How a Super Bowl Ad Paves the Way for Interactive TV

With every Super Bowl come great ads. But one particular ad stood out this year. 

It wasn’t yet another typical Super Bowl ad packed with celebrities. It was a simple QR code bouncing around a black backdrop, reminiscent of the iconic bouncing DVD logo player screensaver. 

When viewers scanned the code, they were directed to Coinbase’s site and could get $15 in free Bitcoin. Existing Coinbase users had the opportunity to sign up for $3 million sweepstakes.

The ad lasted 60 seconds, displaying a QR code box changing colors and bouncing around until it finally headed right into the corner of the screen (probably making millions of viewers cheer in unison when the QR code hit the corner).


This effective and unique ad drove over 20 million users to Coinbase’s site during that full minute!

It was so overwhelming that the QR code shown during the Super Bowl managed to crash Coinbase’s app since it was over six times higher than any previous load the company had dealt with.  

Many Super Bowl viewers tweeted that compared to other ads, this particular ad got their attention as it made them curious and engage with the ad, using their mobile phones to scan it and find out more information.

We are sure that this commercial will be remembered as one of the top 10 unique Super Bowl ads of all time, and we are more than excited to see the TV world being more and more connected with the smartphone. 

The effectiveness and popularity of this ad just prove that the QR code is being accepted as an interactive TV experience that can grab the attention of everyone.


Since it is easy to tune out to everything during commercials and turn to your smartphone, what better ways to keep the viewers tuned in and use their smartphones to engage with the TV content, be it during commercial breaks or the program they are watching.

This is just the beginning of real-time synchronization between TV and smartphones with the help of QR codes. And we are thrilled to see this happening in 2022 as it paves the way for other solutions like our “QR code for audio.”

However, traditional QR code solutions on TV have a few drawbacks. For instance, in order to be scannable, the QR code needs to be visible on the screen all the time. This is the only way for viewers to see it and scan it, no matter the time they manage to catch up with a TV show or anything else they are watching. 

Moreover, visible QR codes on-screen at all times might not be aesthetically pleasing. Especially if they contain colors or designs that can distract the viewers from what they are watching. 

Information over audio, however, cancels out these drawbacks. When offering a “QR code for audio” solution, the information pops up on your smartphone without having to scan anything. 

This way, you are not distracted and can still get the information you need straight to your smartphone without having to lift a finger. Isn’t that a more charming solution?

Nevertheless, we are thrilled to see this Super Bowl commercial deliver such an immersive user experience via a simple QR code and gain extraordinary popularity while sparking conversations on how the internet of things (IoT) and the broadcasting world can be even more intertwined in the near future. 

(Photo by Mitya Ivanov on Unsplash)

Share this post

The resources we provide on our website contain intellectual property of Tonio | Tone with Information.
In an effort to protect this property, we ask for your basic contact details to help us validate your identity before we open access to these resources.

Tell us about your idea, ask a question or just say hello!