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How Coinbase Did It: A Teardown of the 2022 Tremendous Bowl QR Code Industrial


For many who stay exterior the USA, Tremendous Bowl LVI (that’s 56, for almost all of us who aren’t fluent in roman numerals) occurred yesterday.

After all, some folks actually do watch the sport itself…however the actual motive many tune in to the Tremendous Bowl is for the advertisements, which now value not less than $6.5m per 30-second slot. This 12 months, crypto was in all places, and Coinbase is getting many of the follow-up buzz because of a unusual business that featured nothing greater than a easy, color-shifting QR code bouncing round on a black display screen.

Whereas the advert itself appears to have confused many viewers (audiences ranked it lifeless final within the USA TODAY Advert Meter rankings for the sport), the outcomes have nonetheless been big for Coinbase: their chief product officer revealed that they noticed over 20M hits on their touchdown web page in only a single minute, and Coinbase has dominated the net techy dialog for the final 24 hours because the advert ran.

https://twitter.com/surojit/standing/1493113238275297280


QR codes are in all places right this moment, and that is actually not the primary time a QR code has been used as a part of an app obtain marketing campaign on TV — actually, we’ve seen many related examples over the previous 12 months right here at Department. Nonetheless, this was doubtless the primary time many shoppers within the US have encountered a QR code used this fashion, and in terms of cellular apps, not each QR code is created equal.

On this submit, we’re going to take a more in-depth take a look at the Coinbase marketing campaign to see the way it was put collectively (and, spoiler alert, how you need to use a cellular linking platform like Department to create your individual).

A step-by-step walkthrough of the Coinbase QR-to-app expertise

To begin with, it’s value noting this advert is actually a product of the COVID period. With out the unimaginable surge in mainstream adoption over the previous two years, which has made scanning a QR code nearly second-nature, this marketing campaign merely wouldn’t have labored.

The Coinbase QR code itself is primary and utterly unbranded. That is the form of code that may be generated by just about any QR code software, together with something from free on-line providers to open-source python modules.

Let’s see what occurs after we scan it:

The QR code results in https://drops.coinbase.com/?qr, an online touchdown web page with two buttons:

  • Join and get $15.
  • Choose in to win $3M.

There are additionally just a few different analytics scripts embedded within the touchdown web page, together with Amplitude (product analytics) and Fb/Google SDKs (conversion monitoring and retargeting audiences). The latter will doubtless be useful to Coinbase as they give the impression of being to increase the lengthy tail of conversions from this marketing campaign over the following few weeks.

Now, continuing with every of the 2 CTA buttons in flip:

Join and get $15. That is the choice for brand new clients who need to join and obtain free Bitcoin, clearly Coinbase’s major viewers for this marketing campaign. The URL behind this button is a normal MMP monitoring hyperlink from AppsFlyer, which means it’s primarily designed for monitoring app-to-app set up advertisements, but additionally able to being repurposed to measure different advertising campaigns like this one.

Clicking the CTA results in the App Retailer. After the person installs and launches the app for the primary time, they’re greeted by an onboarding expertise that references the identical $15 in Bitcoin provide talked about on the internet touchdown web page:

Choose in to win $3M. That is the comfort prize for current Coinbase clients. If the Coinbase app isn’t put in on the system, this CTA hyperlinks to a different net touchdown web page the place the person can sign up to assert their spot within the drawing:

If the app is put in, the CTA deep hyperlinks to the sweepstakes entry web page contained in the app:

(There may be additionally a 3rd, edge case state of affairs: if the person is logged out of the app for some motive, they’re taken to the identical $15 provide display screen that new customers see, they usually should sign up earlier than continuing. The Coinbase app seems to neglect the place the person was making an attempt to go on this state of affairs, and brings them to the usual app dashboard after authentication is full. This sort of deep linking implementation flaw is — sadly — common, and may be fairly irritating to customers).

What did Coinbase get proper with this QR code marketing campaign?

Aesthetic and design

The aesthetic of Coinbase’s advert drives curiosity, and it’s clearly designed to evoke recollections of the previous bouncing DVD screensaver from 20 years in the past:

It’s additionally cheeky, much like the very first web banner advert from 1994: 

In different phrases, it’s simplistic, radically minimal nearly to the purpose of naïvité, and primarily based on a novelty issue that works a few times (however would put on off rapidly if everybody began doing it).

Customized in-app onboarding expertise

Coinbase carried out a customized onboarding expertise contained in the app for this marketing campaign…although it doesn’t particularly reference the Tremendous Bowl marketing campaign. This lack of continuity may impression conversion charges — extra on that within the subsequent part.

No sudden URL wrapping

QR codes generated with on-line instruments usually wrap the vacation spot URL in a redirect. This may be helpful, as a result of it gives analytics knowledge and the flexibility to edit the QR code after publication…however these instruments usually have sudden limits on the permitted variety of QR code scans.

Even worse, many QR code instruments are merely not prepared for the huge spike of visitors generated by main campaigns like this one, and may rapidly develop into overloaded at precisely the worst time.

Coinbase managed to keep away from these pitfalls by utilizing a plain net URL, however at the price of different advantages (maintain studying!)

The place may Coinbase have finished issues even higher?

