A Year after Super Bowl Ad: Death Wish Coffee

In the 2016 Super Bowl, small business Death Wish Coffee beat out 15,000 other small businesses to win a 30-second Super Bowl commercial, funded by Intuit QuickBooks. Before the commercial, the company had days where it sold low amounts of coffee each day from its Web site and New York coffee shop. What would happen to the business after the Super Bowl?

Before the Super Bowl, the company’s Web site had a resting count of approximately 500 visitors. By the time the ad finished running, there were more than 147,000 unique visitors on its Web site, and almost all were from mobile devices. And, during the Super Bowl game time, Death Wish Coffee sold more than $250,000 of coffee.

Today, the company is doing great and is still growing by leaps and bounds. In 2015, Death Wish Coffee had approximately $3 million in revenue, and their estimate for 2016 was an optimistic $10 million in revenue. But of course, that was BEFORE the Super Bowl ad. By the time last year ended, Death Wish Coffee revenue had doubled its estimates to $20 million!

“Super Bowl commercials work!”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the risks and benefits of advertising at the Super Bowl.
  2. Show the Ad Age’s recent interview with the company: http://adage.com/article/special-section-super-bowl/death-coffee-s-year-long-super-bowl-high/308371/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1490741042&utm_visit=226837
  1. For backstory about how this ad was developed, show the video “Anatomy of an Ad”:  http://adage.com/videos/a-super-bowl-death-wish-part-3/493 (Note: There are three videos in total that explain the process of developing the commercial. Students will find these behind-the-scenes interesting.)
  2. View the company’s Web site: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/.
  3. Discuss why this ad and company have been so successful.

Source:  Ad Age Daily

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