The last standing Blockbuster video store ran a retro-themed Super Bowl ad on Sunday, and it’s already paying dividends. The location reportedly saw a major boost in sales following the TV spot.
Many online are reacting both to the spike in merchandise purchases, and to the commercial itself.
The ad caught the attention of viewers in Bend, Oregon, the location of the last remaining Blockbuster storefront. The commercial attempted to pull on the nostalgic heartstrings of those watching while presenting the audience with a dramatically narrated movie lead-in.
The scene shows a cockroach walking through a post-apocalyptic landscape in a world where “the internet streams no more.” The roach finds solace upon walking into a Blockbuster video store, the only building with the lights on and the doors open.
Take a look.
Our local Blockbuster here in Bend, you know the very last one in the world, created a #SuperBowl ad that ran locally and online. It’s incredible. 🪳 pic.twitter.com/guInr6OES2
— Eric Jensen (@Lorderk) February 13, 2023
“We’ll still be here,” is the message, and based on recent sales reports, it appears the last remaining store will be in business for at least a bit longer.
According to TMZ, General Manager Sandi Harding reported a spike in sales following the ad’s airing. She points to the Super Bowl spot as being responsible for the recent boost.
Harding told TMZ that Monday morning, the store saw twice the number of online merchandise orders than all of last week combined. The purchases consist mainly of clothing and apparel, which is key in what the GM calls the slow season of the movie rental business.
Fans loved the commercial, with one person writing, “That’s awesome,” on Twitter. Many other viewers agreed in the comments section.
This person said, “I miss browsing in Blockbuster. The DVD library section just isn’t the same,” hitting on that feeling of nostalgia Blockbuster was shooting for.
Another viewer said, “Bring Blockbuster back.”
While the costs of these ads can be pricey, the company was smart about the production and placement of the spot. It opted to air the commercial on social media during the halftime show.
The average cost for a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl broadcast on Fox was about $7 million this year — so, wisely, Blockbuster opted instead to drop its ad on social media during halftime. Sandi says they had a slim production budget and got help from an NYC ad agency that donated time and resources to make it happen.