My Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of 2022

The Super Bowl ads lineup for 2022 was packed with product endorsements from high-profile celebrities and plenty of nostalgia and hilarity to go around. Also, crypto. Lots of crypto. By halftime, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me in whittling down my list to only five spots.

In 2020, brands made a return to comedy after the previous Super Bowl where they largely leaned on “striking an emotional chord with viewers by speaking out on social issues,” as I wrote at the time. In 2021, after more than a year of stress, uncertainty, and heartbreak from the Coronavirus pandemic, brands played it safe with their Super Bowl spots. So safe in fact, that I felt totally uninspired and didn’t even write my kinda sorta annual list of my top five Super Bowl ads.

But in 2022, brands decided laughter was the best medicine. Or perhaps we’ve all just collectively decided as a society that the pandemic is no longer happening (it is). Regardless, choosing my top five ads from this year’s Super Bowl was a tall order. I generally lean toward the humorous rather than the emotional, and there were plenty of ads during Super Bowl LVI that got a smile and a chuckle out me. Here’s my top five.

5. Coinbase: Bouncing QR Code

This spot likely has the greatest conversion rate of any single TV commercial of all time. Would love to see the stats from the QR Code. I, for one, was entranced as I watched the QR Code bouncing around the screen in that nostalgic DVD player screensaver feel. I think I watched it for a solid 20 seconds before I realized I should scan the thing to see what it is. After seeing it was pointing people to, I didn’t actually follow through to the site, but I’m sure millions did as it’s been reported that the Coinbase app was crashing during the game.

4. Pringles: Stuck

This might be my favorite concept from a creative standpoint, but something about the execution fell short for me. Maybe it was the music. But getting your hand stuck in a Pringles can for life? Brilliant.

3. Verizon: Cable Guy

More nostalgia! Cable Guy is a classic Jim Carrey film and he nailed it some 25 years later. A brilliant way to show off Verizon’s 5G internet service.

2. Toyota Tundra: The Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses is a classic concept, and I was having a fun time seeing each celebrity ‘Jones’ (Tommy Lee Jones, Rashida Jones, and Leslie Jones) enter the ad with Tom Jones setting the mood. When it’s revealed that Nick Jonas is trying to keep up with the Joneses, the whole thing really comes together.

1. FTX: Don’t Miss Out on Crypto featuring Larry David

I’m a huge Larry David fan, so this spot was a lock for the top spot on my list. As a time-traveling skeptic that only Larry David could pull off, he disparages everything from the wheel to space travel to cryptocurrency. It was pretty good… prettaaay, prettaaay, pretty good.

Honorable mentions

The E-Trade baby is a classic Super Bowl ad that will always have a special place in my heart. E-Trade brought back the talking baby as he’s shown in his new life in retirement and living ‘off the grid.’ Great spot and it stirred up a bit of Super Bowl ad nostalgia, but not quite good enough for the top five.

Speaking of nostalgia, Austin Powers fans surely loved the GM spot featuring Dr. Evil in which he takes over the GM headquarters and discusses using GM’s Ultium Platform for good. A fun spot but could be a bit punchier.  

Budweiser revives its iconic Clydesdale horse in an emotional and patriotic spot showing the Clydesdale recovering from an injury with the help of his canine companion. The grungy guitar music has slight hints of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The closing message? “Down Never Means Out.”

View all the ads that aired during Super Bowl LVI in this CNBC article.


An Unlikely Work-From-Home Savior: Vinyl Records

When nationwide lockdowns began in March of 2020 and we were told to work from home ‘indefinitely,’ I naively thought the global pandemic would blow over in a couple of weeks. I barely cleared out my desk, only taking the main items I needed to work remotely (laptop, power cord, headphones… actually, that was about it).

As you may have guessed, I wasn’t fully prepared for working from home full time. Though I already had an office with a beautiful mid-century teak desk, the accompanying chair is made of wood and wicker. That got uncomfortable real fast. So, one of the first upgrades I made was a new, more comfortable office chair.

