Coinbase was in your face with the QR code that bounced around the screen during the Super Bowl, but Crypto.com was a little more subtle — and those who spotted it got a rare prize.
The adverts that crypto exchanges ran during the Super Bowl are a gift that keeps on giving.
While Coinbase had a huge QR code that bounced around the screen during its 60-second primetime TV spot, it turns out that Crypto.com's commercial was far more discreet.
Crypto.com's ad starred basketball player LeBron James visiting his teenage self to give advice — and in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, it turns out that a QR code was pinned on the younger character's wall.
Viewers who were watching closely and scanned this code were given the chance to win one of 5,550 LeBron James NFTs being airdropped to fans.
This is something that Crypto.com has done before — and back in its debut brand film with Matt Damon, a secret QR code also appeared.
There were other subtle nuggets in the LeBron James ad for crypto enthusiasts to enjoy — including a seed phrase on the wall, and the fact that his cologne was called "DYOR," short for Do Your Own Research.
Crypto.com says the NFT captures moments from this commercial — inspired by the instant snaps that were done on film sets before smartphones were a thing. It would be a photographer's job to document the setup of every scene, and what each character was wearing, for continuity purposes. (This means that, if an actor was wearing a pink hat during one take, they wouldn't end up wearing a purple hat in another.)
Varying Degrees of Rarity
As with many other NFT drops, three tiers of rarity have been offered for this collection. Tier 3 consists of five different photographs with 1,000 editions each. Meanwhile, Tier 2 focuses on the nostalgia that's linked to James' roots, with five NFTs that have just 100 editions each. Last but not least, Tier 1 boasts "exclusive glimpses" of the NBA megastar himself — five different shots, with just 10 NFTs in each.
In order to be in with a chance of winning something from The Moment of Truth NFT collection, eagle-eyed viewers needed to scan the QR code by the Friday after the Super Bowl finale aired.
But fans will still have a chance to own a piece of history from this collection, as the non-fungible tokens will be sold on second-hand marketplaces, with 5% of proceeds going to the LeBron James Family Foundation. A new partnership will give students and families "the tools and educational resources needed to participate and succeed in building Web3," with James adding:
"I want to ensure that communities like the one I come from are not left behind. Crypto.com and I are aligned on the need to educate and support my community with the information and tools they need for inclusion. I’m looking forward to working with them to bring these opportunities to my community."
Explaining the rationale behind the ad — where James was at a crossroads in his life and had to decide whether to skip college and join the league — the commercial's creative director Ben Lay said:
"We wanted to immortalize this very human story about making big decisions. We were initially quite nervous to present the storyboard to him, as it touches on a very personal moment in his life. But he loved the idea instantly."
The young LeBron James was played by an actor called Bentley Green — and the resemblance between them was further enhanced by CGI that superimposed some of the A-lister's facial expressions onto the young star.