Thank You for Voting - WE WON!

By Teah Teriele — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

We won!

Thanks to our incredible community voting daily, Death Wish Coffee Co. has won the QuickBooks’ Small Business Big Game Competition. You will see a thirty second Death Wish Coffee commercial during football’s biggest game of the year! Watch it here:

You brought us this far! Now please share this video using #deathwishcoffee to make the smallest business, the BIGGEST Big Game ad! 

Small Business Big Game ft. Death Wish Coffee

In August, we decided to enter Intuit Quickbooks "Small Business Big Game" competition--a vote-based contest that awards one small business a  commercial during Football's Biggest Game. The first year this contest was completed, a toy company called Goldiblox won, putting them in front of more than one hundred MILLION fans. Their business grew to over five times its size in a year. "Imagine if that could happen to us?" Mike and I chuckled as we submitted content for the contest. 

We checked out our competition, and there were thousands of amazing companies of every kind. There were energy companies, pizza shops, jewelers makers, graphic designers, and everything in between. It was exciting and fun, but we knew what an impact it would make if we could really do this. We gave it our best shot and started to type up some answers for the their questions, known as activities.


First call for votes

At that point, we felt we were a bit late to the party; the contest had been going for about a month already. We trucked along all the same. There is no transparency as to who has the most votes, so we kept sending the voting link out to our amazing fans and hoped for the best. More than 15,000 businesses entered. 

Death Wish fans are our family

Death Wish Coffee fans are a certain breed of fan--diligent, loyal, and admirable. Watching them share the link with their friends, commenting on our posts with "I voted!" was an honor enough. They are a part of our team and we are the luckiest company on earth to have the fans that we do.

A call from Intuit Quickbooks

A few weeks later, we receive notice that we have made the final ten. We were in shock, and started pushing way harder than we ever have. We decided to leave no stone unturned. We made stickers and promotional material similar to that of a real political campaign. We attended every event that we could get to. Our favorite celebrity endorsers began promoting the contest and our fans were telling anyone that would pay attention. We could not have asked for more support.


Quickbooks Connect

The next step was for Mike to attend the Intuit Quickbooks event, Quickbooks Connect on  November 3rd in San Jose. He would share the stage with the best in the game, including Oprah, Bill Rancic, Jessica Alba, and many others. At that point we would find out who made the final three.

The big moment

Back home, the team and our fans watched anxiously on Periscope as Bill Rancic delivered the news. The video quality wasn't great, but that skull and crossbones were indistinguishable. Here is the exact moment Mike learned that Death Wish Coffee was moving to the final three:

A waiting game

Voting was over, and we were told to wait almost two months before the grand reveal in late January. In the meantime, we saw a lot of traffic from major publications for simply being in the final three—and we knew that was a prize in itself. We made a great friendship with Vidlers, a fellow NY finalist in the meantime.

In late November, Intuit took a trip to our facility to do what we thought was a simple Q&A. They gathered our team—20% larger than the last time they came—around the cameras as we watched Mike answer a few questions about the contest. We looked on as they highlighted our defining moments in the history of our business and in this contest.

“What would say if I told you won?” Joanna asked. Our team stood watching Mike, each of us glancing at each other thinking similar thoughts: Are they messing with us? Are they doing this to all of the finalists?

After countless questions and responses similar to this one, it began to feel more like a game of Saw. Anticipation was building. For the last few months, the contest had consumed our entire team. It was constantly on our minds—not in the back, either. We knew what this could do to the company, our jobs, and our lives. We dreamed Small Business Big Game.

The camera light on Mike’s face grew heavy as our entire team held our breath for the most exciting moment of our company’s history was revealed. Had it been worth it?


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