GoldieBlox Wins Spot in Sunday’s Super Bowl

Despite song controversy, startup gets ad slot from Intuit

Headshot of David Griner

Two years ago, GoldieBlox didn't exist. This Sunday, the fledgling game company will be a national Super Bowl advertiser, rubbing shoulders with behemoth brands like Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Toyota.

It's been a strange and occasionally quite bumpy road to the big game, but the journey has clearly paid off with the news that GoldieBlox won Intuit's fan-voting contest to receive a free 30-second ad in the Super Bowl.

"We're up against big, huge toy companies with enormous marketing budgets," founder Debbie Sterling said in a video interview with Intuit. "An appearance in the big game would literally be a game changer for us that would put GoldieBlox on the map."

Four startups had reached the finals of the Intuit Small Business Big Game contest, with GoldieBlox announced late Thursday as the winner. The other finalists were Barley Labs of Durham, N.C.; Locally Laid Egg Company of Duluth, Minn.; and Dairy Poop of Nampa, Idaho.

While GoldieBlox, which creates engineering-themed games designed for girls, was an early front runner in the contest, its momentum stumbled when the company's massively popular viral video was accused of using the Beastie Boys' "Girls" without permission.

A legal battle quickly ensued, with GoldieBlox taking the offensive and the Beastie Boys eventually countersuing for damages, fees and a portion of profits generated by the viral video.

The original song has been removed from the video, which was re-uploaded with a different track.

Clearly the public fracas didn't derail the game company's popularity, as it managed to pull off its most important win and secure a spot in Sunday's game.

Contentious soundtrack aside, you won't be seeing GoldieBlox's Rube Goldberg-inspired clip at the Super Bowl. A new spot from agency RPA will be unveiled during the third quarter.

Intuit has released two teasers for the GoldieBlox ad, which you can see below:

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."