Coinbase QR Code Saga Continues, Who Gave the Idea?

AutoTrading Strategies
2 min readFeb 25, 2022

Coinbase made headlines with its SuperBowl ad which provided a $15 giveaway. It has been causing a stir on social media for quite some time for various reasons. This time it is about whose brainchild was the QR code idea.

Crypto platforms saw SuperBowl, one of the most famous sports events in the USA, as an opportunity for advertisements. While many exchanges and coin projects bought the air time, Coinbase stood out with its QR Code ad.

Coinbase allegedly spent $3 million on a 60 Second tv ad featuring a bouncing and color-changing QR code. Users would land on a bitcoin giveaway page after scanning the Code. They would receive $15 in crypto after signing up. However, reportedly the page crashed due to high traffic soon after the advertisement went on-air.

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Nevertheless, there is a debate on who came up with the idea of this ad. Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, says, “one of the original ideas [for the ad] we had included putting a QR code at the end. They finally agreed, and it turned out great — our team did an amazing job pulling this off last minute.”

Later on, an ad agency claimed that it pitched the idea. CEO of The Martin Agency said that their agency first inspired this concept.

She wrote on Twitter:

“It was actually inspired by presentations our agency showed your team on 8/18 (pages 19–24) and 10/7 (pages 11–18) with ad concepts for the Super Bowl with floating QR codes on a blank screen.”

Following this Brian Armstrong clarified that there was actually a Creative firm that “created the ad commissioned the song, got the clearances, etc.” However, he didn’t mention the name of the firm.

The tussle continued when Kate Rouch, the chief marketing officer at Coinbase, said that the firm Accenture Interactive came up with the idea.

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