Regardless of how comfy my office chair is, it doesn’t compare to my standing desk I had at the office. I’d work for hours at a time from a standing position – sometimes only sitting when at a meeting. So, I resorted to re-downloading the Stand Up! app that I used before I had a standing desk at work. Every 30 minutes, the app pings my phone and tells me to stand up. It’s a great app and I highly recommend it, but I admit it’s annoying to get those notifications throughout the day.

One thing I enjoy about working from home is listening to music without headphones. My Bose computer speakers produce decent sound for streaming Spotify and for virtual meetings. But eventually, I moved my turntable and Klipsch speakers into the office. Once I upgraded the speakers to include a 240-watt subwoofer, my work-from-home situation was forever changed!

Ask any audiophile why they prefer vinyl records over their streaming service of choice and they’ll go on and on about how vinyl records sound better. But it’s true! A good turntable set up will produce a near-perfect listening experience; allowing you to hear every note and every instrument on the album, exactly as the artist meant for it to be heard. Vinyl records produce a warmer, richer sound that you simply can’t get with digital audio files – streamed or not.

A good turntable set up will produce a near-perfect listening experience; allowing you to hear every note and every instrument on the album, exactly as the artist meant for it to be heard.

Besides the overall superior listening experience one can get from vinyl records over any other format, I also just love the active nature of selecting an album and getting it cued up on the turntable. I have a ritual I go through after choosing which album to spin. I pull out the album, remove the dust cover, gently place it on the slip mat, use the little velvet brush to remove any dust on the record, and then ease the stylus onto the disc. I even take a moment to admire the album cover before displaying it on a little shelf above my turntable.

All these actions make me appreciate the music more and I feel better connected to the listening experience than when I’m just mindlessly playing something on Spotify.

Now, back to the point of this post… one thing I noticed soon after I started working from home full time was how much less I moved throughout the day. No traversing the building for a meeting or taking a quick lap during a bathroom break. But now that I listen to my records every day, I’ve been easing off my Stand Up! app. I still use it, but I’ll often shut it off for the day if I plan to keep the vinyl spinning. Why? Because every 20 minutes, I need to get up, walk across the room and either flip the record over or throw something else on.

If you want to instantly improve your work-from-home situation, get a turntable. You’ll be listening to higher-quality music and you’ll be more active throughout the day as you get up to flip over the record. Of course, that last part is assuming you keep your turntable on the other side of the room and not within arm’s reach of your desk. Ask anyone new to working from home what they miss most from being away from the office and they’ll likely tell you they miss seeing their coworkers and all the little things that happen throughout the day. And I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to face-to-face meetings and chatting about life outside the office, but for now, I’ll keep enjoying my incredibly short commute, spending more time with my dog, and spinning vinyl records all day long.

My Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of 2020

Another Super Bowl has come and gone. This was the first year watching the big game in my new house, with my new wife, and my new dog. We had a few friends over to watch Super Bowl LIV on a giant 75-inch TV in true 4K UHD quality — what a time to be alive!

From MTN Dew’s “Zero Sugar. As Good as the Original” Super Bowl ad.

2020 saw a slight departure from the past few years as brands moved away from striking an emotional chord with viewers by speaking out on social issues. With a few exceptions (Verizon’s “The Amazing Things 5G Won’t Do” had good intentions, I’m sure, but felt like it was exploiting first responders rather than honoring them), brands largely turned to comedy to capture viewers’ attention.

Working off the theory that American’s have short attention spans, brands also used a couple tactics to keep viewers engaged: using lots of star power by way of short cameo appearances and using multiple situations within a single spot. This led some ads to fall flat as there was simply too much going on and each spot seemed to lack a clear story arc.

