After the whole Silk Road fiasco and countless reports of bitcoin related scams and exchange bankruptcies, one has to wonder: does bitcoin have an image problem? The Bitcoin Foundation and many influential bitcoin companies seem to think so. TheAudience, a very prominent advertising agency, has been hired by The Bitcoin Foundation and a group of influential Bitcoin companies (BitFury, BitGo and Tally Capital), to polish up Bitcoin’s image among the general public. The campaign will highlight the positive aspects of the digital currency and educate the general public on what bitcoin actually is. While big name spokesmen such as pro athletes and Hollywood starlets will not be used in the campaign, the agency will commandeer it’s army of YouTube/social-media celebrities to tout the digital currency in every nook and cranny of the Internet. Social media celebs will utilize bitcoin in their day-to-day activities and post photographs/videos on their twitter and facebook accounts. Most of Bitcoin’s fame came through word of mouth grassroots sort of effort made by supporters on forums and blogs. Bitcoin advertisements in traditional TV media outlets have been almost non-existent, with the exception of the Bitcoin Bowl, that was sponsored by Bitpay. According to a Reason-Rupe poll conducted in 2014, majority of Americans know absolutely nothing about Bitcoin.
[Only 8 percent of Americans said they knew “a lot” about it, 11 percent said “some,” 24 percent said “a little,” and a majority (56 percent) said “nothing at all.”] – Reason.com
Quite a startling statistics to say the least. With the never ending barrage of news reports and articles about digital currencies being spewed out on a daily basis; everyone should know about Bitcoin by now. Statistics show, that is not the case! An even more interesting result of the poll revealed that, people who were least informed about Bitcoin, exhibited the most hostile attitude toward it. People fear what they don’t understand, and it looks like the Bitcoin boogeyman is alive and well. The poll also found that more educated and affluent people are far more likely to support Bitcoin. Of all the groups surveyed, millennials, gamers and libertarians seem to be the most supportive of digital currencies.
“The poll found that the people who know the least about Bitcoin want to ban in the most. However, among those who know a fair amount about Bitcoin, they favored allowing it by a margin of 62 to 34 percent. Among those who know nothing at all, they want to ban it 54 to 27 percent.” – Reason.com
Bitcoin has a long way to go before it reaches mass appeal. Bitcoin and the underlying technology powering it, are still a big “question mark” as far as the average American is concerned. Regardless of what your opinion is on the Bitcoin Foundation, they got this one right! Bitcoin is desperately in need of a comprehensive and sustained awareness media blitz. Even the campaign being executed by TheAudience, may not be entirely sufficient. If Bitcoin is to settle in the mind of “Joe Public”, the heavy advertising artillery will have to be rolled out promptly!
Image Source: http://reason.com/poll/2014/04/07/millennials-the-tech-savvy-independents
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