Popular Super Bowl Ad Crashes System


  • Coinbase’s Super Bowl ad generated 20 million hits and temporarily crashed its site.
  • New Coinbase customers were able to get $15 in Bitcoin if they signed up before Feb. 15.

Coinbase crashes after popular super bowl ad, reports the Ascent.

Bouncing QR code

Coinbase’s 60-second Super Bowl commercial featuring a bouncing QR code and not much else certainly got people talking. Some saw the minimalist ad as a huge success, while others were less than complementary.

Coinbase also attempted to put a positive spin on its subsequent site outage, using it to emphasize the record number of hits.

The QR code took fans to a sign-up page with the slogan, “Less talk, more Bitcoin.” The page contained the following offers:

  • New Coinbase customers who signed up before 12:30 p.m. PST on Feb. 15 can get $15 in Bitcoin (BTC).
  • Existing Coinbase customers can opt in to a crypto sweepstake with $3 million in prizes before Feb. 27.

Response to ad took Coinbase by surprise

Almost immediately after the commercial aired, there were complaints of technical issues. Downdetector, a site that tracks outages, reported a spike in problems around 7:30 p.m., and continued to track smaller numbers of issues until about midnight.

Coinbase’s Chief Product Officer, Surojit Chatterjee, tweeted: “Coinbase just saw more traffic than we’ve ever encountered, but our teams pulled together and only had to throttle traffic for a few minutes.” Coinbase tweeted at 8:30 p.m. that the site was back up and ready.

Technical issues aside, Coinbase’s ad generated a lot of social media attention — both good and bad. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban tweeted, “QRcode ad with no copy was brilliant.” On the other side of the spectrum, crypto commentator Joe Pompliano said, “Coinbase just spent $14 million for a color-changing QR code to bounce around on the screen for 30-seconds during the Super Bowl… And the website crashed.”

It’s hard to argue with the results. Describing the event as “historic and unprecedented,” Coinbase said it got over 20 million hits on its landing page in one minute. Research from The Block Crypto showed the Coinbase app jumped to second place in the App Store — up from 186th position before the ad.

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Source: The Ascent