The battle for the most talked-about Super Bowl ad may have been won by cryptocurrency firm Coinbase whose banal spot was such a success it crashed the company’s website.
The minute-long spot – rumoured to have cost the company $US7 million ($A9.6 million), and that was just the air time – had TV viewers reaching for their phones to scan a mystery QR code that suddenly appeared on their screens.
When scanned, the image led viewers to a link where they could sign up for the cryptocurrency exchange and redeem $US15 ($A21) worth of free bitcoin. Check out the spot below:
The result? Well, the ad ended up crashing Coinbase’s site with so many people having scanned the QR code. The company said it received 20 million hits in the minute the ad aired.
Coinbase was founded by Airbnb engineer Brian Armstrong in 2012 and is now the largest US-based cryptocurrency trading website.
people cheering for the Coinbase QR Code to corner tap lol pic.twitter.com/SkPfRSHuV5
— Trung Phan 🇨🇦 (@TrungTPhan) February 14, 2022
Coinbase’s chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee said the website experienced “more traffic than we’ve ever encountered” immediately after the stunt went live.
US whistleblower Edward Snowden was first to poke fun at the stunt, saying Coinbase paid to essentially launch a DDOS (denial-of-service attack) attack on itself.
While other’s praised the simplicity of the ad, particularly as it was up against so many big budget numbers featuring a cavalcade of A-list Hollywood stars this year (read B&T’s “best and worst” of HERE.)
The spot’s bouncing icon – reminiscent of DVD screen savers of the early 2000s – was enough to win praise from tech nostalgia boffins.
While others suspected the “crash” was done on purpose to significantly add to the campaign’s earned media. Check out some social media reaction below:
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