Global Marketing

Coinbase’s $14 Million QR Code

Instead of watching the Super Bowl for the football game, some people watch the Super Bowl for the funny, unpredictable, and randomly witty commercials that companies spend millions of dollars on. However, during the 2021 Super Bowl people deemed the Coinbase commercial the most confusing Super Bowl commercial of all time. There was no context except for a floating QR code that was changing colors and background music that had no words and seemed like elevator music. But why did Coinbase spend $14 million on this ad?

Because the Super Bowl is the most watched annual sporting event in the world and is broadcasted in over 130 countries and more than 30 languages. Companies and advertisers have created Super Bowl commercials to build awareness of their brand, products, and services where they could gain more exposure by creating buzz around the ads. Coinbase saw the opportunity to use the Super Bowl commercials as a way that they could create global brand exposure. 

the floating QR code meant. It also gave viewers $15 of Bitcoin which was an additional call to action to download the Coinbase app. Everyone at our Super Bowl party was confused about the ad because it was very untraditional and not action-packed as the previous commercials had shown. We immediately scanned the code as we saw it floating around out of curiosity and got the landing page and realized that it was a cryptocurrency ad. Our party was not interested in crypto but did know that some people were intrigued and saw the download as an opportunity to sign up. Even after we had relatives in other countries like Japan who broadcasted the Super Bowl and started a conversation with us about it showing the power of the commercial’s global branding. 

The ad was so popular that it crashed the website and created additional buzz for people to talk about. Immediately after the Super Bowl ad, Coinbase had more than 20 million hits on its landing page and was the most traffic they have ever encountered which shows the power that Super Bowl commercials can have on buzz and promote recognition around the world. From a global branding perspective, Coinbase utilized the Super Bowl to gain global exposure and gain bigger returns than what it had paid for.