Coinbase's Hypnotic 'Pong' Commercial Was Super Bowl's Top Spot

Now that was something different -- a 60-second spot with virtually no action that nevertheless asked for action, and apparently got it too.

It was the spot seen during the Super Bowl for the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase. For me, it was the game’s best commercial. Hats off to the team members at Accenture Interactive who created it.

Pictured above, this spot consisted solely of a QR code on a black screen bouncing lazily off the screen’s borders in the manner of the old Pong video game.

Watching this QR code’s lazy progression from bounce to bounce was hypnotic. Set to music, the code subtly changed colors as it made its way.

The colors were rendered in hushed tones of yellow, red, purple, green and light blue. Appropriately, the background music was an instrumental version of “Money (That’s What I Want)” that also took just the right tone.



By contrast, the raucous, raw original version of the song -- performed by Barrett Strong and released in 1959 (and later covered by the Beatles) -- would not have conformed to the spot's overall ambience.

The spot’s 60-second length was also shrewd. If it had been 30 seconds, a viewer would not have had enough time to acclimate to it, comprehend it, and then take the action it wordlessly asked for -- namely, to grab the nearest iPhone and scan the QR code before the spot was over.

I would estimate that I realized what the spot's message was with about 15 seconds to spare and I scanned the code just under the wire. It took me to a Coinbase web page with a special offer for customers new and old.

A story published here by MediaPost reported that the spot was so successful that the scans it generated “crashed the app” for a short time.

It was a great spot -- original, effective, and a mesmerizing respite to the other more high-octane spots that aired during the big game.

That is not a complaint, however. It was refreshing to see so many spots this year that were upbeat, with none of the gloom-and-doom of some Super Bowl commercials in previous years (a subject the TV Blog brought up again as recently as a few days ago).

One standout spot was the Chevy Silverado EV spot in which Meadow Soprano (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) was seen driving one of the new Silverados on the same route in north Jersey that her father, Tony, took in the sequence that opened every episode of “The Sopranos.”

The spot was filmed in the same manner as the famed sequence and even featured the same music -- “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3.

At the conclusion of the spot, Meadow was seen parking the car (in a scene reminiscent of the final sequence of “The Sopranos”) and joining her brother, Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler). The spot's message was clear: The new, electric Silverado is a car for the next generation.

Other spots that come in for honorable mentions here include the return of the E*Trade baby, the Anna Kendrick Barbie Dream House spot for Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Homes, and the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses commercial for the Toyota Tundra, featuring Tommy Lee Jones, Rashida Jones, Leslie Jones and one non-Jones, Joe Jonas.

Overall, the majority of the Super Bowl commercials seen this year were just downright fun. It was unfortunate that the game itself could not generate the same excitement.

1 comment about "Coinbase's Hypnotic 'Pong' Commercial Was Super Bowl's Top Spot".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Jeff Turner from Freelance, February 15, 2022 at 9:31 a.m.

    It was unfortunate that the game itself could not generate the same excitement.

    Wow. What game were you watching?

Next story loading loading..