Less talk more Bitcoin: How Coinbase’s ad crashed their website

Reading Time: 2 mins

How much do you think it costs for around 30 seconds of advertising space during the Super Bowl? 

According to Satista, the answer to that question is almost $7,000,000.

statistic id217134 average cost 30 second advertisement super bowl us broadcast 2002 2022


Now, how many eyeballs do you think you will be getting on your 30-second slot?

Back to Statista, over the last 10 years, you would be getting an average viewership of around 100,000,000 people, and that's just in the US. It’s not often that you get that many eyeballs on an ad.


statistic id216526 super bowl tv viewership in the us 1990 2022


Super Bowl ads are as much of a talking point as the game itself. Advertisers are well aware of the attention it brings so they tend to go all out, producing huge blockbuster ads to get people excited, and most of all, talking about their products. And look at what I’m doing. Sitting here. Talking about an advert. Eating out of the palms of their hands. 

Generally speaking, Super Bowl ads are high spend, have high production value, and are high profile. Which is what makes the Coinbase ad so unique and disruptive. The ad itself mimics the old DVD logo bouncing around the screen, pulling on those nostalgia strings reminding you of the satisfaction that came along with the logo hitting the corner perfectly (aptly encapsulated in this video). Instead of a DVD logo, it’s a scannable QR code. 

coinbase superbowl 2022

When you scan the QR code it takes you to a promotional page for Coinbase, offering $15 of bitcoin to all new sign ups as well as a $3,000,000 giveaway of Bitcoin to one customer. It looks like the ad worked wonders as the sheer amount of traffic actually broke their website.

The campaign named “Less talk more Bitcoin”, lived up to its name. No dialogue. Just a cheesy electronic track similar to what you would find in an old arcade game. 

A few days on from the ad, some of the numbers have been crunched to asses it's success. According to TechCrunch, US installs of the Coinbase app were up 309% week-over-week after the ad’s airing Super Bowl Sunday, February 13, and it continued to climb by another 286% the following day. In fact, it looks like all ads from the 'Crypto Bowl' we're incredibly successful for the crypto platforms. FTX and eToro also saw app installs jump significantly.

The unique nature of the ad is what makes it so successful. It doesn’t tell you what it is about, or who the ad was for until the very end. The interactive nature of the ad forces the consumer to interact with it. Not only does the ad directly generate traffic to their website (too much traffic in this case), but it also generates leads there and then. 

Undoubtedly, brands of all niches can tap into the sense of nostalgia surrounding a particular product or aesthetic. Driving passive-watchers into active leads is what has moved the needle here. 

An absolute masterclass from Coinbase.

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