Super Bowl ad drives downloads to cryptocurrency apps like Coinbase

Those Super Bowl ad spots have paid off for some tech companies, not just in terms of exposure but app installs, according to a new report. But Coinbase’s viral ad — which simply popped up a QR code on a black screen — outperformed the set, and its installs skyrocketed after the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13 — a surge As high as 309%, the next day continued to climb 286%.

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The new data comes from app reporting firm Sensor Tower, which analyzed the numbers to see how Super Bowl ads fared for mobile-first brands that advertised during the big game. While the company can’t share actual download numbers because of nondisclosure agreements with customers, its data allows us to see what kind of impact these ads are having.

As it turns out, Coinbase isn’t the only cryptocurrency app outperforming. Of the top five apps with strong download growth from advertising, three are cryptocurrency apps. In addition to Coinbase, cryptocurrency trading platform eToro saw a 132% week-on-week increase in app installs on Feb. 13 and an 82% increase on Feb. 14. Separately, cryptocurrency exchange FTX saw a 130% week-on-week increase in downloads on February 13, followed by an 81% increase the next day.

The U.S. installs for Coinbase, eToro, and FTX collectively increased 279% on February 13 from the previous week. This continued until the next day, with a 252% increase in downloads that week.

The other top five apps for Super Bowl Sunday were sports betting. On Sunday local time, the DraftKings Sportsbook app saw a 197% increase in downloads from a week earlier, second only to Coinbase. Caesars Sportsbook followed with a 147% week-over-week increase to secure a top-three spot.

The top ten are online car buying platform Vroom (111% increase in downloads), children’s financial technology company Greenlight (+89%), online car buying platform Carvana (+53%), streaming media company AMC+ (+38%) and Meta’s Oculus (+25%).

While download growth is one signal of ad success, another signal is an app’s ranking, which measures a combination of downloads, speed, and other factors.

In some cases, brands’ Super Bowl ads prompted an immediate jump in new installs, but not all ads benefited in the same way. Additionally, some apps may see an increase in installs regardless of their ad spend — like sports betting apps or those with more practical uses like Peacock and YouTube TV.

This ranking shows how popular these brands are before their ads air.

For example, according to data from Apptopia, Oculus ranked 102nd on the iOS App Store in the US on Saturday, rose to 100th on Sunday, and then fell to 175th on Monday. This shows that even its 25% increase in downloads, as Sensor Tower says, didn’t drive a ton of new users to try the app.

Coinbase was the No. 2 app on the U.S. App Store on Monday. Other top apps of the day included Peacock TV (No. 1), HBO Max (No. 6), FanDuel Sportsbook (No. 12), DraftKings Sportsbook (No. 25), Disney+ (No. 31) and YouTube TV (No. 42).

Another interesting thing about this year’s Super Bowl ad, Sensor Tower realized, is that at the same time that these digital brands are embracing traditional TV advertising, traditional brands are also starting to shift to digital advertising.

According to Pathmatics, the top 10 advertisers spending the most on OTT video platforms such as Peacock, Paramount+ and Hulu are mostly traditional brands.

For example, Weight Watchers spent about $1.4 million on marketing for these streaming services, while Volvo and Nike spent more than $1 million and $623,000, respectively. Grocery tracker Basketful — the only mobile-first brand in the top 10 — spent about $486,000. It was followed by Geico, which cost about $413,000.

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