That Coinbase Super Bowl ad was so popular it broke the app

midian182

Posts: 7,902   +82
Staff member
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.

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.

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.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,210   +4,247
Even though America is not really generating all that much for blockchains in the grand scheme of things we will look back at this moment with many months of NFT madness building up to it and remember "This is why we've lost 90% of all coastal cities less than 200 years from this date"
 

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 378   +670
I saw the ad but refused to scan the QR code. What’s even more shocking is how millions of Americans can be enticed by a “Pong” style square moving accross the screen like a bunch of mindless mice in a giant social experiment. Perhaps it would have been more instructive (and a better lesson for all) if clicking on the code led to a malicious Russian Hacking site that stole everyone’s financial information. Scary how we all respond to
The “pretty bouncing colors” on the screen without even thinking. Of course, I guess that’s why Tinder and Facebook are so successful. I applaud Coinbase for a job well-done.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 694   +1,089
I saw the ad but refused to scan the QR code. What’s even more shocking is how millions of Americans can be enticed by a “Pong” style square moving accross the screen like a bunch of mindless mice in a giant social experiment. Perhaps it would have been more instructive (and a better lesson for all) if clicking on the code led to a malicious Russian Hacking site that stole everyone’s financial information. Scary how we all respond to
The “pretty bouncing colors” on the screen without even thinking. Of course, I guess that’s why Tinder and Facebook are so successful. I applaud Coinbase for a job well-done.
It wasn't pong, it was the DVD logo screensaver. Just like with the DVD logo screensaver, there's the pastime of "is it going to bounce off the corner?" that later on became a popular meme, which Coinbase was well aware of (it happened in the last five seconds). It was also popular because it was so unexpectedly basic for a superbowl commercial that it was attention-capturing. Now you might think it's a giant social experiment, but in actuality Coinbase connected with the audience unlike a majority of the ads that were paid for. Don't you think these other companies would've done the same thing if they could come up with a more engaging ad? Even the people who didn't connect with this ad are talking about it, ie. you.

Fyi I don't own crypto nor do I plan to, but my point is Coinbase came up with a fantastic ad.
 
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Phaetos

Posts: 99   +76
I saw the ad but refused to scan the QR code. What’s even more shocking is how millions of Americans can be enticed by a “Pong” style square moving accross the screen like a bunch of mindless mice in a giant social experiment. Perhaps it would have been more instructive (and a better lesson for all) if clicking on the code led to a malicious Russian Hacking site that stole everyone’s financial information. Scary how we all respond to
The “pretty bouncing colors” on the screen without even thinking. Of course, I guess that’s why Tinder and Facebook are so successful. I applaud Coinbase for a job well-done.

Should've gone here instead: