Coinbase Bouncing QR Code Super bowl Commercial.

Coinbase Bouncing QR Code Super Bowl Commercial

Part of a series on Super Bowl LVI. [View Related Entries]

Updated Feb 14, 2022 at 12:13PM EST by Zach.

Added Feb 13, 2022 at 08:29PM EST by Brandon.

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About

Coinbase Bouncing QR Code Super Bowl Commercial refers to a commercial played during Super Bowl LVI (56) in mid-February 2022 of a QR code bouncing around the television screen for over 20 seconds, mimicking the Bouncing DVD Logo. Viewers who scanned the QR code with their phones were able to set up a Coinbase account with $15 in free Bitcoin for new signups, though the curiosity of the advertisement resulted in the site crashing shortly after. The ad was widely discussed online and covered in the media following the Super Bowl.

Origin

On February 13th, 2022, during Super Bowl 56, Coinbase, a cryptocurrency bank and distribution service, aired an ad in which it played a QR code that changed colors and bounced around the screen in a nod to 1990s nostalgia (specifically the Bouncing DVD Logo), making thousands of viewers scramble to scan the code using their smartphones during the NFL game. Those who scanned the code were then directed to the Coinbase website with a timed offer that would give them $15 in free Bitcoin after they created a new account, with new accounts being able to enter into a drawing for a chance to win $3 million in crypto. The ad caused a stir online shortly after it aired with people on social media detailing their attempts at scanning the code in time before the Coinbase website crashed upon being flooded with users due to the commercial (shown below).


Bailey Reutzel @BLR13 Did @coinbase just make me get off my ass, run to my TV and scan a QR code only to give me this??? #Web3 #crypto sighhhh 7:06 39%| Planned maintenance in progress

Spread

Due to the number of people trying to access the Coinbase website on February 13th, 2022, during the Super Bowl, it ended up crashing for many and displaying various errors. People began complaining about the crashed website that night, resulting in an influx of discussions, memes and other jokes online shortly after the ad aired. For example, Twitter[3] user TurnerNovak tweeted a joke about the ad causing the platform to crash that day, earning over 570 likes and 20 retweets in 15 hours (shown below).


Turner Novak. @TurnerNovak Coinbase just wanted everyone to experience crypto being down 7:19 PM - Feb 13, 2022 - Twitter for iPhone 7 Retweets 121 Likes

Because of the website crashing and people being unable to scan the QR code in time, the official Coinbase Twitter[2] account tweeted out a video and explanation for those who were unable to understand the ad, saying that every new account on Coinbase by February 15th, 2022, would receive $15 in Bitcoin (shown below),


On February 13th, 2022, the Mr. Peanut Twitter[1] account tweeted out their own version of the QR code as a parody of Coinbase's ad, with a peanut swapped in for the code, while asking if they missed anything (shown below). The tweet received over 1,000 likes and 200 retweets in roughly 15 hours.


Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – Peanut

[2] Twitter – Coinbase

[3] Twitter – TurnerNovak

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Top Comments

Nedhitis
Nedhitis

Kind of eerie that people unquestioningly scanned the QR code just like that. That means that, in theory, if anyone pulls an "Italian Senate Tifa" moment to broadcast a QR code instead of porn on this same scale, you can make thousands of people scan anything with their phone, including malware. What is stopping anyone from pulling a massive attack like this to potentially hack phones and steal anything from private info to wallet funds, then..? This event shows that it would be very easy to pull that off.

Just out of principle, sponsored or not, safe or not, broadcasting QR codes to such a large audience like this should not be allowed. Conditioning technologically impaired boomers into thinking they can just safely scan QR codes they have no idea what it is connected to cannot end well for anyone here.

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