Adland knew GoldieBlox as the two-year-old girls' toy company that got into a legal dispute with the Beastie Boys for using the 1987 song “Girls” in an online ad that went viral. (The company would later apologize, but in a sort of mumbled, under-the-breath kind of way.) As of Super Bowl XLVIII, the average consumer knew GoldieBlox for winning an Intuit contest for small businesses and getting a rather kick-ass Super Bowl spot, courtesy of RPA.
"Come on Bring the Toyz" features the music of Quiet Riot and a horde of little girls using engineering and other mechanical skills to blast pink girly toys into space. The “Small Business, Big Game” contest by Intuit, whose products include TurboTax and Quickbooks accounting software, drew some 15,000 entries, according to the company. Those were narrowed to 20 by online voting and to four finalists by Intuit employees:
Barley Labs, Durham, N.C.: A maker of dog treats out of barley that's left over from beer brewing.
Poop Natural Dairy Compost, Nampa, Idaho: A marketer of compost for lawns and gardens from the manure of holstein dairy cows.
Locally Laid, Wrenshall, Minnesota: A husband-and-wife team selling pasture-raised eggs from their hens, who forage and exercise on green fields. Flirty slogan: "Local chicks are better."
And, of course, GoldieBlox, Oakland, Calif.: GoldieBlox tries to break down gender stereotypes and barriers by designing engineering toys and books for girls. It was the brainchild of Debbie Sterling, a Stanford graduate with a engineering degree. A Kickstarter campaign in fall 2012 raised more than $285,000, and in November 2013, a two-minute ad became a viral smash; unfortunately, it was the “Girls” ad, which almost immediately sparked that legal battle with the Beastie Boys.
Online voters picked GoldieBlox for the win. The runners up each got a spot on Fox Sports 1, a cable sibling to that year’s Super Bowl network, Fox.
GoldieBlox was not the first small business to win 30 seconds of Super Bowl fame. That honor belongs to the Pocket Pump guys in 1998, winners of the Mail Boxes Etc. See Your Small Business on the Super Bowl Search ("Pocket Pump"). Mail Boxes Etc. liked the results enough to repeat the contest in 1999 ("Jeremy's MicroBatch Ice Creams").
Intuit ran its contest again for Super Bowl 50 in 2016, awarding the prize to Death Wish Coffee in Round Lake, N.Y. ("Storm's a-Brewin'").Send credit info to [email protected].