Coinbase’s Clever Super Bowl Ad Backfired in the Worst Way

The floating QR code was so popular it crashed the app for the cryptocurrency exchange

The floating QR code in Coinbase's Super Bowl ad, which was so popular it crashed Coinbase's app
The floating QR code in Coinbase's Super Bowl ad

That floating QR code during last night’s Super Bowl was certainly memorable. But the ad proved so popular that it knocked out the company’s app — which maybe isn’t great if your company depends on technology.

As reported by Inc., Coinbase’s 60-second minimalist ad (well, not minimal in cost; while the production value was close to nil, buying time during the game cost roughly $7 million) was so successful it crashed the cryptocurrency exchange’s app, which was promoting $15 in free Bitcoin if you created an account and $3 million in giveaways.

Coverage of the ad’s genius (it was reminiscent of a bouncing DVD logo) and the app’s subsequent failure seemed to be evenly split. According to AdAge, “Coinbase” was trending with over 8,400 tweets at the time of their article’s publication last night. And TurboTax, Meta and Mr. Peanut released parody tweets almost immediately afterwards.

According to the New York Post, Coinbase got 20 million hits on its landing page right after the ad aired. However, shares in the crypto site fell a bit following the crash.

You can watch the ad below.

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