Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI, the annual playoff game for the US National Football League (NFL), saw four major exchanges debuting cryptocurrency adverts during the commercial breaks.
Long renowned as a clear sign of pushing into the mainstream of marketing, Super Bowl ads are eye-wateringly expensive and tend to generate significant online discussion by themselves.
This year saw adverts from Coinbase, Crypto.com, eToro, and FTX, despite growing sentiment amongst regulatory authorities worldwide that crypto advertising needs to be restricted.
Coinbase stole the cake in terms of community reaction with its incredibly simple ad of a “C” bouncing around the screen that turned into a QR code.
Scanning the code directed users to Coinbase’s sign-up page along with a one-time free reward for $15 in Bitcoin. The 60 second advert reportedly cost the platform $14 million (£10.4m).
The ad went against traditional Super Bowl marketing which typically involves high-production costs and celebrity endorsements. The simplicity appears to have paid off however as Coinbase crashed temporarily from the massive influx of traffic it received.
A message on the app read: “Well, that was more popular than we thought. We need a quick time out, but don’t worry. We’ll email you when things are back to normal.”
Meanwhile, Coinbase’s chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee tweeted that the number of people scanning the QR code and downloading the app constituted “more traffic than… ever encounted”.
FTX’s ad featured comedian Larry David whilst Crypto.com’s called on NBA star LeBron James in more familiar Super Bowl fashion.
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