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What just happened? Illustrating exactly why companies spend so much money on Super Bowl ad spots, Coinbase’s clever commercial drew so many potential new customers that it temporarily took out the app and forced it to throttle traffic to the website.
Coinbase’s 60-second Super Bowl ad consisted of a bouncing QR code in the style of those old DVD-logo screensavers from years gone by. Scanning the code directed people to a page on the crypto exchange's site that offered $15 in free Bitcoin if they signed up for an account before February 15.
The popularity of the ad forced Coinbase to limit traffic to the website, though it was only for a few minutes. It also crashed the app, but it appears to be up and working once again. The company tweeted that the ad resulted in it experiencing more traffic than it had ever encountered in its entire history.
We're back up and ready for you! https://t.co/YPIEt0ryVb— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 14, 2022
The Verge reports that Meta jumped on the back of (or stole) Coinbase’s bouncing logo idea. The Facebook parent tweeted a bouncing QR code of its own that directed people to its post-game Foo Fighters Show that could be viewed in virtual reality.
Hopefully this doesn't break. pic.twitter.com/nNx4T3XD7w— Meta Quest (@MetaQuestVR) February 14, 2022
Several blockchain-based companies grabbed Super Bowl ads this year. eToro, Crypto.com and FTX had commercials, while Canadian crypto exchange BitBuy ran one during the Canadian broadcast. It led to some people renaming the event the "Crypto Bowl."
According to the New York Times, NBCUniversal charged up to $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. Given the number of people who flocked to Coinbase, the ad was probably worth the money.