Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Coinbase Super Bowl ad was so good it broke the company’s app and site

Published Feb 14th, 2022 3:52PM EST
Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange
Image: Mehmet/Adobe

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is one of the big winners of Super Bowl LVI, having aired a commercial so brilliant that it went viral immediately. Unlike other multi-million dollar ads that play during the big game, Coinbase saw an immediate return as Super Bowl viewers all rushed to the Coinbase website.

Incredibly, the Super Bowl ad was so successful that it crashed the app.

Don’t Miss: If you have a Roku, you just got these 25 new channels for free

Super Bowl ads are incredibly expensive, with Coinbase having reportedly paid $14 million for its slot. Add to that the expense of making the spots that companies create for the game, which can include massive cameos from well-known stars, and the Super Bowl commercial price goes up considerably.

While Super Bowl ads are quite popular with viewers, there’s no guarantee the investment will pay off, especially for newcomers that debut their first Super Bowl commercials.

Coinbase was one of the first-timers this year. And it wasn’t the only cryptocurrency exchange to come up with a Super Bowl ad. FTX and also had clips during the big game.

But rather than hiring some widely recognized star to promote bitcoin trading on the Coinbase app, the exchange did something entirely different. It ran a one-minute ad that showed a square QR code bouncing around on the screen, reminiscent of old screensavers.

The Coinbase Super Bowl ad

Unlike the famous Windows screensaver, you weren’t watching the screen to see if that square would ever land on one of the corners perfectly. That’s because QR codes are part of daily lives. And if they show up in a Super Bowl ad, you want to point your phone at the screen and see what happens.

It turns out that millions of people did exactly that when the TV spot aired. Loading the QR code would take you to Coinbase’s website, where a new promotion awaits.

Any new Coinbase user signing up for an account will get $15 in bitcoin. Moreover, all customers have a chance at winning prizes in a giveaway worth $3 million.

Was the app down when you tried on Sunday night? The good news is that you can still take advantage of the Super Bowl promo

The Coinbase website and app crashed under the load, proving that the Super Bowl ad was very successful. This further underscores the popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that trade on exchanges like Coinbase.

As for Coinbase, the Super Bowl ad risk might have paid off immensely. Reports after the game showed that the Coinbase app surged on the App Store. The app jumped from 186th place to #2 overall.

Other crypto ads generated similar interest, with FTX’s Blockfolio and eToro apps shooting up the charts.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.