Too many star cameos and lack of story arc aside, I still found plenty of good ads this year. Many of which I overheard people talking about at the office the next day. But I assure you, I have not let my colleagues influence my ranking of the top 5 Super Bowl ads of 2020. Here they are:

5. Cheetos — Can’t Touch This

The concept of not helping out because you have “Cheeto hands” is a rather hilariously true in itself, add in MC Hammer and you’ve got comedy gold!

4. Rocket Mortgage — Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa is a larger than life character on and off the big screen. So to see him head home to relax by removing his larger than life muscles and struggling to bench press the empty bar was not only cleaver, it was an impressive visual effect.

3. Jeep — Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is without a doubt my favorite Bill Murray flick so this was an obvious choice for my top 5. It was great to revisit some the sights and characters from the classic 1993 film; the fact that the Super Bowl happened to land on Groundhog Day made this the perfect lighthearted Super Bowl ad.

2. MTN Dew — Zero Sugar. As Good as the Original

The Shining is the greatest film of all time. And while this MTN Dew Super Bowl ad is not quite the same masterpiece as the Stanley Kubrick classic, it was thoughtfully done and maintained an incredible attention to detail, Bryan Cranston does a mean Jack Nicholson impression, and the green MTN Dew gushing through the elevator doors was a nice touch. As if that weren’t all enough, the :60 spot hits you with one more: Bryan Cranston dressed as the creepy twins. Awesome Super Bowl commercial.

1. Hyundai — Smaht Pahk

I’ve watched this one a few times now and it gets me rolling every time. Maybe it’s because I lived in Greater Boston for four years, but I just love watching a trio of Bostonians ripping on their awful accent. This was probably the commercial I heard talked about the most at work and I was happy to jump in with my own Boston accent. Not sure it’s going to move cars for Hyundai, but I’ll bet there’s a lot of people who learned about the Sonata’s smart parking feature for the first time. Well done.

Honorable Mentions

Tide gets a shout out for continuity for it’s Super Bowl Now, Laundry Later series of ads. Add in everyone’s favorite character from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and you’ve got a recipe for success and ad recall.

Again, maybe it’s because I lived just down the road from Foxboro for four years, but I loved Hulu’s Tom Brady fake out. Not in the top five because, well, it features Tom Brady. Enough of the Patriots; I think America is ready to move on.

Finally, I noticed Budweiser ran a brilliant ad revisiting its classic Wasssup! Super Bowl spot. This was an absolutely brilliant ad that featured an empty apartment filled with smart devices coming to life to say the iconic Budweiser catch phrase. The only reason it’s not on my top five? It only aired in Canada. Budweiser’s ‘Typical Americans’ spot was fine, but I think I just wasn’t up for the emotional angle this year.

Doing a Live Video Broadcast on Social Media? Follow These Tips

Hitting the “Start Live Video” button on Facebook Live or your social media site of choice can be intimidating. Even people who do live streams all the time likely get butterflies before beginning a live broadcast. But as with most things in life, practice and preparation are two key ingredients for a successful live broadcast. 

In this post, I’ll help you choose a social networking site for your live broadcast, share a few basic live-stream formats, equipment you’ll need, how to prepare, and ways to make the most of your effort. Follow these basic tips and you’ll be well on your way to live stream stardom. 

Which Social Media Platform is Best for Live Streaming? 

The first thing you’ll want to consider is which platform to use. This mostly depends on where your largest, most-engaged audience is, and which platform will get you the most exposure. When Facebook Live first launched, it made a huge splash and was an immediate success among early adopters. But since then, other social networking sites have launched live broadcasting features of their own and you may find success on a platform other than Facebook. In this post, I’ll be sharing ideas that cater to Facebook Live as that is what I am most familiar with. However, the same principals can be applied to most other social media sites.  

What Format is Best for Live Streaming? 

There are three basic formats to consider for a live broadcast: single shot, one-on-one interview, and the walk and talk format. Of these, the single-shot method is the simplest, but requires the most preparation because it means you’ll be speaking directly into the camera, making sure to get all your main points across.  

