TD Ameritrade
The First Ad In The Blockchain

The first ad in the blockchain.

This achievement belongs one brand alone, and that brand is TD Ameritrade. Using creativity, and a little ingenuity, we found a way to promote TD Ameritrade’s newest offering, Bitcoin futures trading, in a unique way that’s highly relevant to the target audience. We took an existing piece of innovative technology—the blockchain—and innovated on top of it, turning it into a media platform and embedded the first-ever branded message. By nature, the blockchain has limited capabilities, but we found that one of its functions (OP_Return) allows pieces of data just 80 bytes in length to be embedded inside of it. Those 80 bytes roughly translate to 80 plaintext characters (but only when you use only the most simple letters, numbers and punctuations). So, we had to be clever about how to constructed our message, and did so by linking together 68 individual transactions to create a canvas to hold a piece of ASCII art. In the end, we planted TD Ameritrade’s flag on the unhackable, unchangeable digital ledger, in an innovative way, that will be remembered—and be there—forever. And, as a result, we saw a 229% increase in social mentions and 51.6 million media impressions, in the first week alone. All that at a total ad cost of just $23.15. Ultimately, we became a part of the blockchain conversation by literally becoming a part of the blockchain.

More Work