Coinbase and Its QR Code Win the Super Clio as Super Bowl's Best Ad

See the five other finalists from a night that mostly belonged to celebs
Coinbase | Less Talk, More Bitcoin

The ads of Super Bowl LVI were jam packed with celebrities from start to finish. But it was spot that zagged the most from the formula—Accenture Interactive's ad for crypto brand Coinbase—that won the Super Clio from the Clio Awards, given annually by a jury of advertising experts collectively who pick the best ad of the Super Bowl.

The ultra-minimalist Coinbase spot featured almost an entire minute of nothing more than a QR code bouncing slowingly around the black screen, changing color each time it hit the sides, like an old DVD screensaver. Scanning the code led viewers to a Coinbase site where they could sign up for $15 in Bitcoin.

Not everyone loved the spot—on a night that where the commercials typically revel in spectacle and high production values, it was the lowest of low-budget entries. Yet in that way, it certainly stood out. And in the end, a plurality of the 20 Super Clio jurors decided it was the game's best work.

In a blog post, Coinbase CMO Kate Rouch said the brand wanted to try "something different" on the Super Bowl—"a playful, low-production nod to a popular Internet meme that invites action and discussion both in the living room, and on social media. We are a remote-first company. Our CEO and his co-founder met on Reddit. Traditional, highly produced Super Bowl advertising just didn't feel inspiring to us. We wanted to show up in a more authentic way to our brand. We hope people found it in turn surprising, confounding and delightful. Most of all, we hope it inspired them to take their first step into crypto."

Rouch said the spot prompted more than 20 million hits on the landing page in a minute, which caused the site to crash briefly. "Hats off to our engineering team for getting the site back online so swiftly," she added.

While Coinbase was the clear winner among the Super Clio jury, five other spots earned multiple votes each from jurors. They were:


Chevrolet

Chevy and agency Commonwealth//McCann recreated the title sequence from The Sopranos, but this time with Meadow Soprano (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) behind the wheel—to communcate that the first-ever Chevy Silverado EV is for the "next generation." Sopranos creator David Chase directed the spot, with help from Phil Abraham, director of photography for original title sequence. Robert Iler, who portrayed A.J. Soprano, appeared in the spot as well.

Chevy Silverado | New Generation (The Sopranos)​

FTX

Larry David made his commercial acting debut in an amusing :60 for crypto brand FTX from agency dentuMB. "Don't Miss Out" was directed by Jeff Schaffer, one of David's frequent collaborators, and features Larry poo-pooing all sorts of great innovations throughout history—and then passing on crypto as well. Read lots more here about the making on this one. Below is the extended "Larry cut" of the commercial.

FTX | Don't Miss Out (Larry's Cut)

Google

Google's gorgeous :60 featured a brand-new track from Lizzo and highlighted the "Real Tone" technology on the Pixel 6 phone, which better captures darker skin tones in photographs. "For too long, camera technology, including our own, has failed people of color by either making them look washed out or too unnaturally bright or dark," Google CMO Lorraine Twohill wrote in a blog post. "Because everyone deserves to be seen as they truly are, we are committed to addressing this gap." 

Google | Lizzo in Real Tone #SeenOnPixel

NFL

72andSunny and Peter Berg created a delightful two-minute spot that gameified 25 NFL legends, working with production studio Swaybox to blend real world puppetry and human physicality with proprietary compositing technology. "Emblematic of the exciting and unexpected game of football, our spot brings together the NFL's past, present, and future through a totally new innovative approach," said NFL EVP and chief marketing officer Tim Ellis. "We ended this season with an epic bring-down-the-house celebration, and for the first time ever, we brought 25 NFL Legends and current players to life through never-before-seen immersive 3D technology."

NFL | Bring Down the House

Pringles

Pringles aired a comical :30 from Grey New York focused on the age-old "Pringles problem"—getting your hand stuck in a can. (Some 43 percent of people in a Pringles survey said this has happened to them.) The "Stuck In" spot follows one such packaging victim who never extricates his hand at all, going through life with a Pringles can for an arm. Check out the extended :90 below.

Pringles | Stuck In (extended)

Here is a full list of the 2022 Super Clio jurors:

  • Adam Harter, SVP, Media, Sports & Entertainment, Pepsi Beverages N.A.
  • Amy Ferguson, CCO, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York
  • Danny Robinson, CCO, The Martin Agency
  • David Lubars, Chairman/CEO, BBDO
  • Daymond John, CEO FUBU & Talent on Shark Tank
  • Fernando Machado, CMO, Activision Blizzard
  • Gary Vaynerchuck, Chairman/CEO, VaynerX/VaynerMedia
  • Glenn Cole, Founder/Chairman, 72andSunny
  • John Koller, CMO, Hard Rock Digital
  • Judy John, Global CCO, Edelman
  • Keith Cartwright, Founder/CCO, Cartwright
  • Liz Taylor, Global CCO, Ogilvy
  • Mark Cuban, Owner, Dallas Mavericks
  • Menno Kluin, U.S. CCO, dentsu Creative
  • Omid Farhang, Founder, Majority
  • Rob Reilly, Global CCO, WPP
  • Roxy Young, CMO, Reddit
  • Shayne Millington, Co-CCO, McCann New York
  • Susan Credle, Global CCO, FCB 
  • Tiffany Rolfe, Global CCO, R/GA
  • Tim Nudd, Editor in Chief, Clio Awards and Muse by Clio
Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. He is the former creative editor of Adweek.

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