There’s no way to see the actual advertisement (yet), since it’s only on VHS tapes and hasn’t been officially released, but the Last Blockbuster has revealed their teaser for the ad and the event tied to it. The teaser plays on the old joke about the only things that can survive an apocalypse: In this instance, it’s cockroaches and the Last Blockbuster. According to AdWeek, the Last Blockbuster will be releasing their 30-second ad, called “Until the Bitter End,” on Super Bowl Sunday. Advertisements played during the Super Bowl itself are notoriously expensive, so the brick-and-mortar store will be doing things the analog way by renting out their commercial on VHS.
The commercial will debut during the shop’s in-person Super Bowl watch party, but after that it will be released exclusively on VHS with a $2 a day rental fee. The above teaser was dropped on the store’s Instagram page, along with a video of a cockroach running across the checkout counter with “Something big is happening” appearing on the screen in Blockbuster’s classic DOS setup. (I worked at Blockbuster for a while, and some of the codes are still burned into my muscle memory. Seeing that screen is truly a blast from the past.)
This isn’t the first big publicity stunt from the store in Bend, as they also had a “The Last Blockbuster” beer and rented out space to sleep in the store through AirBnb, but this one might be the first to create a demand for VHS players in a long, long time. We’ll have to see what happens on Sunday, February 12, 2023.