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TODD SMITH'S SPIN CYCLE: 5 reputation winners of Super Bowl XLIX

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

The Super Bowl was a big hit for many big brands – and their ad spots. Comprehensive research from various sources (primarily TiVo, YouTube, USA Today’s Ad Meter, and Twitter polling via AdAge) indicate these five brands have received a positive boost from the work they did surrounding the big game:

1. Budweiser

For whatever reason (read: consistency), Americans now associate Bud with horses and puppies…at least when February rolls around.

Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” ad is charming, persuasive and tugs at the heartstrings – and easily ran past every other ad in terms of viewership.

2. Always

Another case study in consistency above all other things: the ad run by Always wasn’t really new at all, but did that matter?

Few complained that the brand was repeating itself – and AOR MSLGroup spent much of 2014 making sure that everyone (including many other brands) was familiar with the #LikeAGirl hashtag going into last night’s game.

3. Avocados from Mexico

The Spin Cycle can only speak for itself here, but before I saw this ad, I only knew that I liked avocados.

We had no way of knowing how closely connected the country of Mexico and the world’s tastiest is-it-a-fruit would turn out to be.

4. Joyful Heart Foundation/NO MORE

We can’t say whether the NFL benefited from running this PSA, but we have little doubt that far more people are now aware of the NO MORE campaign and its parent organization, Joyful Heart Foundation.

5. McDonald’s

Has McDonald’s new rebranding campaign been successful in any measurable way? Wouldn’t bet on it. But then, no other brand reached out to every single other Super Bowl advertiser to congratulate them on their great work, either.

Bonus: Dads

Goes without saying, doesn’t it? Nice to see dads getting so many shoutouts on a single night, though other clients will probably seem like tagalongs if they choose to jump on this theme over the next few months.

4 New Changes To The Social Media Landscape

Here’s a roundup of recent changes to the services offered by four of the biggest social networks – and why brands should pay attention.

1. Instagram Fights Vine with Looping Videos

One of the most endearing aspects of Vine is the fact that its videos repeat, so a user has to watch them at least once whether he/she wants to or not.

Now Instagram has launched the same sort of feature in order to, as The Verge put it, “please advertisers” concerned about measurable results for both paid and organic placements.

This change raises another issue: the content must now be created with the 15-second loop in mind.

2. Twitter “Syndicates” Sponsored Content

Twitter, like Instagram, had to convince its partners and paid advertisers to spend money on promotional initiatives – so it announced plans to “syndicate” sponsored tweets so that they appear in places other than users’ Twitter feeds.

In the case of the Flipboard app, paid placements would look like all other content.

The real appeal here is that these “syndicated” posts could theoretically appear on any comparable reading app like Pulse, Pocket, or Feedly.

The new feature might not make Twitter profitable, but it will get promotions in front of more eyeballs.

3. Facebook Moves into the Location Game

Recently, the big blue giant announced an attempt to take on location-based social companies like Yelp and Foursquare (does anyone still use Foursquare?) with Place Tips, a service designed to let users know more about wherever they happen to be

The service would be more aggressive than Yelp in providing information about nearby businesses without the usual map search.

Here’s why you should care: the service, if it grows more popular, will distribute material shared by both a user’s friends and the businesses in question – so it could theoretically make Facebook engagement even more valuable for clients.

Would you rather read your friend’s opinion of a nearby restaurant or the collected reviews of strangers? The latter would require a few more taps.

4. Snapchat Launches …a Sitcom?

Snapchat is trying very, very hard to get serious about sponsored content; the company recently hired some real-life journalists, launched the “Discover” tab to feature sponsored features from media outlets like National Geographic, and premiered the first of what it would like to be a new staple: original micro-series.

The Spin Cycle can’t feature “Literally Can’t Even” (starring Steven Spielberg’s daughter Sasha) since it disappears almost as quickly as everything else on Snapchat, but here’s an overview via Newsy Tech on YouTube:

The critical reception has been unanimous: it’s a dud. The Next Web, under the URL “ugh, Snapchat,” writes that the series “contains every cliché the writers could have pondered.” Other blogs have called it “literally the worst” and used variations on the show’s own title to tell readers how terrible it is.

So while we may need to start taking Snapchat more seriously, the network has some work to do in terms of content quality.

Busted Mic | NBC News Anchor Brian Williams’ Dishonesty Skewers Credibility

Perhaps no other stage is as big – or spotlight as bright – as the anchor chair of the nightly news on one of the Big 3 networks. Brian Williams rose to media rock star status over the years, and with it vaulted the ratings of NBC’s “Nightly News” to the news peak. But Williams’ star could be taking on some serious tarnish and NBC losing some serious luster in the wake of a hurricane of criticism caused by his admission he had misled the public with an account of a helicopter incident in Iraq. He has apologized to his newsroom and the public – and then announced he was stepping aside for a few days as the network investigates the situation.

The attention on the Iraq mistake has brought the rest of Williams’s career under a microscope. Some blogs and media outlets also questioned his description of what he saw while reporting on Hurricane Katrina. Should Williams be forced out of the anchor chair, it would be a major setback for NBC’s news division, which leads in the ratings game with 9.3 million total viewers for its nightly broadcast. While he broke one of the crown jewels of journalistic integrity – credibility – time will only tell whether he survives in the court of public opinion. For now, his mic is seriously busted!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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