While Monday-morning quarterbacks recap and analyze yesterday’s big game, one thing is certain: A California small business scored in the third quarter when its first major-league TV commercial aired, thanks to Intuit and millions of voters.
As the grand-prize winner of the Intuit Small Business Big Game competition, the Bay Area-based toymaker GoldieBlox was featured in an all-expenses-paid, 30-second ad that aired during the third quarter of the game. The program provided a rare opportunity for a small business to participate in the most-watched television event of the year.
“This is truly a milestone for our business and a giant leap forward for our mission,” says Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, which employs 15 people.
Sterling, a Stanford University-educated engineer, founded GoldieBlox in 2012. Her mission is to nurture a love for her profession in girls and foster a new generation of innovators.
To that end, she’s developed a series of books and construction sets that feature a young inventor named Goldie. Readers can follow Goldie’s adventures through the stories and build corresponding machines as they go. GoldieBlox products are currently sold at Target and other retail stores throughout in the U.S. and Canada.
Thousands of Entries, One Winner
So how did GoldieBlox get to share the game-day spotlight with corporate America? The company’s journey began last summer when Intuit launched the Small Business Big Game competition. Thousands of small-business owners like Sterling entered the program by sharing details about what they do and why they do it.
“We’ve been awed and inspired by the stories we’ve heard through Small Business Big Game,” says Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer. “GoldieBlox is an outstanding example of the 29 million small businesses across the United States whose passion helps drive our economy forward. As I’m a father of two daughters, their mission really strikes a chord with me, and it’s clear voters around the world felt the same way.”
People then voted for their favorite submissions and Intuit’s panel of judges selected the Top 20 contenders.
Intuit’s 8,000 employees then carefully reviewed those submissions and narrowed it down to the Top 4. In November, the company announced the finalists: GoldieBlox, Barley Labs, Locally Laid Egg Co., and POOP Natural Dairy Compost. The public then voted on the ultimate winner, which was revealed on Jan. 31.
GoldieBlox emerged as the grand-prize winner, based on the greatest number of votes received in the final round. All four finalists received prizes, including lifetime subscriptions to Intuit small business products. The 30-second ad for GoldieBlox was produced by RPA of Santa Monica, Calif.