With a one-on-one interview, you’ll have a little more freedom to ‘wing it’ as you’ll be relying on your guest to fill most of the time. With the interview format, it’s important to have a set of questions ready to go; just as a reporter would.  

Finally, the walk and talk format requires the least amount of preparation, but also runs the risk of being a bit boring if you don’t have a solid game plan or are not in an interesting environment (such as a busy tradeshow floor or a behind-the-scenes look at a major sports venue).  

There are plenty of other live-streaming options such as broadcasting a keynote speaker at an industry event, hosting a live Q&A, or running a whiteboard session, but the above-mentioned formats can all be achieved with nothing more than a smartphone and a good Wi-Fi connection. However, even if you plan to simply broadcast straight from your smartphone, you may want to consider a few pieces of equipment to ensure a high-quality live broadcast.  

What Equipment is Needed for a Live Broadcast? 

Again, all you really need is a smartphone and a strong Wi-Fi connection. Of the three formats I discussed earlier, the one-on-one interview can benefit the most from some additional equipment. Luckily, you still do not need much and can easily put in an order for each item on Amazon. Here my recommended items: 

  1. Tripod with 3-way head. Having something to stabilize your phone during your live stream is easily the most important aspect of a high quality live broadcast. Although a video shot using a smartphone’s native camera app generally comes out looking smooth, that image stabilization is achieved using tech within your phone, which unfortunately does not carry through during a live broadcast. Use a tripod. You can spend hundreds on a good tripod, but I recommend the middle-of-the-road Manfrotto Compact Advanced Aluminum 5-Section Tripod Kit with 3-Way Head
  2. Smartphone Clamp. This is a mandatory item if you plan on using a tripod. This is what screws into the tripod head and holds your smartphone. You can find them for about $5-$10. You can get a spring-loaded version or screw-adjustable version.
  3. Lavalier Microphone. If you’re planning on shooting in a noisy area (such as a trade show floor or busy city street), a lavalier (or lav) mic can help cut out much of the background noise and only pick up the voice directly in front of the mic. Even if you’re filming in an quiet room, the audio quality will be greatly enhanced with the use of an external lavalier mic. Although I have not used this particular mic, this dual lav mic from MAONO should get the job done. If you want to do walking interviews, you might want to invest in a wireless mic system or even a handheld mic. If you’ll be using an iPhone 5 or newer for your live broadcast, you’ll need one of those pesky headphone dongles.
  4. LED On-Camera Light. Good lighting is crucial to shooting a high-quality video. While it’s preferable to find a room with abundant natural light or use a soft-box light kit, a simple on-camera LED light works well in a pinch or just to fill in any shadows cast on your subject. This one on Amazon has everything you’ll need and only costs 38 bucks.
  5. L Bracket Camera Mount. If you’re going to use an LED light, this is what you’ll mount it on. With an L bracket, you also have the option of adding a shotgun mic or an additional LED light. This one on Amazon is only $10.

Preparing for a Live Broadcast 

Once you’ve chosen which platform you plan to live stream from, decided on the format, and purchased any needed equipment, it’s a good idea get everything set up and make sure it is all working the way you envisioned it. Take a photo of your setup for reference when you’re setting up for the actual live stream. Take notes and write out a checklist of items to remember to have on hand for your live stream – this is especially important if you’ll be broadcasting on-location. 

While you can’t actually start a live stream, you can at least set everything up and do a dry run. If you’re planning to interview someone, practice with a coworker or friend so that you feel comfortable with the questions you plan to ask. This is also a time to review your video to make sure you have the shot you want. 

Along with a basic equipment check and practicing on camera, you’ll want to do the necessary prep work before you head out to your live broadcast location (whether that’s at your office or in another city at a trade show). Be sure to reach out to any guests or interviewees well in advance to make sure they’re comfortable doing a live broadcast. Once you have their confirmation, it is a good idea to let them know the basic format and send them any questions you plan to ask, or if they’ll be on camera alone, exactly what information you’d like them to share.  

