super bowl ads

Coinbase Advertises at Super Bowl LVI Using QR Code, Causes App to Crash

A 30-second ad at Super Bowl LVI reportedly runs at $ 6.5 million apiece

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Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms, raised the bar for unconventional Super Bowl ads -- and it was met with mixed reviews. 

Super Bowl ads -- which are notoriously expensive -- are typically stacked with celebrity cameos and elaborate marketing strategies. Coinbase opted to go for a less-is-more approach, producing a nearly minute-long ad whose only feature was a QR code that changed colors and moved around the screen, a nostalgic nod to the old DVD logo.

When scanned, the QR code prompted viewers to the promotional page of the Coinbase app. Among the available promotions are over $3 million in giveaways and $15 in Bitcoin to all customers who sign up by Feb. 15.  

Traffic to the website was reportedly so high that it crashed due to “connection issues.” 

The ad was met with mixed reviews, as some viewers were quick to point out the irony of a company that prides itself in online financial security being unable to maintain the number of users. 

Meanwhile, others celebrated the company’s stripped down approach to advertising at the Super Bowl.

Fans of NBC’s The Office might have felt like they’ve watched this scene before. 

Regardless of how people felt about the ad itself, it indisputably sparked a conversation, with many questioning what the mysterious QR code led to.

Ads at Super Bowl LVI reportedly cost nearly $6.5 million for a 30-second slot. That’s a nearly $1 million increase from the next highest bidding price, set at $5.6 million in 2020. The Coinbase ad ran approximately one minute long.

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