Yesterday (February 13), for Super Bowl LVI, Coinbase offered America such a brilliant and effective TV commercial that not only did it make Coinbase a trending topic on Twitter within minutes of getting aired, but it also managed to impress people in the advertising community.

Coinbase’s 59-second ad featured an animated QR code that once scanned by a mobile phone would direct people to a page on the Coinbase website that allows U.S. residents (except those in Hawaii) who are not Coinbase users to sign up by February 15 and get $15 worth of free Bitcoin and all users to enter a lottery for a chance to win one of three $1 million grand prizes.

Mashable’s report said that “the early winner for the most effective ad during this year’s Super Bowl might just go to Coinbase.”

Katie Notopoulos, a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News, tweeted:

Jameson Fleming, Adweek’s agencies editor, was one of the many advertising industry professionals who was impressed by Coinbase’s ad:

Unfortunately, the ad was a bit too effective, driving so much traffic to Coinbase that shortly after it aired, it temporarily brought down the Coinbase website, as you can see from this tweet by Coinbase’s Chief Product Officer.

Late yesterday, Coinbase published a blog post that featured an interview with their Kate Rouch, who is their Chief Marketing Officer.

Below are a few highlights from that interview.

On the Large Quantity of Crypto Ads Shown During the Superbowl

The number of crypto ads at the Super Bowl is yet another signal that crypto is bursting into the mainstream, and at the center of the cultural zeitgeist. What a proud day for crypto!

On the Huge Traffic That Briefly Brought Down the Coinbase Website

Our engineering teams load-tested our site to handle millions of simultaneous hits. The volume we experienced was astounding in comparison to our projections. We saw over 20M+ hits on our landing page in one minute — volume that was historic and unprecedented.

We also saw engagement that was 6 times higher than our previous benchmarks. Understandably, this volume led to us temporarily throttling our systems. Hats off to our engineering team for getting the site back online so swiftly, and allowing us to welcome more people to the cryptoeconomy.

On the WAGMI Campaign

Our ad helps the millions of Americans who are curious about crypto get started — completely on us! It is not about an outdated winner takes all model, but instead embraces the core ethos that ‘we’re all going to make it’ and can all benefit from the cryptoeconomy…

We are committed to investing tens of millions of dollars in this program to help people learn about crypto. We’re not limiting it to a handful of winners, or even to Super Bowl Sunday. People will have two full days to sign up and get $15 in bitcoin.

The Inspiration Behind the ‘QR Code’ Ad

Our core inspiration for the ad was the curiosity and intimidation we know many people have about crypto. We wanted to pique their interest by doing something different, something that’s never been done in the history of Super Bowl advertising — a playful, low production nod to a popular Internet meme that invites action and discussion both in the living room, and on social media.

We are a remote first company. Our CEO and his co-founder met on Reddit. Traditional highly produced Super Bowl advertising just didn’t feel inspiring to us. We wanted to show up in a more authentic way to our brand. We hope people found it in turn surprising, confounding and delightful.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.