For many small businesses, the idea of ever having a Super Bowl commercial to introduce their company on a national stage is a pipedream. For Death Wish Coffee, that aspiration became a reality.
The Saratoga Springs, New York-based coffee company — which claims to be the "home of the world's strongest coffee" — won the 2016 Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Big Game contest. The grand prize was a 30-second commercial on Feb. 7 during Super Bowl 50, complete with ad agency RPA on hand to help conceptualize the ad. Sources said a 30-second spots cost about $5 million this past Big Game.
"We had 150,000 people hit the site at one time (right after the ad aired)," said Mike Brown, the founder and owner of Death Wish Coffee. "Everything held tight. Nothing faltered. We did get a lot of requests and opportunity rolling in and starting at that point. I've been trying to weed through them."
According to commercial analytics firm Spot Trender's national representative poll of Super Bowl ads, 64 percent of people said that they enjoyed the ad, and 87 percent said they would remember it. More than half said they were likely to buy the product.
The next day, Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee was the No. 1 best-seller in the Grocery & Gourmet category on Amazon.com, and it was two of the top 10 spots in its Movers & Shakers category, meaning the company's sales rank increased 550 percent in just 24 hours.
Brown said that less than a week after the ad aired, business was about five times higher than typical levels. He was averaging four to five hours of sleep a night trying to keep up with the number of opportunities flowing in.
"We're already at about 50 percent of our revenue last year, which bodes well for this year," he said at the time.