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How Coinbase’s Bouncing QR Code Became a Super Bowl Sensation

During NBC’s broadcast on Sunday, Coinbase’s Super Bowl commercial was a viral hit — so much so that the company’s servers were overwhelmed with a flood of new users.

The Los Angeles Rams and their fans will be celebrating Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI victory for a long time. But no matter how many attendees show up at their championship parade, the size of the crowd won’t hold a candle to the one that swarmed to Coinbase’s website after being absolutely bewitched by a singular, colorful MVP:

A bouncing QR code.

Recalling those screen saver-ish DVD screens of yesteryear, Coinbase’s Super Bowl ad (entitled WAGMI , or “We’re All Gonna Make it,” a crypto industry rallying cry) gently coaxed literally millions of viewers to whip out their smart devices and scan the context-free pictograph simply to see what it was and where it led. It ultimately led to Coinbase’s site as part of a campaign to help educate new users about cryptocurrency — and give away millions in free Bitcoin in the most ambitious giveaway even the blockchain industry has ever seen.

How ambitious? Well, as Coinbase later noted, the campaign produced, as noted by company CMO Kate Rouch:

  • More than 20 million visits on the campaign’s landing page
  • Six times the overall engagement than previously established benchmarks

“Understandably, this volume led to us temporarily throttling our systems,” Rouch said. “Hats off to our engineering team for getting the site back online so swiftly, and allowing us to welcome more people to the cryptoeconomy.”

For the first time, blockchain broke the internet.

(That’s at least as impressive as anything Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald did on the field, right?)

“At Coinbase, we have a goal of introducing a billion people to the cryptoeconomy,” Rouch said. “Crypto is about access for everyone, not old models of winner takes all, stoking fear or ‘FOMO.’ We believe the best way to learn about crypto is to actually try it. That’s why we’re launching our biggest giveaway ever, whereby all new customers will start their crypto journey with some Bitcoin in their account to get started. In other words: less talk, more Bitcoin.”

A billion new entrants into the crypto economy?

What a difference 60 seconds of ad time can make.

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