To the strains of Bryan Ferry's "The 'In' Crowd" -- "I'm in with the 'in' crowd, I go where the 'in' crowd goes" -- an announcer outlines the details of the Blockbuster Trip-A-Day Giveaway sweepstakes in this Super Bowl XXXIII ad out of indepedent agency Doner in Southfield, Mich. A moody black-and-white sequence of beautiful Hollywood types being mobbed by fans and paparazzi sets the visual tone as we learn that the giveaway will award more than 50 million prizes, including a few high-value trips (to Cannes, MGM movie premieres and more).
In 1999, Blockbuster was still riding high; Netflix was just two years old (and not yet streaming) while Redbox was three years away. It was like Barnes & Noble, attacked for inexorably driving independent stores out of business, and used its massive revenue to fund a couple of charming further Super Bowl ads, "Gotta Dance" in 2002 and "Mouse Click" in 2007. But technological change was the true unstoppable force, and the move-rental empire filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010. The next year Dish Network acquired what was left of the once-dominant brand.
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