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February 08 2014

Must Reads: A Lonely Putin, A Concussion Epidemic and More

During the week, we consume words in snackable, tweetable bites. But on the weekends, we have the time to take a dive into the murkier, lengthier depths of the Internet and expand our attention spans beyond 140 characters. We can brew a cup of coffee and lie back with our iPads, laptops, smartphones and Kindles.

Since you're bound to miss a few things during the daily grind, we present to you, in our weekly installation of Mashable Must Reads, a curated list of can't-miss stories from around the web to read and reflect on. (You can find last week's must reads here.) Read more...

The Loneliness of Vladimir Putin | The New Republic

More about Facebook, New York City, Russia, Subway, and Super Bowl

February 07 2014

Microsoft Paint Artist Appears in Super Bowl Ad at 98 Years Old

Hal Lasko is 98 years old. And while age brings experience and wisdom, even he was caught off guard by the propitious events of this past week.

Lasko, who is partially blind, has become a master of Microsoft's Paint program, which he uses to construct pixelated yet beautiful landscapes and portraits. His big week started Sunday during the Super Bowl, when Lasko and his art appeared in a memorable Microsoft advertisement. The very next day, an art gallery hosted an exhibit featuring 25 of Lasko's pieces — his first-ever solo gallery

"I had a good week, excellent week," Lasko told Mashable. "A most-surprising week." Read more...

More about Microsoft, Art, Super Bowl, Advertising, and Tv

February 06 2014

For Super Bowl Advertisers, Mobile Drove 1.6x Traffic Increase

Super Bowl XLVIII advertisers saw more web traffic than ever beforeAdobe Digital Index previously reported that although Super Bowl advertising is largely brand-oriented, website traffic always rises the day of the game. This year, the increase in web traffic was more dramatic than ever before. Visits to advertisers' websites rose 15% over last year's to an average increase of 163% above normal daily web traffic.


Image: Adobe

At $4 million per 30-second ad, advertisers might wonder: What drove the flood of traffic?

Smartphone and tablet traffic have risen substantially since 2013. Celebrating Super Bowl Sunday is an increasingly more mobile experience, as website visits from smartphones and tablets are rising at an unprecedented rate. For Super Bowl 2014, mobile visits never dropped below 14% and peaked at almost 18%. Additionally, total smartphone visits during the Super Bowl increased by over 110% year over year. Read more...

More about Marketing, Super Bowl, Business, Advertising, and Brandspeak

February 04 2014

The Key Super Bowl Social Takeaways for Advertisers

The Seattle Seahawks weren't the only champions celebrating victory this past Sunday — several advertisers also brought home a win.

With millions of eyeballs tuned to the big screen on game day, Super Bowl Sunday is the mecca of television advertising year after year, providing advertisers with a golden opportunity to create valuable brand buzz and recognition — as long as they're willing to chalk up the astronomical price tag for a 30-second television spot.

With the stakes so high, brands are meticulously tracking their efforts to gauge audience reactions and online discussion. Social media has made this much easier, as advertisers can receive real-time feedback on their ad efforts that extends beyond simple watercooler discussion — now, the world's opinions on a particular commercial or social strategy are plastered all over the Internet within seconds of its debut. Read more...

More about Marketing, Analytics, Super Bowl, Business, and Advertising
Bruno Mars Tops iTunes After Most-Watched Super Bowl Halftime Show

After breaking the record for the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever with 115.3 million viewers, Bruno Mars has roared his way up the iTunes sales charts on Monday

The 28-year-old's sophomore album, Unorthodox Jukebox, which recently won Best Pop Album at the Grammys, secured the No. 1 spot on iTunes' Top Albums chart and his debut album moved up to No. 3. Two other versions of those albums are Nos. 8 and 17

Meanwhile, 14 versions of 12 of his songs snagged spots on iTunes Top Songs, with "Locked Out of Heaven" at No. 6, "Just The Way You Are" at No. 7, "Treasure" at No. 13, "Young Girls" at No. 16, and "When I Was Your Man" at No. 19. Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Itunes, Super Bowl, and Tv
The Story Behind the Super Bowl's Most Famous Puppeteer

Talk about a ballsy move

Gwen Dean didn't just quit her job, — a daunting task in itself — she quit her job on live national television. During the Super Bowl. In a GoDaddy ad. To become a full-time puppeteer

The 36-year-old Yonkers, N.Y., native was a former machine engineer and member of the U.S. Coast Guard, but had had a passion for puppets her whole life. When she stumbled across an inquiry for people who were already intending to quit their jobs, she jumped at the opportunity and applied.

Within months, Dean was chosen from a pool of 100 to star in a GoDaddy ad to air during the largest marketing circus of the year Read more...

More about Ads, Super Bowl, Puppets, Business, and Advertising
Inside the Super Bowl of Snacks

In the midst of Super Bowl XLVII, during which the only people who weren't bored or devastated were Seahawks fans, one Super Bowl party was alive with excitement thanks to something called the Snack Stadium.

