Sales skyrocket at the last Blockbuster after post-apocalyptic ad goes viral

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(NewsNation) — The last Blockbuster video rental store skipped the $7 million price tag for a Super Bowl ad, and instead posted a video online that’s arguably gotten a better response than a TV spot may have.

Chances are, in addition to the Super Bowl ads you saw earlier this month, you may have seen this post-apocalyptic commercial for the last Blockbuster – located in Bend, Oregon – circulating online.

It follows a cockroach traversing a desolate town, buildings and businesses lying abandoned beneath dusty skies, with a voiceover saying: “When the world ends, and the Internet streams no more, we’ll still be here.”

A blast from the past: See inside the last remaining Blockbuster

The cockroach – named Steve – then enters the last remaining Blockbuster, which appears to be the only business still around.

Sandi Harding, the store manager of the last Blockbuster, joined NewsNation Prime Sunday to announce that sales are up 200% at the store after the post-apocalyptic ad was posted to social media the weekend of the big game.

“Just kind of poking fun at the fact that we’ve survived everything else, we’re going to survive the apocalypse as well,” Harding said. She explained that the ad was filmed in Bend, with locations adapted with CGI to fit the end-of-the-world vibe.

Miss Blockbuster? Here’s how you can (kind of) relive the magic

The store not only serves as a treat to locals but as a tourist destination for out-of-towners. Harding said they also process online orders (you can shop their online store here).

At its peak, Blockbuster had about 9,000 locations. But, as streaming services like Netflix and Hulu became more and more popular, the chain’s presence dwindled. The company ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

The Bend location now stands as the only reminder of renting the latest movies and buying snacks ahead of a Friday night in. You can get a glimpse inside the last remaining Blockbuster here, and see more of Harding’s interview above.

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