “I was excited about partnering with Coin Cloud to educate marginalized communities about new opportunities available with digital currency.”
Lee ended the commercial by declaring, “The digital rebellion is here. Old money is out. New money is in.” While some cited Lee’s commercial as proof that crypto is the way to go – or at the least, a clever way for Coin Cloud to get business – not everyone agreed with the “Do The Right Thing” filmmakers’ advocacy for the company.
“Spike Lee’s new commercial is not really something needed for #Bitcoin to succeed but does make for an interesting gauge of the tactics institutions will use to make sure you get your BTC through them,” @Crypto_Daily tweeted.
“It’s not really clear what, if anything, the new money is going to bring besides more wealth for those who already have it. Which, you know, is what old money does,” Vice critiqued in an article about the campaign.
“Spike Lee Did the Wrong Thing,” Edward Ongweso Jr. tweeted, along with a link to Vice’s story.