Bored Ape Yacht Club Fans Were Sure That Snoop Dogg or Eminem Would Give Them a Super Bowl Plug. Their Dreams Were Dashed

Snoop Dogg did not turn into a mutant ape onstage at Super Bowl LVI.

Snoop Dogg performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation.

Curiosities is a column where I comment on the art news of the week, sometimes about stories that were too small or strange to make the cut, sometimes just giving my thoughts on the highs and lows.

Here’s what caught my eye this week…

 

The Ape Party That Wasn’t

Since last year, Bored Ape Yacht Club fans have been fervently predicting that Super Bowl LVI would be a big, big moment for the famed collection of simian-themed JPGs—maybe even the most significant moment in its history.

After all, Snoop Dogg and Eminem were both to be featured in the Super Bowl halftime show, and both own Bored Ape NFTs (Eminem has his ape as his Twitter profile pic). From that datapoint, and some online rumors that someone had “a friend” working on a Bored Ape animation for the half time show, expectations spiked to massive heights.

Fans even dreamed up their own scenarios for how it could all go down, often involving Snoop Dogg proudly chugging a Bored Ape “mutant serum” onstage (if you don’t know what that is, you don’t need to).

Bloomberg’s crypto columnist reported last week that a variety of sports betting sites were letting fans wager on whether there would be a Bored Ape cameo—and the odds favored the yes’s.

“The probability of a Bored Ape halftime appearance is high enough that the money line was only +110 on Thursday as of midday, according to these oddsmakers, meaning you win $110 if you bet $100 on a sighting,” according to Bloomberg. “The over/under on how many Bored Apes we’ll see was 1.5.”

Shortly thereafter, the hype got so ahead of reality that one of the Bored Ape founders themselves posted to Discord to cool expectations. “Superbowl speculation getting out of hand,” wrote Gargamel, one of the four main members of Yuga Labs. “We heard through the grapevine like everyone else that some community members were trying to do something cool but sounds like it fell through.”

And yet the ape speculation had already grown to King Kong proportions—too big to be totally stopped.

Some, indeed, thought that the denials could be misdirection. And so, even as the hard-working journalists of the Bored Ape Gazette reported on the disappointing missive from Gargamel, they also did their best impression of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber, noting sagely, “it’s important to note that he did not come out and say a definitive no bored apes at the super bowl.”

Anderson Paak and Eminem perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Anderson .Paak and Eminem perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

Well, Sunday’s big game came and went. Dr. Dre played the piano, Mary J. Blige wore a crystal body suit, 50 Cent rapped upside down, and Eminem took a knee.

But exactly none of them acknowledged that they loved apes—bored, mutant, or otherwise. No green serum was consumed.

The bereft Ape nation was left to subsist on ad breaks stuffed with celeb-fronted commercials for different crypto exchanges, urging America to turn its meager retirement savings into crypto. Viewers will probably best remember the so-called “Crypto Bowl” for Larry David’s spot mugging it up for FTX, or CoinBase’s mysterious floating QR code, which crashed its site.

But the Bored Ape fam could take some heart from the ad for Israeli “social trading” platform eToro. It featured the unintentionally chilling image of a swarm of hip urbanites being literally carried off on a cloud of Twitter hype, cheerfully sucked away from reality.

Not confident in the Super Bowl audience’s attention span to last more than the allotted 30 seconds, eToro then took to Twitter itself to @ the official Bored Ape account, unsubtly hinting that there was an Ape to be found in the commercial.

Knowing this, it’s not that hard to spot the Ape in the corner of storefront of the commercial. According to Benzinga.com, it is Bored Ape #6189. This ape features the tie-dyed shirt and devil horns attributes, a selection, I’m guessing, that is meant to reflect eToro’s fun, social vibe and bull-themed logo, rather than a drugged-addled deal with the devil.

Detail of screenshot of eToro’s Super Bowl ad with Bored Ape indicated.

Detail of screenshot of eToro’s Super Bowl ad with Bored Ape indicated.

Whether this clout-chasing Bored Ape Yacht Club “appearance” is enough for those who bet on a Bored Ape Super Bowl appearance to claim a W, I don’t know. In terms of cool, though?

Well, just imagine if thought you were going to be getting a shout out from Snoop Dogg, but instead you got a background part in an ad for an online brokerage.


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