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May 27, 2024  |  
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Brad Matthews


NextImg:Last Blockbuster in America planning to run an ad during the Super Bowl

The Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, the last such store in America, is planning to run an ad during the Super Bowl.

Instead of buying ad time during the TV broadcast, however, the proprietors of the Bend Blockbuster will stream the spot on Instagram, and also play it via a VHS tape at a watch party being held at the store, according to Ad Age. Afterwards, the VHS will be available for rent for $2 a day.

“We are doing a fun, retro-style commercial that we will be releasing during the Big Game. We are featuring it during halftime in the store and on social media,” store owner Sandi Harding told Oregon Live in an email.

The store has been teasing the spot on Instagram, including one post featuring a giant cockroach looming over the store amidst a desolate, rubble-strewn landscape.

“Is the world coming to an end or is Blockbuster releasing its first commercial in a really, really long time? Yes. See you on 2/12,” the post reads.

Another video posted to YouTube shows a cockroach skittering across the landscape with a grainy filter and ominous music, further suggesting a post-apocalyptic vibe.

 

“We want to remind everyone that there’s something special about the tangible experience of browsing the shelves and discovering something new. And honestly, if the world is ending, we want to go out with a bang,” Ms. Harding said in a statement to Ad Age.

The ad will be titled “Until The Bitter End,” according to business magazine Campaign Asia. A post-apocalyptic Earth is depicted, with people left dejected at the lack of Internet and its streaming content — only for them to find Blockbuster still standing and stocked.

The commercial also plays on nostalgia for the 1990s, back when Blockbuster was a common cultural touchstone for the young Americans who would grow into Millennial and Gen Z consumers.

“I wanted to do two things with the ad. One was to show that small businesses can also do creative and fun things for the Super Bowl, and it’s not just an opportunity for the big companies and their big ads. We also want people to remember us, that we are here and our store is exactly the way a Blockbuster store was in the 1990s,” Ms. Harding told CNN.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.