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Coinbase’s “Free Bitcoin” Super Bowl Ad Causes Site to Crash Briefly

In short

  • Coinbase’s QR code ad proved popular enough to crash the site
  • Despite the glitch, the announcement was well received on social media

Coinbase made the first big crypto splash during this year’s Super Bowl after the company aired a bold ad that consisted of nothing but a QR code floating up and down the screen.

The ad also quickly flashed a Coinbase URL at the end, leading to a website displaying a promotion of $15 in free Bitcoin for new customers who sign up within the next two days.

The Coinbase ad seemed like a hit, maybe too much. Shortly after it aired, people tweeted that the company’s site and app had crashed:

The outage didn’t last long as the Coinbase site was live minutes later, including its homepage which displayed the giveaway promotion as well as messages like “Less chat, more Bitcoin” and “WAGMI “.

Meanwhile, the announcement itself has generated a lot of buzz on social media, which an AdWeek editor says will no doubt please Coinbase’s marketing team:

Others noted the ad’s ultra-low production costs compared to a typical Super Bowl commercial. And one crypto commentator drew attention to Coinbase’s technical meltdown, but hailed the announcement as smart and original:

Finally, the announcement seemed to have a particular impact on a certain market segment which, alas for Coinbase, does not buy much crypto. Here’s this dog’s fascination with the floating QR code:

The Coinbase announcement was not the only crypto announcement to run. Rival FTX also made its Super Bowl debut with an ad featuring comedian Larry David, while Bud Light and Turbo Tax ads also mentioned cryptocurrency.

Decipher has a full list of everything happening during this year’s big game. Check our live blog for timely updates.

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