ROUND LAKE — Denver, Carolina and… Death Wish Coffee.
Organizers of the Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Big Game ad contest this morning announced Round Lake’s own Death Wish Coffee as the winner of a 30-second Super Bowl ad.
That’s a $5 million Super Bowl ad.
“WE WON!” Death Wish Coffee tweeted today after the big win was announced on “CBS This Morning.”
The tweet linked to Death Wish Coffee’s website and the viking-themed commercial. The company credited “our incredible fans voting daily” to their win, tweeting: “Thank you to all of our fans from the bottom of our heart,” including “#grateful.”
Death Wish – which claims to sell the “world’s strongest coffee” – last fall became one of three finalists for Intuit’s contest, along with fellow New York state business Vidler’s 5 & 10 and a company from San Francisco.
“I really feel we have a great chance of winning,” Owner Michael Brown told the Daily Gazette in September.
Death Wish got the most votes in the national contest, CBS This Morning announced.
The ad will air on Super Bowl 50 Feb. 7.
Death Wish heard about the win ahead of time, but apparently had to keep it quiet.
CBS captured the moment a producer broke the news to Death Wish owner and founder Michael Brown.
“Like, for real?” Brown responded in disbelief before video of Brown and Death Wish employees hugging in celebration. One woman wiped away tears of joy.
“It’s going to fast forward us about 10 years down the road in about 30 seconds,” a happy Brown soon told the show.
Death Wish has since increased production by signing on other roasters to get the stock needed for the expected deluge of orders.
The goal, Brown told the show, is to have about a quarter million pounds ready to ship.
The ad is expected to be seen by more than 100 million people, the show said.
“We’re very confident that Death Wish can handle this,” Heather McLellan Intuit Corporate Communications vice president told the show. “They’re really on the cusp of this huge moment and they’ve been preparing for this for years.”
Death Wish, which opened in 2012, started the QuickBooks Small Business Big Game competition as one of 15,000 companies hoping for a shot at Super Bowl glory. The first public vote began in June, and Intuit employees winnowed the contestants down to 10 in September, and three in November.
In the ad, Vikings propelling their boat in a rain storm are urged on by their scraggly captain.
“What is life if not to die a glorious death?” the captain yells as his men cheer and row.
“Fear not,” the captain continues, “as tonight we drink in the halls of Valhalla!”
If the boat seems to mix Viking and pirate symbols, it doesn’t. It mixes Viking and Death Wish. The skull and crossbones on the sail, that’s the Death Wish skull and crossbones.
“Row! Awaken! and Welcome Death!” the captain continues before the kicker:
They’re not rowing on an ocean, they’re rowing in a cup of Death Wish coffee.