Tony Livingston, a store manager from Coon Rapids, Minn., decided to go all out for his Super Bowl party and created the ultimate snack food platter.

It was the Snack Stadium: a five-foot-by-four-foot center of snacking. It stood about three feet tall, with sections full of chips, crackers, meats, cheeses and a special layer of candy ( that's where the box seats are located). In the middle of it all was the cake-frosting field with carrot and pickle players, who wore helmets made from olives and popcorn. Read more...

More about Football, Super Bowl, Snacks, Entertainment, and Us

February 03 2014

How the Patriots' Julian Edelman Scores Social Media Touchdowns

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is adding tech enthusiast to his resume, on top of being one of quarterback Tom Brady's favorite targets.

The 27-year-old football player is not only active on social media, engaging with fans and pumping out content, but he recently participated in a Reddit AMA ("ask me anything" Q&A) and recorded a video of himself using Google Glass to show what it's like to return a punt wearing the high-tech connected specs

He's also among the growing list of sports stars turning to digital agencies to build his brand during the off season. Although it's common for brands to seek out social assistance from third-party providers, more athletes are doing the same. Boston-based Superdigital handles everything from his endorsement deals with PUMA to strategic partnerships with Burberry and, yes, Google Glass Read more...

More about Football, Super Bowl, Marketing, Entertainment, and Facebook
How Many People Watched the Super Bowl?

The ratings for the Super Bowl XLVIII are in and marketers who paid handsomely for advertising spots are breathing sighs of relief.

Sunday night's matchup set a record for total viewers and produced the second-highest household rating on record at 46.4, meaning just under half of all households tuned into the game. About 7 out of 10 households that were watching TV tuned into the Super Bowl, according to television ratings service Nielsen.

Nielsen said the game averaged 111.5 million viewers, a record for a U.S. television program, according to Fox, which broadcasted the game. Read more...

More about Advertising, Nielsen Ratings, Super Bowl, Business, and Sports
Microsoft Won the Super Bowl in More Ways Than One

Do you remember Apple's Super Bowl ad from Sunday night?

Of course you don't. Because Apple didn't run one. According to rumors, Apple was supposed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mac — but instead, longtime nemesis Microsoft took center stage with its first national minute-long Super Bowl spot, one that was both memorable and touching. It was a somewhat rare win for Microsoft — along with a commanding win for Paul Allen, Microsoft cofounder and Seahawks owner.

Microsoft may have spent $8 million — a 30-second commercial costs $4 million — to run that commercial (watch below), and thanks to the cameo of ex-pro-footballer Steve Gleason, it was easily one of the night's most memorable. Read more...

More about Microsoft, Super Bowl, Super Bowl Ads, Paul Allen, and Op Ed
48 Songs to Celebrate Seahawks' Super Bowl Victory

The Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday in one of the most lopsided games in history, dominating the Denver Broncos by a score of 43-8.

While Denver fans are undoubtedly going through a tough time, we're sure Seattle fans will still be celebrating joyously well into Monday night. So we assembled a Music Monday playlist of songs from Seattle's most famous bands and musicians. If you're a Seahawks fan basking in the team's glory, or even if you just visited Seattle once and had a good time, put on our playlist and let the likes of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Pearl Jam bolster your feelings of Seahawks pride. Read more...

More about Super Bowl, Music Monday, Entertainment, Music, and Sports
A Clairvoyant Seahawks Fan Got His Super Bowl Tattoo Months Ago

There are confident sports fans — and then there's Tim Connors

Connors, a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan, got a tattoo commemorating his team's Super Bowl XLVIII championship. But here's the thing: That happened in August, months before the team had even played a game this season, according to ESPN

Here's a photo that SportsCenter shared during Sunday night's game:

A Seahawks fan got this tattoo BEFORE the season.
He's not really sweating it now#SB48 pic.twitter.com/SgO28pupXf

— SportsCenter (@sportscenter) February 3, 2014

More about Nfl, Super Bowl, Entertainment, and Sports
9/11 Truther Gate-Crashes Tight Super Bowl Security

This was supposed to be the most secure Super Bowl in history, and for nearly six hours (including the actual game and pre-game show), it was. However, partway through the Seattle Seahawks' post-game press conference, a random and somewhat agitated man ran up on stage, grabbed the microphone from Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and demanded someone "investigate 9/11."

That man, who was quickly hustled offstage, is identified by NJ.com as Matthew Mills. Mills is described as a "9/11 truther" — someone who questions who should be held responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Read more...

More about Super Bowl, Entertainment, Us, and Sports
50 Million People Discussed the Super Bowl on Facebook

Down 22-0 at halftime during the Super Bowl, the Broncos started the second half with a kickoff to Percy Harvin, who burst through the Denver coverage to give the Seattle Seahawks a lead that would prove insurmountable

The moment lit up the scoreboard and Facebook, which recorded a total of 185 million interactions from 50 million people, according to data released by the social media company.