The QR code itself

The QR code Coinbase used is an instance of a ‘dumb QR code’. This implies it factors to a primary net URL…and that’s the solely factor it does. From each UX and knowledge usability views, this was most likely the most important missed alternative of the marketing campaign.

For the UX aspect, there was no have to take current Coinbase customers to the net touchdown web page in any respect — if customers have already got the app put in, they are often despatched into it immediately from the QR code scan:

Now, it’s doable that Coinbase made the choice to ship current customers by way of this extra step on goal, in order that they may use visits to the touchdown web page because the baseline metric for his or her conversion charges, throughout each customers and non-users. Nonetheless, there’s a greater strategy to implement a person conversion movement like this: taking the baseline metric a degree additional up, by way of the hyperlink behind the QR code.

This brings us to the second missed alternative of utilizing a dumb QR code: it has pressured the Coinbase crew to make use of a patchwork of various instruments, which suggests they’ll doubtless have incomplete knowledge and might want to sew numbers collectively throughout instruments to know the total image.

A cellular linking platform (or MLP, such because the one supplied by Department!) is purpose-built for campaigns like this one, and offers the whole lot in a single view:

  • Use a Department-generated QR code to trace scans and intelligently route customers to the precise place primarily based on whether or not they have the app put in or not.
  • Embed the Department net SDK into your touchdown web page to trace pageviews and generate deep hyperlinks to your CTAs.
  • Combine the Department cellular SDKs to attribute installs, implement customized onboarding conduct, and join down-funnel occasions all the way in which again to the unique QR code.

QR code scannability

Whereas the advert leaves the QR code on the display screen for nearly all the 60-second spot (loads of time for viewers to drag up their telephones and scan it), the code itself was nonetheless comparatively small. This brought about scanning points for many individuals (TV screens may be laborious for smartphone cameras to concentrate on).

https://twitter.com/alex_kirshner/standing/1493013805957365764


Infrastructure and capability planning

As soon as this marketing campaign launched, the Coinbase app crashed inside minutes.

(Although it’s value noting that this seems to have been a difficulty with the in-product provide redemption, relatively than any of the plumbing of the advertising marketing campaign itself).

The QR code was utterly unbranded

With most shoppers now accustomed to QR codes, QR code phishing is a rising situation. Usually, an unbranded QR would possibly lead viewers to disregard the chance to scan, as a result of a primary QR is a door to the unknown (and never at all times a wise one to stroll by way of, given the dangers lurking on the web).

However on this case, the implied security of the high-profile occasion may have helped encourage viewers to see what’s behind that secret door. And with a full minute of display screen time, many customers may need laughed, paused, and nonetheless had time to scan it earlier than it was gone.

Nonetheless, including even a refined Coinbase brand to the QR code on this advert would have elevated its credibility, whereas additionally offering the added increase of giving these ‘within the know’ about Coinbase a sense of belonging to the membership.

Not utilizing a Customized Product Web page

Apple launched Customized Product Pages in December, and a large branded marketing campaign like this can be a good state of affairs to make use of one.

A Customized Product Web page would have allowed Coinbase to totally customise the App Retailer web page to match the Tremendous Bowl marketing campaign, together with Tremendous Bowl-themed content material or reminders of the $15 bitcoin particular provide, reinforcing once more that the brand new person is heading in the right direction.

Incomplete customized onboarding within the app after obtain

Coinbase carried out customized onboarding for customers from this marketing campaign, which suggests these customers obtained a special expertise than customary downloads. It is a massive win, however there are two methods they may have made it even higher:

  • Reference the Tremendous Bowl marketing campaign immediately. This would supply continuity and reassure new customers that they’re in the precise place.
  • Bear in mind the particular provide. The Coinbase app doesn’t do not forget that new customers are within the ‘Tremendous Bowl Particular Supply’ cohort if they don’t join straight away. This implies if the person will get distracted mid-way by way of the method, they lose their $15 provide and obtain solely the usual $5 signup bonus.

How did Coinbase do general, and how are you going to replicate it to your app?

Although there have been just a few notable alternatives for enchancment, this was a extremely profitable marketing campaign that boosted the Coinbase app from 186th place to 2nd within the App Retailer — actually, the most important draw back for Coinbase is probably going the quantity of customized work their crew wanted to do with a purpose to duct tape all of the items collectively.

As cellular apps develop into more and more integral to our lives (and conventional app-to-app set up advertisements proceed to lose efficacy), we’ll nearly actually see extra campaigns like this one. Linking on cellular is difficult, however the excellent news is you don’t must be a duct tape professional to realize related outcomes: with a cellular linking platform like Department, the entire items wanted for a marketing campaign like this one can be found off-the-shelf (and particularly optimized for cellular apps). In case you’d like to speak with our consultants about how one can pull off an out-of-the-box marketing campaign like this one, please get in contact!

Head of Product Advertising and Market Technique

Alex joined Department as a Developer Advocate in 2016, and helped construct the corporate’s early developer relations and long-tail adoption methods. He works carefully with groups throughout the group to assist form Department’s place within the cellular ecosystem, writes the Cell Progress E-newsletter, and tweets frequently about mobile-related matters at @alexdbauer.

February fifteenth, 2022



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