For a Facebook Live, you’ll also want to create a document with copy included in the post or any preview posts. This includes a short, descriptive headline, correct spellings and titles of any guests, and a longer description of your video. You may also want to draft out and schedule tweets or posts on other social sites to cross-promote the live broadcast.  

What to do after Shooting a Facebook Live Broadcast 

One thing that’s nice about Facebook Live is that you have the option to download the hi-def version of the video. But beware – you must download this immediately after your broadcast ends and before posting to your page. If you wait until after uploading the post to your feed, then you can only down load the lower quality video that was shared live (usually 360p instead of 1080p). Once you’ve saved the high-definition video, you can then make any necessary edits and share to other social sites (YouTube, LinkedIn, IGTV, and so on). Here are a few ideas for getting more out of your video: 

  • Embed the video to your website 
  • Share video in an email 
  • Cut video into smaller snippets for use in multiple social media posts 
  • Create GIFs and pair with direct quotes from the video 

Although a live-video broadcast can be intimidating, it is often well worth the extra legwork for the engagement it can bring to your overall social media marketing strategy. With a bit of preparation and some practice, live streaming will become easier and even fun over time. What tips do you have for going live on social media? 

Social Media Rundown: Time to Break Up Facebook; Fear-Based Social Apps; New Facebook & Twitter Features

Dominating the headlines in the world of social media and beyond is the scathing opinion article by Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes in The New York Times. The thoughtful piece calls for the FTC to step in and break up the company. It’s a must read.

Also in the news section: the rise of fear-based social media apps and new features rolling out on both Facebook and Twitter. Read on for your weekly dose of all things social media.

Social Media News

  • It’s Time to Break upFacebook (The New York Times). “Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government,” writes Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. “He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day.” This opinion piece gives nice background of how Facebook got so big and the steps needed to break up the company and reign in its social media monopoly. It’s a bit of a long read, but I’d encourage anyone to at least watch the video summary of the article. The article has stirred up a lot of attention with Mike Huckabee saying that social media companies should be treated like public utilities.
  • The Rise of Fear-Based Social Media like Nextdoor, Citizen, and Now Amazon’s Neighbors (Vox). Although violent crime in the U.S. is at its lowest rate in decades, social media apps based on monitoring and reporting crime are some of the most downloaded social and news apps in the U.S.
  • Now You Can Book Appointments Directly Through Instagram and Facebook (Mashable). A “Book Now” button will soon appear on business pages, allowing people to click to select the date, time, and services they want. From there the transaction transfers to Messenger where it connects the user with the business. Appointments can also be added to a user’s calendar of choice.
  • Twitter Will Now Let You Add Photos, Videos, or GIFs to Retweets (The Verge). Now available on iOS, Android, and mobile browsers (but not yet on desktop), users can add media to a retweet by tapping the “retweet with comment” option and then choosing the image or GIF icon in the toolbar.


  • 10 Tips for Making the Most of Social Media at Trade Shows (Social Media Explorer). From setting goals to knowing which hashtags to use, this article gives a nice overview of how to maximize your tweeting during an industry conference.

  • 6 Basic Steps to Running an Effective Social Media Audit (Social Media Today). It’s never too early or too late to run a social media audit. This article gives a nice checklist to consider when conducting social media audit. This article was written by a full-time social media consultant, so she likely has done many social media audits.

Chart of the Week

Platform Matrix (Axios). More of a table than a chart, really. Either way, I think the folks at Axios did a nice job of succinctly describing the subtle differences in the top social media platforms. Not sure why Google made the list, but not it’s video-sharing social media platform YouTube.

Social Media Rundown: More Facebook Data Issues; Shoddy Twitter Verification Process; Pinterest IPO

This week’s Rundown includes a fresh round of Facebook data breaches, a healthy IPO for Pinterest, and more social media news. Plus, learn how to combat social media algorithms and take a look at the future of social media with Mark Schaefer.

