Coinbase turned millions of heads with its failed Super Bowl ad

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges spent $10+ million on a Super Bowl ad that ended up being too popular that it failed.

Published Tue, Feb 15 2022 12:31 AM CST   |   Updated Sat, Mar 12 2022 8:56 AM CST

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, purchased an advertising slot during the Super Bowl, and while the ad was certainly a hit, it didn't go exactly as planned.

The advertising slots at the Super Bowl are some of the most expensive advertising slots in the world, and that is because around 200 million people are watching. Coinbase reportedly spent $14 million on its ad, which was just a black screen with a QR code bouncing from corner to corner. It seems the ad was based on the classic DVD screensaver that featured the DVD logo bouncing around the screen.

Viewers of Coinbase's ad that scanned the code were redirected to Coinbase's website, where they could claim $15 in free Bitcoin. Although, it didn't all go to plan as millions of people scanned the QR code to find that Coinbase's website wasn't displaying due to the immense load of traffic that was rushing to Coinbase's servers. Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee said the website was getting "more traffic than we've ever encountered".

It's hard to say for sure if the advertisement actually failed and Coinbase wasted its $14 million as it's still being talked about across social media for both its "failure" and its nostalgic aesthetic.

Coinbase turned millions of heads with its failed Super Bowl ad 01 |
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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