Harvin's run back was the top social moment on Facebook, followed by Jermaine Kearse's 23-yard touchdown catch that effectively sealed the game. Malcolm Smith's interception of Peyton Manning and return for a touchdown was third, followed by the final whistle of the game. Read more...

More about Facebook, Social Media, Super Bowl, and Sports
Next-Day Winter Storm Adds to Super Bowl Travel Woes

The unseasonably warm weather for Sunday night's Super Bowl has given way to a snow storm that is causing travel delays, as football fans try to make their way out of New York.

U.S. airlines have cancelled 1,013 flights as of about 8:30 a.m. on the East Coast, with about 25% of arrivals and departures in Philadelphia and Newark called off, according to airline traffic firm FlightAware.

Other airports in New York City, JFK and LaGuardia, were also experiencing delays and cancellations.

Per FAA, arrival delays of more than 3 hours at #Newark and more than 4 hours at LaGuardia due to snow from Winter Storm #Maximus.

— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) February 3, 2014

More about Travel, Weather, Super Bowl, Us World, and Us
Snoozer Bowl Loses, But Twitter Wins

Super Bowl XLVIII generated 24.9 million tweets during the live telecast, narrowly edging last year's record of 24.1 million tweets

The biggest Super Bowl-related peak on Twitter, measured in tweets per minute (TPM), was Percy Harvin's 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter, with 381,605 TPM. Also notable were Jermaine Kearse's 23-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, Malcolm Smith's 69-yard interception in the second quarter and the half-time show featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers

The most-mentioned players on Twitter during the game were Percy Harvin, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson on the Seahawks' side, and Peyton Manning, Eric Decker and Wes Welker from the Broncos Read more...

More about Twitter, Super Bowl, Social Media, and Sports
Real-Time Marketing: Only the Dumb Survive

Oreo is credited with starting the real-time marketing trend last year during the Super Bowl. This year, the brand may be ahead of the curve once more.

Shortly before the game, Oreo told fans it wasn't going to try to top itself at Super Bowl XLVIII:

Hey guys…enjoy the game tonight. We’re going dark#OreoOut

— Oreo Cookie (@oreo) February 2, 2014

In retrospect, that was a wise decision. Though most advertisers were firing away on all cylinders, trying to say something clever about the proceedings, no one really left a lasting impression. The one exception was JCPenney, which sent out some misspelled tweets early in the night that led some to conclude that the retailer's account had been hacked Read more...

More about Advertising, Marketing, Super Bowl, and Business
No, Floyd Mayweather Did Not Lose $10.4 Million on the Broncos

There's been a rumor flying around the web the past several days that flamboyant boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather, Jr., bet $10.4 million on the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII. That would have been a massive loss given the Broncos' dreadful performance on Sunday night

But Mayweather says the whole story is bunk. Here's what he told Mashable through a spokesperson just after the game's final whistle:

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for winning the Super Bowl. For the record, I did NOT bet $10 million on The Broncos. As a matter of fact, I didn't bet at alI. I can't control what rumors are put out there. But good or bad publicity keeps me relevant. The only thing I would bet $10 million on is MYSELF because from the looks of my record, I'm a guaranteed WIN!!! I’m focused on that, my company www.themoneyteam.com and my tech investments Read more...

More about Nfl, Super Bowl, Entertainment, and Sports
Watch Bruno Mars Rock With the Chili Peppers at the Super Bowl

Bruno Mars pulled off a spectacular Super Bowl halftime show performance Sunday with a spirited assist from his eight-piece band, The Hooligans, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Mars is the youngest artist to ever serve as a sole halftime show headliner.

The 28-year-old pop star opened the show on the drums for "Billionaire," a Travie McCoy song on which he was featured in 2009, before launching into his doo-wop swagger with a hip-swinging performance of "Locked Out of Heaven."

Mars, who was named Billboard's 2013 Artist of the Year, followed those songs up with a rambunctious rendition of "Runaway Baby." He closed the set with "Just The Way You Are," which began with an emotional video of troops addressing their loved ones Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Tv, Super Bowl, and Bruno Mars
Peyton Manning Is Getting Obliterated on Twitter

In case you couldn't tell, Peyton Manning isn't having a good night

By the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos were down 35-0 to the Seattle Seahawks. For football novices, that's bad — like there's barely-any-hope-left kind of bad.

So the quarterback isn't just getting heat on the field, he's getting obliterated on Twitter as well

"Mom can you pick me up" pic.twitter.com/At4muHs1Fu

— amelia (@ameliaaann_) February 3, 2014

same, tbhpic.twitter.com/UMoUF5miES

— darth™ (@darth) February 3, 2014

Denver Broncos just really, really eager to get home for Downton Abbey.

— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) February 3, 2014

More about Super Bowl, Peyton Manning, Watercooler, Conversations, and Sports
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