Insights

Coinbase success was no coincidence: its cognitive impact is off the charts

Coinbase creative has a 30% higher recall probability than the average Super Bowl ad. The case shows how smart creative can boost ROI.
Catalina Lucena Maguire
5 min to read

Coinbase outshone its competitors at the Superbowl with an ad that took social media by storm.

A simple ad with a color-changing QR code bouncing across the screen occupied the TV screens of almost 100 million people for a minute and a half. The ad was so popular that their website and app crashed due to the unexpected traffic. Curious to know how such a simple ad had such an impact?

We analyzed its cognitive impact and its success is no coincidence: it has a recall score 30% higher than the average Super Bowl ads.


The commercial achieved a memorability score of 69.3, a whopping 30% higher than the average Super Bowl ad. We expect this ad to remain in people’s memory for a long time.


In terms of attention, the QR code—which leads to their site—constantly captures all the attention in the video, as expected given the simplicity of the design. 

Beyond that, Coinbase presents their logo only in the last scene. Also in this case, most of the attention is effectively attracted by the key elements: 34.1% on the logo and 12.6% on the link. At the same time, the scene is so simple that it also leverages cognitive ease in its favor to achieve high recall. 

Could it have been better? It is likely that an increase in the contrast of that last scene would have helped, but the overall score of this ad is already very high.

This is a great example of how the ROI of media investments can really grow by being smart about the creative. Optimizing that pre-flight and for all ads is exactly what Memorable does for large advertisers like L’Oréal, Unilever and Santander. With diminishing returns to media optimization, optimizing creative for cognitive impact is the new winning strategy for marketers.







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