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 around the screen for 60 seconds.
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."
@coinbase just saw more traffic than we've ever encountered, but our teams pulled together and only had to throttle traffic for a few minutes. We are now back and ready for you at https://t.co/ZUJqRlnZPH. Humbled to have been witness to this. #WAGMI
— Surojit (@surojit) February 14, 2022
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
Finally, the ad appeared to make a special impact with a certain market segment that, unfortunately for Coinbase, don't buy 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.
Decrypt has a full rundown of all things crypto taking place during this year's big game. Check out our live blog for timely updates.