Just a black screen, just some 90s game music, and just a QR code floating around the screen like a ping pong.
It’s a virus! – says one. What is it? – says another. Scan eet scan eet! – say some more.
It’s a lazy ad, some commented, though we can imagine how much time and effort must have gone to make it look lazy.
It’s certainly unique, the only ad of its kind during the whole Super Bowl as while all the others had the usual talking short films, this one left it to the audience to do the talking.
Whether that’s wise or otherwise is anyone’s guess. Plenty might have been lazy to scan, but some would have rushed to it once one of them pointed out it might be free bitcoin.
One data point suggests Coinbase went from 186th place to 2nd on the App Store after its Super Bowl ad, so it worked.
The moment itself was a bit mesmerizing just watching that thing wave around. Silence must have fallen across the United States as the audience was captured for a moment wondering whether their TV got hacked, what is this ad, and then get to scan it.
That would be followed by others asking what was in the QR code. As it happens, it is indeed free bitcoin, or more precisely $15 for free for anyone signing up.
The site says no purchase is necessary, with the offer to expire in now just over 24 hours.
Imagine all the s***coins you can get with that, someone commented. There’s also the chance to potentially win $3 million in prizes.
This is the first TV ad from Coinbase as far as we are aware, and we presume it got people talking. It will definitely be memorable. Associating the QR code with crypto might also be clever, and it clearly communicates we are new, different, techy, and cool.
FTX had a more traditional ad that goes through skeptics in history with the American comedian Larry David dismissing the wheel, forks, or that we’d go to the moon.
No kings, this is madness, David says. We don’t need kings, the people will decide. Even the stupid ones? – David retorts. He then starts tearing up the constitution when the founding fathers insist the stupid ones should also be able to vote.
In the modern age the FTX app is presented and Larry says nah, not gone work, and I’ve never been wrong, ever. With the tagline being don’t be like Larry.
That presumably is talking to the skeptics, though the debate was more about Larry being right in saying the stupid ones shouldn’t be able to vote.
While for Coinbase, the debate was more about crypto, at least once people found out what exactly the QR code was about. In before someone else copies it now to make it about a shopping list.
We didn’t see the Matt Damon ad, we waited and waited, maybe missed it. It would have fit perfectly just after [spoiler] Rams scored following a non score in some tense last minutes that made the game utterly utterly epic [/spoiler].
The geeks were watching, was the joke, and so we had haxed the game to be wow, one of the most memorable Super Bowl fit for one of the most memorable ad which itself is also very fit for the debut of a new industry in America and in the world.