PayPal has put the brakes on a bitcoin-based parody of its Super Bowl commercial that surfaced on YouTube not long after the original advert’s primetime bow.
A reimagined version of PayPal’s Super Bowl advert that was published on YouTube has been pulled from the video-sharing platform at the behest of PayPal.
PayPal’s commercial proclaims the company’s position as “New Money”, compared to old-fangled “Old Money” such as paper currencies and banking institutions that close before the sight of dusk.
Shiloh Silverman, an individual who runs a video production house called Silver Park Studio saw things differently and came up with a repurposed version of the video that saw “PayPal” replaced by “Bitcoin” at the end of the advertisement, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
This didn’t sit well with PayPal, who presumably reached out to YouTube with a takedown notice targeting the reimagined Bitcoin-centric advertisement. The video was blocked on Monday. However, the video can still be found on YouTube, hosted by a different user who proactively downloaded the parody while foreseeing a probable takedown.
In an email to the WSJ, a PayPal spokeswoman offered a curious spin on the Bitcoin-branded parody. She claimed:
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think this demonstrates just how excited customers are about the concept behind PayPal’s ‘New Money’ campaign.”
Meanwhile, Silverman has published a new parody of the PayPal advert, with new visuals, a different soundtrack and Bitcoin at front-and-center.
Speaking to the news source, he simply stated:
I’m not a bitcoin fanatic, I just love the whole world of it.
While the takedown by PayPal could be taken as an affronted move by the payments company, the spokeswoman insisted that the move was simply one to avoid consumer misunderstanding. Furthermore, she stated that the new campaign of “New Money” is also courting Bitcoin. She told the publication:
Our vision of New Money includes Bitcoin. But to avoid customer confusion, we asked them for the video to be removed.
Bitcoin has courted speculation of being integrated with the PayPal platform for a long time. There have been nods to Bitcoin in PayPal commercials in the past (albeit briefly), such as this one from September 2014. In the same month, PayPal also partnered up with three bitcoin payment processors in BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin.
April 2015 saw the reveal of an SEC filing where PayPal stated that merchants could accept Bitcoin through the three payment processors and by integrating with Braintree, a beta platform in partnership with bitcoin exchange Coinbase.
PayPal gave the clearest indication yet of its foray into understanding the cryptocurrency after the recent appointment of Wences Casares, a Bitcoin evangelist and CEO of bitcoin firm Xapo to its board of directors.
Featured image from Youtube.