Mill Creative Director Carl Norton on helping to craft Coinbase’s Super Clio winning spot

Work February 21, 2022

The ads of Super Bowl 56 were jam-packed with celebrities from start to finish. But it was the spot that zagged the most from the formula was Accenture Interactive’s ad for crypto brand Coinbase, with it winning 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.

On helping to craft the project Mill Creative Director Carl Norton states “Coinbase was a particularly unique project to get involved in. On the surface, it’s very simple, but there was a surprising amount of work going on behind the scenes. As we were riffing from the DVD screensaver that we all know so well, we wanted to make sure that our work fit within the right era. We experimented with a lot of different options.

The first and most obvious thing we did was to burn the design file to DVD and digitise it again to give it an authentic level of degradation. From here we also played the QR code through various different devices and rented an Alexa Mini to film it back. We purchased a 90’s CRT TV, resurrected a CRT monitor from our basement, and filmed it from my flame monitor.

We ended up with a lot of different looks for our QR code. The processes we were going through would introduce different levels of picture and colour break up and along with the agency we needed to decide on the right level. There was of course another huge factor in deciding this apart from aesthetics – would the code scan easily enough!?

This became another huge element of the job. With the advert airing in the Super Bowl and for just 1 instance of 60 seconds – we had to make sure it was going to work! We engaged testing companies and the broadcast network early on to make sure we could do some rigorous stress testing. It was important we had a clear view of what would happen to our file when it left the building as any transcoding could affect its legibility. We also tested the file under various different real-world conditions over a wide range of devices for both playback and QR recording.

It was certainly a project unlike anything I’ve done before, but we all had a great time working on it. It’s been fun to watch the reaction as it was released to the world – It definitely set out what it meant to do.”

You can get in contact with our VFX team via our contact page. You can also read our full Super Bowl roundup here.