Super Bowl advertising brought some of the biggest and most influential cryptocurrency brands into the living rooms of an estimated 91.6 million Americans on Sunday. Among the companies that paid an estimated $14 million for a 60-second spot was Coinbase (COIN -9.05%), and as of 12:45 p.m. ET Monday, it was trading up 3.5% from Friday's closing price.
This popular cryptocurrency exchange's commercial featured nothing but a QR code bouncing around the screen for almost the entirety of the ad. Those who scanned it were taken to the Coinbase website/app, where potential new users were offered $15 in free Bitcoin for signing up, and an entry into a $3 million giveaway. The traffic this ad generated caused an outage of the Coinbase app, reflecting the impressive interest it generated.
On the one hand, such an immense surge in traffic to one's platform following a Super Bowl ad ought to be viewed positively. It's hard to accurately measure the success of most TV advertisements, but the clear results from this one have some investors reasonably excited about the platform's ability to grow its user base of retail investors.
On the other hand, other investors appear appropriately concerned about the company's IT infrastructure. While most websites and platforms aren't be built to accommodate tens of millions of visitors at a single time, the error messages would-be new users saw during the game suggest that many of them may not have been able to complete their registrations. Investors will have to wait until Coinbase's next earnings report to see the ultimate impact this ad had on its user numbers and how those new additions impact its near-term transaction volumes.
It was certainly encouraging to see such a flood of traffic to Coinbase following this ad. The massive one-time marketing investment appears to have enticed plenty of viewers to take action, so there's reason to believe it was money well spent.
The question is whether the company will be able to turn a significant share of these new signups into active monthly users who boost its transaction volumes in a sustainable way. But on Monday, at least, the market is viewing Coinbase's Super Bowl ad as a big win.