A Super Bowl Death Wish Part 3

By Nathan Skid and David Hall | February 25, 2016 |

There was a moment, seconds after Death Wish Coffee's Super Bowl commercial aired during the third quarter of the big game, where the excitement, applause and laughter gave way to a flurry of panic.

Tiny Death Wish Coffee, the winner of Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Big Game contest, had been gifted an estimated $5 million in airtime, along with production costs for the spot. But now was the moment of truth: Could the company handle the expected traffic from a Big Game ad?

The Super Bowl has a well-deserved reputation as a website killer, a fact not lost on Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish. "It's your ass if the website crashes," Mr. Brown warned his Customer Service Manager Kane Grogan.

Before the company's 30-second Super Bowl commercial aired, its website had a resting count of about 500 visitors. By the time the spot finished, there were 147,000 unique visitors on its website, almost all from mobile devices, and Death Wish was selling thousands of dollars of product every time those visitors hit refresh.

But how long will the Super Bowl honeymoon last? Find out in this, the third and final installment of Death Wish Coffee's "Anatomy of an Ad."