Social Media News

  • Facebook Says It Uploaded Email Contacts of up to 1.5 Million Users (Reuters). Yet another privacy breach from Facebook: The company harvested the email contacts of new users without their knowledge or consent when they opened their accounts. The company said it is now deleting the data. Meanwhile, it’s Instagram product experienced a data breach of its own when millions of Instagram users’ passwords were exposed to staff.
  • Twitter Secretly Verified Jack Dorsey’s Mom and Thousands of Others Despite ‘Pause’ (Mashable). “Celebrities, and others with backchannel connections to the company, are able to become verified as Twitter ignores everyday users and those without insider access.” And now I know why Twitter keeps rejecting my verification requests.
  • A New Twitter Account Is Outing Shoddy Reporting in Science Stories (Quartz). Here’s a new account you might want to follow: @justsaysinmice tweets about stories that rely on a study of mice to make claims about human health.
  • Pinterest Shares Jump 25 Percent on First Day of Trading (The New York Times). Pinterest stock began trading at $23.75, putting the company’s value above its last private valuation of $12 billion. Pinterest is about interacting with celebrities or broadcasting one’s life. Instead it is meant to be more personal. Its 250 million monthly active users use the site to plan important aspects of their lives, including home projects, weddings and meals.
  • 15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook (Wired). Here’s your weekend long read: “The confusing rollout of meaningful social interactions—marked by internal dissent, blistering external criticism, genuine efforts at reform, and foolish mistakes—set the stage for Facebook’s 2018.”


  • How to Make Your Website and Social-Media Presence Bulletproof Against Algorithm Changes (Inc). This article includes four ways to keep your web traffic up and three ideas to consider when building out your social media content strategy.
  • Social Media Shakeout: Why the Future of Social Media Is Hazy ( Mark Schaefer gives a brief rundown of what’s next in the world of social media — from AI and 5G to regulation and consolidation.

Chart of the Week

The Six Most Popular Digital Marketing Channels with Small Businesses (MarketingProfs). Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents say their business engages in social media marketing; the same proportion also use a website to market their firm.

Top 6 digital marketing channels for small businesses.
Social media and the company website are neck and neck as the most important digital marketing channels for small businesses.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Pivot to Privacy; Instagram Dominates Engagement; Zuckerberg Gives Up on China

Facebook and it’s pivot to privacy.

The big news this week is Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of a ‘privacy-focused vision’ for Facebook in which he proclaims private messaging is the future. This fits well with the news back in January of Facebook’s plan to make Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, all work in harmony. It also shines some light on the continued decline in Facebook Page engagement and the fact that more young people are leaving Facebook for other services like Snapchat and Instagram (see the ‘Chart of the Week’ below).

Social Media News:

  • Mark Zuckerberg Believes Facebook’s Future Is Private Messaging (Recode). “I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network.” —Mark Zuckerberg. Here’s Mark’s full statement.
  • Instagram Is an Engagement Powerhouse (Axios). Despite having less than half of Facebook’s monthly active users (MAUs), Instagram’s top 10 accounts generate 6 times more interactions than Facebook’s most-engaged accounts. It’s worth clicking through to the article to see the included table listing the incredible engagement stats from Instagram as compared to Facebook and Twitter. The top Instagram account had more than 1 billion interactions in the 3-month period.
  • Mark Zuckerberg Tried Hard to Get Facebook into China. Now the Company May Be Backing Away (BuzzFeed News). After 10 years of courting Chinese officials to hopefully get Facebook’s China ban lifted, Zuckerberg has thrown in the towel. “As we build our infrastructure around the world, we’ve chosen not to build data centers in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression,” Zuckerberg wrote on Wednesday.
  • Twitter Will Let Users Be Much More Specific When Reporting Tweets with Personal Information (The Verge). “Now, when reporting a tweet that contains private information, users will be taken to an additional menu allowing them to specify whether the tweet contains contact information, a home address or physical location, financial information, or ID pictures or numbers.”


