Coinbase made the first big crypto splash during this year’s Super Bowl after the company aired a bold commercial that consisted of nothing but a QR code floating up and down the screen.
The ad also quickly flashed a Coinbase URL at the end, leading to a website displaying a promotion for $15 in free Bitcoin for new customers who sign up in the next two days.
The Coinbase commercial appeared to be a success—perhaps too much of one. Shortly after it aired, people tweeted that the company’s site and app had crashed:
Coinbase commercial. Crashed the app pic.twitter.com/grKaTmXUbW
— Jason Palatsky (@JasonPalatsky) February 14, 2022
The outage didn’t last long as Coinbase site was up a few minutes later, including its homepage that displayed the giveaway promotion along with messages like «Less Talk, More Bitcoin» and «WAGMI.»
Meanwhile, the ad itself has elicited plenty of buzz on social media, something that an editor at AdWeek noted will no doubt please Coinbase’s marketing team:
Coinbase marketing team right now pic.twitter.com/yx3mjSHmRN
— David Griner (@griner) February 14, 2022
Others noted the ad’s ultra-low production costs compared to a typical Super Bowl commercial. And one crypto commentator called attention to Coinbase’s technical meltdown, but praised the ad as clever and original:
Coinbase reportedly spent $14M on this QR code commercial. Brilliant. pic.twitter.com/E1MSGpzxWk
— The Metaverse (@themetav3rse) February 14, 2022
Coinbase ad was genius.
Unfortunately the website and app crashed under the traffic shortly after the ad ran.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) February 14, 2022
Finally, the ad appeared to make a special impact with a certain market segment that, alas for Coinbase, don’t buy much crypto. Behold this dog’s fascination with the floating QR code:
Zonk was extremely interested in the tv for the @coinbase #SuperBowl commercial 🤨😆 pic.twitter.com/ZDZGfmAHWq
— Haley Spracale (@haleymspracale) February 14, 2022
The Coinbase ad was hardly the only crypto ad to air. Rival FTX also made its Super Bowl debut with a commercial featuring comedian Larry David, while ads by Bud Light and Turbo Tax also mentioned cryptocurrency.