Perhaps even more than other Super Bowl ads past, "Gotta Dance" is a time capsule. Not only does the 30-second spot by independent shop Doner reflect Blockbuster in its prime, including the return of its “Make it a Blockbuster night” tagline, but its final frame features the following call to action: “America Online Keyword: blockbuster.com.”
A few months after the ad debuted, Netflix -- the fledgling mail-order DVD service that had tried to sell itself to Blockbuster for $50 million two years earlier -- made its stock-market debut. But its shares soon sank on word that Blockbuster, then owned by Viacom, was preparing its own mail-order movie service.
“It’s clear we’re on to something,” a Blockbuster marketing exec told The New York Times in August 2002.
The brand, which had also run a big-game spot in 1999 ("Bright Lights"), returned to the Super Bowl in 2007 ("Mouse Click"), bringing the CGI pet-shop friends back as well to promote is Total Access service combining DVD mail delivery and in-store rental.
The company filed for Chapter 11 in 2010.Send credit info to [email protected].