  • How to Get Twitter Followers: 44 Tips and Tricks That Actually Work (Hootsuite Blog). If you’re wanting to boost your following on Twitter, this list is packed with ideas.
  • 5 Threats to Your Nonprofit’s Reputation on Social Media (Social Shake-Up blog). Fake news, fake accounts, fake comments. It’s a good idea to at least be aware of these potential threats.

Chart of the Week:

U.S. Users are Leaving Facebook, New Study Shows (Mashable). Facebook now has about 15 million fewer users in the U.S. than it had in 2017.

As Facebook becomes less cool, Instagram and Snapchat pick up more users.

What was the biggest social media news you read about this week?

Social Media Rundown: Twitter Daily Active Users; Unsend Facebook Messages; New Facebook Fact-Checking Partner; Facebook Turns 15

As the lowest-scoring Super Bowl game in history played out in Atlanta, viewers got a little bored and turned to social media to make fun of Adam Levine’s lackluster halftime performance and the oddly familiar pattern of his tank top.  And one Fox News anchor took to Twitter to boast about her beautifully made queso dish, not thinking she’d become a viral sensation.

Considering Super Bowl ads were costing brands some $5.2 million for a :30 spot, hopefully the slow game meant viewers who stuck around for the full game were also paying more attention to the ads. Maybe not, but there were some good Super Bowl commercials this year. You can see my top five Super Bowl ads on my blog.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Discloses Daily Active User Count for First Time (Axios). Twitter has 126 million daily active users — 60 million fewer than Snapchat, and less than a tenth of Facebook’s main app. Twitter also reported it has 321 million monthly active users, down from 330 million a year ago.
  • You Can Now Unsend Your Facebook Messages If You’re Quick Enough (Mashable). You now have a 10-minute window to delete sent Facebook messages.
  • Facebook Adds New Fact-Checking Partner (Axios). Shortly after Snopes, one of the first online fact-checking websites, announced it is reevaluating its relationship with Facebook, the social network has added Lead Stories as a new fact-checking partner that specializes in hoax debunking as well as fact-checking.
  • Happy Birthday, Facebook! These Are the 10 Most Important Moments in Your Not-So-Great Relationship with the News Industry (NiemanLab) The sub-heading to this article says a lot about where the company stands today: Why only 10 on its 15th birthday? Recently, we discovered an error in our internal metrics that may have overstated the number of items on this list. We are very sorry for anyone affected; we take any mistake seriously. Also, be sure to check out the special birthday video for Facebook from The New York Times.


  • How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences: The Complete Guide (Hootsuite). Facebook Lookalike Audiences are used to reach people similar to your current customers, offering more value on ad spend. Read on to learn all about this Facebook Ads tool.
  • 7 Proven Tactics to Boost Your Customer Engagement on Social Media (Social Bakers). See how learning about your audience, replying to messages, and showing brand personality can help you establish a connection with your community and encourage brand engagement.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram Engagement: Everything You Need to Know [Exclusive Stats] (Social Bakers). Instagram maintains higher user engagement as compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Instagram engagement chart from Socialbakers.
Instagram might not have the biggest audience size or the highest activity volume, but it is clearly the most engaging.

My Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of 2019

I didn’t know Luke Wilson was a ‘close talker.’

It’s that time of year again! Well, actually… I guess I skipped the past couple Super Bowls. But I’m back for my kinda, sorta, almost annual list of my top five favorite Super Bowl ads from the big game, as advertisers refer to it (side note: I think a Super Bowl spot making fun of advertisers using ‘the big game’ instead of ‘Super Bowl’ would be quite funny). You can view previous top five Super Bowl lists by clicking the ‘Super Bowl Ads‘ category. I feel like I’m keyword stuffing my blog now. On with the show…

5. Stella Artois — Change Up The Usual

The Big Lebowski and Sex and the City in the same ad? Brilliant! There’s something for everyone here. The Dude’s pronunciation of Stella Artois is what put this in the top five for me.

