This May Be the Funniest and Best Ad That Ran During the Super Bowl

Ad for Last Blockbuster in the World during Super Bowl. (Credit: Blockbuster)
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Most people watch the Super Bowl for the football, and to grouse about how bad the half-time show usually is.


But there’s another part of the game that also gets a lot of attention — that’s the commercials.

I wrote earlier about the Christian organization that paid $20 million to promote Christianity and get people to contact their organization for more information. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and others on the left had a meltdown that Jesus was pitched at the Super Bowl.

But what do you do if you don’t have $20 million so you can’t run your ad as part of the game?

You release some teasers, get some attention, and then you drop this ad during the game that shows how to do it right. This is hilarious.

It’s the end of the world, and streaming is gone, you may be left bereft, but Blockbuster will remain “until the bitter end.” The employee will even burst out with a friendly “Hey, Steve!” to the cockroach as it comes in.

The last Blockbuster in the world in Bend, Oregon ran that ad on Instagram live and YouTube. They even had a watch party at the store that people could come to. To show they’re serious about their commitment, you can also rent the ad on VHS from them. That got them national media coverage.


There’s also a new shirt related to the ad that you can buy. It has other merchandise that you can buy as well.

Due to lack of funds, this Blockbuster was last renovated in 2006. But it’s better this way. It’s frozen in time, with popcorn ceilings and yellow walls, gray carpets, and low fluorescent lighting. Wire shelving still displays DVD cases, emanating the smell of plastic. Candy and bags of popcorn are for sale by the register. Movie-lovers browse the aisles. There are employee recommendation shelves, and an actual person to seek opinions from instead of an algorithm.

They ran some funny teasers in the run-up to the Super Bowl. “Is the world coming to an end or is Blockbuster releasing its first commercial in a really, really long time?” read one of the teasers. “Yes. See you on 2/12.” Here’s another one on their Instagram.

Sandi Harding explained why they went to such lengths.

“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. [….]

“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.


They’ve certainly got the unique and the funny down with that ad, far more than people that just spend a lot of money on ads. We can always do with a little more humor in the world as well as cultivating fond memories of the past. This has already reached a lot more people because of their creativity.


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