13 February 2023 02:45, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m
The Super Bowl isn’t full of crypto ads this time around, but there was one commercial for an NFT-powered game, featuring a QR code to scan to mint one of 10,000 free collectibles. The process didn’t work quite as expected for many viewers—but some of those who snagged the free NFT are flipping it for hundreds of dollars.
Web3 gaming startup Limit Break said that it paid $6.5 million for the commercial, which advertised a free Ethereum NFT mint for its anime-inspired game project, DigiDaigaku. The animated commercial was built around a persistent QR code, which the ad claimed would let viewers mint (or generate and claim) a free NFT for the game after scanning it.
Unfortunately, many viewers on Crypto Twitter said that scanning the QR code simply redirected them to the Twitter profile of Gabriel Leydon, the co-founder and CEO of Limit Break. The website address encoded in the code redirects people to Leydon’s Twitter page after a few seconds, so some users may not have seen the initial site load before being redirected.
Sometimes I think we’re making progress, and then this guy buys a Super Bowl ad. FOLLOW TO WIN! Lol pic.twitter.com/6JCLcQIs6z
— gmoney.9dcc.eth (@gmoneyNFT) February 13, 2023
“I dropped everything to watch the Super Bowl for a 30-second ad that was supposed to bring generational wealth from a free mint,” tweeted pseudonymous Crypto Twitter personality ThreadGuy, “and all I got was the opportunity to follow a mfer on Twitter.”
Others criticized the move as a means of “engagement farming” on Leydon’s part. Some said that Leydon tweeted out the mint link before the commercial actually ran, while others complained that the minting process wasn’t easy enough—users needed an Ethereum wallet to claim the NFT, potentially excluding crypto newcomers and mainstream viewers.
bro, why did you rug the TV viewers by sending this early 😭
— tropoFarmer 🍌 (@tropoFarmer) February 12, 2023
“Dude really paid millions on a Super Bowl ad to leak the link on Twitter first and rug the mass public of their first NFT experience,” tweeted pseudonymous YouTuber Popeye. “This could have been massive if it was a super easy onboarding process with no wallet creation etc.”
There are many such complaints on Crypto Twitter—but Limit Break apparently did give out at least some of the promised 10,000 total Ethereum NFTs for this DigiDaigaku collection—and those free NFTs have been rapidly trading hands on secondary markets as the Super Bowl continues.
According to data from NFT marketplace OpenSea, the DigiDaigaku Dragon Eggs NFTs were trading for over 0.5 ETH (over $750) right after the mint, although the price has been falling and rising again over the course of the game.
The floor price—or the price of the cheapest-listed NFT on a marketplace—fell to about 0.32 ETH (about $485) on OpenSea during the halftime show, but has climbed again to about 0.39 ETH ($585) at present. Some 912 ETH (over $1.3 million) worth of trades has already changed hands since the commercial ran.
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The fluctuating price may be due in part to uncertainty around a second announced wave of Dragon Eggs NFTs. Leydon has been tweeting about a second-chance mint for another 5,000 of the NFTs, which users can become eligible for by registering via the DigiDaigaku website and retweeting one of his tweets. It’s unclear whether these NFTs are part of the original 10,000 total or will be added to that tally.