4. Washington Post — Democracy Dies in Darkness

With Tom Hanks narrating, this one grabbed my attention right away. But regardless of the narrator, this is a powerful spot championing journalism with many memorable moments and a touching tribute to journalists who have have been murdered. The ad ends with it’s famed Democracy Dies in Darkness tagline.

3. Colgate — Close Talker

With its extreme close-up of Luke Wilson and the fast-paced cuts, this one feels like a throwback to the hilarious Super Bowl ads from the ’90s. It would maybe be my No. 1 ad this year, but it was lacking a strong punch at the end. Also, this ad got me more excited to watch Seinfeld reruns (there’s that ’90s throwback again) than to run out and buy toothpaste.

2. Amazon — Not Everything Makes the Cut

This ad already had me roped in with Forest Whitaker trying to brush his teeth with his Alexa-connected toothbrush, but it kept my attention with Harrison Ford’s dog ordering and reordering tons of dog food. Closing the ad with a Queen hit was a timely, solid choice. At 90-seconds, it’s amazing to think Amazon spent some $15.6 million on this single spot; it could definitely be trimmed my :30 seconds.

1. DEVOUR — Food Porn

It was only a matter of time before some food brand came along and took advantage of the internet phenom known as ‘food porn.’ This ad is a cleaned up version of the original banned-from-the-big-game spot. I admit, the uncensored version definitely went too far. The :30 second spot is in much better taste.

Honorable Mentions:

Olay Killer: Skin — great play on the rise of facial recognition software, but lacking in execution.
bubly: “Can I have a bublé?” — this one had people talking at work, but it was a little too drawn out to make the cut.
Burger King: #EatLikeAndy — Here’s another one that got people talking. Overheard at work: “It was some guy dressed like Andy Warhol, but he looked weird.” I assure it was Andy Warhol.
Michelob Ultra: The Pure Experience — Makes the ‘honorable mentions’ list because ASMR.
T-Mobile — This was a series of cute, but all-too-true spots about how people communicate via text messaging.

What was your favorite Super Bowl ad of 2019?

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Research (er, Spy) App; EU: Combat Fake News, or Else; YouTube Cracks down on Toxic Videos

As usual, there’s plenty of negative Facebook news this week. Also in the news section, YouTube takes measures to crack down on toxic videos. And the biggest news might be the Chart of the Week showing that Instagram Stories now has 500 million daily active users; that’s way more than Snapchat.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Pays Teenagers $20 a Month to Monitor What They Do Online (Vice News). Facebook bought access to teenagers’ and young adults’ data by paying them to install an app that reveals everything they do online, paying up to $20 a month for installation of the Facebook Research App. Seems totally ethical. Axios has more insight into this news. And in related news, Facebook shares shot up after strong Q4 earnings despite numerous data scandals.
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter Must Do More Against Fake News: EU (Reuters). Failure to do more to combat fake news and disinformation in the run-up to European elections could mean the companies will face regulatory action, the European Commission said.
  • Facebook Roadblocks ProPublica’s Ad Transparency Tool (Nieman Lab). ProPublica collected 100,000 Facebook ads — and to whom they were targeted — through a browser extension installed by 16,000 volunteers. Its reporters used the tool to report on the targeting strategies of politicians and political groups, misleading tactics, and the fact that Facebook’s ad archive kept missing the very ads it was supposed to openly store. Meanwhile, the company is giving some power back to its users — but very slowly.
  • YouTube Will Crack down on Toxic Videos, but It Won’t Be Easy (Wired). The video-sharing platform plans to reduce the spread of toxic videos by limiting how often they appear in users’ recommendations. I’m not holding my breath.


Chart of the Week:

Facebook Plans New Products as Instagram Stories Hits 500m Users/Day (TechCrunch). Roughly half of Instagram’s 1 billion users now use Instagram Stories every day. By the way, Snapchat is on the decline and now has about 186 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories has left Snapchat in the dust.