Tag Archives: small business

Post-Super Bowl: Death Wish Coffee Roars

Coffee

Remember last month’s post about the Super Bowl and small business, Death Wish Coffee? The company 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? Would the Web site and social media be able to withstand the pressure

The short answer was ‘yes’. What happened next was amazing. 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 already 147,000 unique visitors on its Web site, and almost all were from mobile devices! During the Super Bowl, Death Wish Coffee sold more than $250,000 of coffee! This compares to days when the company felt lucky to sell $250 – $1,000 of product.

Thanks to Intuit, advertising on one of the world’s largest stages certainly paid off for this small business.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the risks and benefits of advertising at the Super Bowl.
  2. Show the video “Anatomy of an Ad”: http://adage.com/videos/a-super-bowl-death-wish-part-3/493
  3. Note: There are three videos in total that explain the process of developing the commercial. Students will find these behind-the-scenes interesting.
  4. Show the company’s Web site: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/.
  5. Discuss how the company integrates social media into its promotion.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team review Death Wish Coffee’s social media and come up with new recommendations for expanding its reach.

Source: Ad Age Daily

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Small Company Wins Coveted Super Bowl 50 Ad Spot

Coffee

With 30-second commercials selling for $4.6 – $5 million, it seems that Super Bowl advertising is only for well-heeled corporations. After all, it’s tough for a small company to come up with that kind of money. Intuit QuickBooks felt the pain of small companies and for the second time, ran a competition for small companies to get a spot on the world’s largest advertising stage.

Open to companies with 50 or fewer employees, more than 15,000 small businesses entered the competition. In 2014, the winner was GoldieBlox with engineering toys aimed at girls. This year, the winner is New York coffee company, Death Wish Coffee. Founded in 2012, the company has 12 employees and sells roughly 1,000 pounds of coffee each day. At least that’s the amount pre-Super Bowl. After – it’s bound to be a lot more!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the costs involved with advertising, and the risks to companies.
  2. Bring up Intuit’s competition site: https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/contests/sbbg
  3. How does this competition encourage small businesses?
  4. Next, show information about Death Wish Coffee: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/
  5. What is it that makes this company unique?
  6. Finally, show the commercial: https://youtu.be/V_3H_Y5QUWw

Source: Associated Press, New York Times, other news sources

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Playing in an Extreme Sandbox

BlackandDecker

Marketing students and professors alike enjoy the TV show “Shark Tank.” It’s full of great examples of new businesses that can succeed and get investment funds, and even some businesses that will not get investment funds or succeed. What determines a successful investment opportunity? Well, that’s a great question for classroom discussion.

A recent example of a successful Shark Tank appearance was a company called “Extreme Sandbox” from Hastings, Minn. The company runs a 10-acre site in Minnesota (and will open another site in Texas in spring 2016) that offers visitors the experience of running large, heavy equipment machinery including bulldozers, skid steers, excavators, and even a fire truck! Individuals and teams operate the equipment, compete, and collaborate on a unique experience.

Finally, if you’ve always wanted to crush a car, add an option and demolish it!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. View the Shark Tank episode with Extreme Sandbox (season 7, episode 12): http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/episode-guide/season-7/12-week-12-extreme-sandbox-abs-pancakes-total-tie-keep-fireavert
  1. Visit Extreme Sandbox’s Web site: https://www.extremesandbox.com/
  2. What is the company’s competition? How is the pricing set?
  3. Discuss the importance of target markets.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team determine a target market for the company.
  5. Next, have each team develop a promotional campaign for the company for that target market.

Source: Business Journal, Shark Tank

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