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Coinbase QR Code Super Bowl Ad for Free Bitcoin Yields 20M Hits in a Minute


Super Bowl LVI yielded an array of commercials, as it does year after year, but one happened to stand out and dominate the conversion. During the Super Bowl telecast on Feb. 13, 2022, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN) ran an advertisement that generated so much traffic that its app crashed. For a full minute, the ad consisted of a colorful bouncing QR code that, when scanned, brought the user to a promotional website which allows customers who signed up by Feb. 15, 2022, to receive $15 worth of Bitcoin (BTC).



Those Super Bowl ads paid off for a number of tech companies, not just in terms of exposure, but also in app downloads. Coinbase’s viral ad outperformed the group, with downloads jumping 309% week-over-week after the ad aired on Super Bowl Sunday. It continued to climb by an additional 309% the next day.


This new data comes from app intelligence firm, Sensor Tower. The group crunched the numbers to see how well the Super Bowl ads performed for mobile-first brands that advertised throughout the game. While the firm cannot share the exact download figures due to nondisclosure agreements with clients, its data can provide a close look at the impact these ads had. The data provided is for U.S. app stores.


As it turned out, Coinbase wasn’t the only crypto app to skyrocket. Among the top five apps whose ads delivered strong growth in downloads, three were crypto applications. In addition to Coinbase, crypto trading platform eToro increased app installs by 132% week-over-week on February 13, and by 82% on February 14. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency exchange FTX, whose ad featured “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star and creator Larry David, experienced a 130% boost in downloads week-over-week on February 13, followed by 81% growth the following day.


Combined, Coinboise, FTX, and eToro saw their U.S. installs increase by a collective 279% on February 13 compared to the previous week. This trickled into the following day when week-over-week download growth hit 252%.


The other apps that made the top 5 on Super Bowl Sunday were sportsbooks. The DraftKings Sportsbook app saw downloads hit 197% week-over-week on Sunday, following closely behind Coinbase. Caesars Sportsbook followed, seeing a week-over-week gain of 147%, snagging it a spot in the top 3.


Rounding out the top 10, in order, was online car buying platform Vroom (111% download growth), kid fintech Greenlight (+89%), another online car buying platform Carvana (+53%), streamer AMC+ (+38%), and Meta’s Oculus (+25%—surprising, given its strange and melancholy ad).



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