Tech Spots Are the Talk of Super Bowl, from Crypto to Quest

One team was crowned champion at Super Bowl 56, but all the advertisers were winners, with an average of 112.3 million total viewers tuning in across TV and streaming. Typically the most-watched television event in the U.S., the Super Bowl is an opportunity for deep-pocketed advertisers to make an impression on consumers. This year, the post-game spot talk was all about tech. Returning sponsors Amazon, E-Trade, T-Mobile and Verizon were joined by big game debutantes, including four crypto firms, Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten, Meta Platforms’ first national commercial for Meta Quest 2, and several electric vehicle ads.

Exchanges FTX and were anything but cryptic in their star-powered messaging, with a revisionist history lesson from Larry David and LeBron James talking about taking chances. Coinbase was a bit more conceptual, with a bouncing QR code that takes the record for most expensive screensaver in history.

NBC charged a record $6.5 million per 30-second spot. In an interview on The Coinbase Blog, CMO Kate Rouch said the company got its money’s worth: the call-to-action ad generated “20M+ hits on our landing page in one minute — volume that was historic and unprecedented.”

The Verge reports “Coinbase’s bouncing QR code Super Bowl ad was so popular it crashed the app,” while PC Magazine called it “a security nightmare,” scolding Coinbase for “normalizing scammer behaviors” by proffering a “confusing link.”

Taking a page from Anheuser-Busch’s sentimental playbook of years past, Meta Platforms tugged heartstrings as a discarded animatronic dog reunited with his pack thanks to the Meta Quest 2 VR headset (pictured above).

In what was interpreted as a dig at Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and the metaverse, notes Fortune, pitchman Matthew McConaughey — outfitted in a space suit and floating in a hot air balloon — advised, “While the others look to the metaverse and Mars, let’s stay here and restore ours.” Not to be outdone, social investment platform eToro featured masses of people, swarming through the air as a befuddled investor achieves liftoff in response to his text, “Crypto? Stocks? Where to start?”

Even traditional products got a techno-forward spin reports The Wall Street Journal, writing that Bud Light NEXT “showcased a nonfungible token in its ad, while South Korean car maker Kia Corp. released a collection of NFTs featuring the ‘robo dog,’” and Intuit’s TurboTax “featured a small-town crypto investor.”

According to Variety, the Super Bowl commercial that got the most gameday views worldwide on YouTube was Amazon’s “Mindreader,” a “portrayal of Alexa wreaking havoc on the domestic bliss of Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost.”

Super Bowl 2022 Attracted More Than 112 Million Viewers, but Failed to Top Record, CNBC, 2/15/22
Samba TV Reports Big Super Bowl LVI Viewership Win for NFL & NBC, Press Release, 2/14/22
NFL Sponsors Nike, Pepsi Dominate Nontraditional Media Exposure During Super Bowl, CNBC, 2/14/22
Crypto Companies Weren’t the Only Advertising First-Timers, The New York Times, 2/13/22
Meta and Salesforce Present Differing Takes on the Metaverse, The New York Times, 2/13/22
Coinbase Bounces QR Code Around for 60 Seconds in Minimalist Super Bowl Commercial, Variety, 2/13/22