- Coinbase kicked off the Super Bowl ad war among crypto firms with an instantly viral hit.
- The elegantly simple spot consisted of a QR code bouncing around the screen like a DVD screensaver.
- The social media reaction was swift, and the website reportedly crashed for some users.
Coinbase took an early lead in the Crypto Bowl with a Super Bowl ad spot that instantly got viewers' phones in their hands and headed over to the signup page.
While other firms shell out big bucks to hire Hollywood producers for 30-second mini-dramas, Coinbase went in the opposite direction with a multicolored QR code bouncing around the screen like the logo of a DVD player's screensaver.
Only upon training a cell phone camera to the code did the ad buyer's name appear, leaving the company otherwise unmentioned on the screen until the final seconds.
—LoriSpechler (@LoriSpechler) February 14, 2022
If activated, the code linked to a landing page on Coinbase's website offering $15 in free bitcoin in exchange for setting up an account by February 15.
The online reaction to the spot was swift and mostly positive, with billionaire investor and crypto enthusiast Mark Cuban calling the move "brilliant."
The appeal of the ad even transcended species – one dog was filmed eagerly watching the bouncing square.
—Haley Spracale (@haleymspracale) February 14, 2022
Other users however criticized the apparent lack of preparation for the ads reception. Shortly after airing, Coinbase's app reportedly crashed for some users, while others showed error screens on the landing page.
The 60-second ad is estimated to cost $14 million, based on prevailing rates.
—Ramp Capital (@RampCapitalLLC) February 14, 2022
—Michael D'Olivo (@michael_dolivo) February 14, 2022