Coinbase had to throttle traffic Sunday evening (Feb. 13) after an ad for its cryptocurrency exchange — the largest in America — aired during the Super Bowl and attracted record numbers of visitors.
“[J]ust saw more traffic than we’ve ever encountered, but our teams pulled together and only had to throttle traffic for a few minutes,” Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee wrote on Twitter two hours into the game. “Humbled to have been witness to this.”
@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. We are now back and ready for you at https://t.co/ZUJqRlnZPH. Humbled to have been witness to this. #WAGMI
— Surojit (@surojit) February 14, 2022
According to Downdetector, Coinbase saw a spike in outages around 7:20 p.m. Sunday, soon after the company’s commercial aired, offering visitors a QR code that lets new users receive $15 in bitcoin for signing up to the platform.
Sunday’s game featured a number of crypto ads, leading the financial press to dub the Los Angeles/Cincinnati match-up the “Crypto Bowl.”
For example, FTX’s $7 million spot featured Larry David, showing the cantankerous Curb Your Enthusiasm star/Seinfeld creator dismissing — at various points in history — the wheel, indoor plumbing, electricity, forks and space travel.
When David rejects the FTX app with an “I don’t think so,” the ad tells viewers:
“Don’t be like Larry. Don’t miss out on the next big thing.”
As we noted last week, Super Bowl commercials have long been considered the best way to reach the widest audience possible, making them a smart bet for companies trying to promote their brand in the newly popular but still misunderstood crypto sector.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal last year, Crypto.com chief marketing officer Steven Kalifowitz said a Super Bowl ad is part of the company’s larger sports sponsorship campaign to demonstrate that “Crypto genuinely is for everybody.”
“A lot of people are saying crypto is a fad, just the way they said the internet was a fad,” said Kalifowtiz, adding “Crypto is really the basis of the next version of the internet.”