I love this gesture. I wish a magic wand was available for all the small businesses from restaurants to book stores to small manufacturers — but the only rescue will be customers choosing to seek them out rather than taking the easy route of ordering from Amazon.
North Carolina Bookstore Gets Huge Boost in Sales From Surprise Super Bowl Night Commercial
Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina, was struggling to make ends meet this winter but it looks like their luck has just turned around.
REBECCA ANGEL BAER
Last night, despite the challenges the pandemic has presented, most of us were able to collectively gather (on our own sofas) in front of our televisions to watch the Super Bowl. From the safety of our own homes, we indulged in our favorite football snacks and took part in many of the rituals of Super Bowl Sunday—even if we couldn’t have the usual party with friends. There was still a game, there was still a half time show, and arguably what most tune in for, there were still some pretty stellar commercials. But it costs a pretty penny for a prime spot to run in the big game, and this year, it’s our local businesses that really need the benefit of a massive TV audience. So, one TV host decided to do something about that.
In a special Sunday night airing of The Late Show on CBS, Stephen Colbert gave one North Carolina small business an opportunity of a lifetime. “It’s small businesses that have been hurt the most in this pandemic. But of course, a small business could never afford the millions of dollars it would cost to run an ad on CBS tonight which is why we here at A Late Show have decided to pick one and just give it to them,” Colbert explained to his audience. “Tonight, an actual small business that’s been struggling during the pandemic will get their very own, very real, high octane Super Sunday ad.” Which business did they choose? Foggy Pine Books of Boone, North Carolina, were the lucky recipients and turns out, they were surprised as we were. Southern Living spoke with bookseller Deion Cooper this morning and he shared just how bad things were for the Boone bookstore.
“We’ve just been worrying about winter. We’d been posting transparency posts to show how many books we need to sell each month in order to make it by. And we were just squeaking by. Last month we did not reach our goal. So, we were a little bit worried,” he said. In fact, this is the latest transparency post that was put on the store’s Instagram account just two days ago:
The goal for January had been 1,350 but the booksellers came up short at just 836. The post continued: “That said, we are so grateful for each & every purchase & the loving support of our readers but it’s always disappointing when we don’t meet our sales goal. So, we are more determined than ever to make February an amazing month for us.”
Little did they know what was about to happen. Foggy Pine Books had been contacted by the producers from The Late Show and a small camera crew had filmed at the store, but as far as they knew it was just a segment, that may or may not air, about small businesses and how they have adapted during the era of Covid-19. And as Cooper explained to us, “it was never a guaranteed thing whether it was going to be aired or not because that’s how that kind of stuff goes. And we didn’t really believe it until we saw it.”
Colbert and his team didn’t just mention the store. No, it got the full power house Super Sunday commercial treatment with narration from Sam Elliot and a cameo by Tom Hanks! Check it out below:
“Since it aired, we have received over 600 new orders just that night alone. Just last night. And there’s only three of us employees here at the moment. So, we’re struggling to keep up but we’re chugging along,” Cooper happily told us today. He added they are now looking to hire more staff to meet the demand. For now, the weight of will they make it through winter has now been lifted off their shoulders. Their primary concern has turned to “try to live up to the customer service that we expect of ourselves and our community knows us for,” Cooper said.
If you are in the area and would like to shop with Foggy Pine, they are closed to the public for in person shopping but have created a drive through window for curbside pick-up, which we think is just fabulous.
For anyone, from anywhere who wishes to update their home libraries, Foggy Pine will ship to you from their online store.