Earlier today, Ripple teamed up with Ashton Kutcher’s VC firm, Sound Ventures, to donate $4 million to The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund on live TV.
I have mixed feelings about this Ripple advertisement.
Let’s get the positive out of the way first. A donation to a good and worthy cause is always welcome, so kudos to Ripple for that.
Now, the negative side. This advertisement seems like a very confused PR statement because I’m not exactly sure who it’s targeting.
Lately, Ripple’s primary objective has been RippleNet and XRP integration with major banks around the world. As far as I know, a Ripple-powered P2P payments app doesn’t exist at the moment, but that’s exactly what this advertisement seems to demonstrate.
The Ellen Show is a daytime TV show, and averages approximately 3.9 million viewers per episode. Historically, TV programming in this time slot is mostly consumed by females between the ages of 18 and 49, with housewives occupying the majority of the demographic. In other words, the people who are watching this show likely have free time on their hands, and I bet a bunch of them tried searching for this magical Ripple app that was able to transfer $4 million in seconds. Too bad this app doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, these are not the type of the people who would follow up and go one step further to research Ripple and XRP’s world changing potential to share with their friends at the next book club meeting.
This could’ve been such a great opportunity for Ripple, and I don’t buy the argument that this whole donation was simply out of good will. If that were the case, Ripple could’ve just made a silent donation. The truth is Ellen has millions of loyal fans around the world, and it would be silly to not leverage her platform to shill your product or service to the world – especially if your service happens to be transferring $4 million in a few seconds.
On that note, it’s unclear to me if the transaction even took place in realtime. My gut instinct is they wouldn’t pull something like that on a huge TV show like Ellen because too many things could potentially go wrong. I’m guessing the donation was made beforehand and the app we see is just a demo of sorts, but then again Ellen seems pretty emotionally struck by this donation.
Okay, enough of that. Ripple didn’t have the best timing here, but it’s still good PR for the company. Now I’m wondering if there’s some sort of payments app in the works because the app GUI does display “runs on Ripple”. Secondly, I’d like to know who provided $4 million of liquidity for the XRP-RWF side of the transfer, as it seems to be a rather exotic currency pairing at the moment. Since XRP is a public ledger, I suppose it’d be possible to locate the transaction on XRPCharts.