Best and Worst Superbowl Ads has a story on the all-time best, and worst, Super Bowl Ads.

Relive some of the most memorable ad moments from past games. Of course, you’ll see Apple’s legendary “1984” spot that kicked off a new era of “event” advertising. Also featured: Budweiser’s much-loved “Louie the Lizard”, E*Trade’s dancing “Monkey” and Pepsi’s “Archeology.” Stay tuned for commercials from Super Bowl XLIII airing Feb. 1 on NBC.

See the videos here:

OTNB: Journalist’s Toolbox

I’ll be travelling most of this week. Hope to post some useful tips.

The Society of Professional Journalists has re-launched its online Journalists Tools box.
Here’s just a sampling of content:

Covering the Obama Administration: The Federal Citizen Information Center: National Contact Center includes phone and hotline numbers to various agencies, Congressional phone directories, new contacts for cabinet departments, etc.

  • Covering Congress: There are many online tools that help track bills and how senators and representatives vote.
  • Plane Crash: The Public Safety section has background on the US Airways flight 1549 crash in the Hudson River.
  • Food Safety: FDA officials are warning people not to eat peanut butter after a salmonella outbreak.
  • Medical/Health: Cover flu season with tools such as, which maps cold and flu symptoms by ZIP code. Users can log their ailments to the site as well.
  • iPhone News App Gaining Traction

    Despite complaints about the price, and the general belief our customers don’t want to pay for news, WRAL-TV has a hit on their hands with its new iPhone app, according to Broadcasting & Cable Magazine.

    WRAL Gains Traction With iPhone Users
    Local station’s effort enters top 10 news apps
    By Glen Dickson — Broadcasting & Cable, 1/23/2009 5:10:00 AM MT

    An iPhone software application created by WRAL, the CBS affiliate and Capitol Broadcasting station in Raleigh, N.C., is proving popular with iPhone users and has already broken Apple’s list of top 10 free news “apps,” entering at No. 9, just three weeks after it was introduced.

    The WRAL app was developed by News Over Wireless, Capitol’s mobile content business. News Over Wireless has been delivering news updates, weather alerts and other local broadcast content to conventional cellphones for several years for WRAL and a number of other stations nationally, including ones owned by CBS, Gannett and Meredith, on both an ad-supported and subscription basis. News Over Wireless and Capitol have also been involved in early field trials of broadcasters’ proposed mobile DTV system, which would deliver live TV to mobile phone users.
    Continue reading “iPhone News App Gaining Traction”

    OTNB: A Brain Teaser for You

    Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune Of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. pebblesThe Moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his Daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the Proposal.
    So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter.

    He told them that he would put a black Pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would Have to pick one pebble from the bag.

    1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her
    father’s debt would be forgiven.

    2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her
    father’s debt would still be forgiven.

    3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into Jail.

    They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As They talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he Picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two
    Black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick A pebble from the bag.

    Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

    Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

    1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.

    2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag
    And expose the money-lender as a cheat.

    3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order
    To save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

    Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral And logical thinking. The girl’s dilemma cannot be solved with Traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers.

    What would you recommend to the Girl to do? Well, here is what she did ….

    The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without Looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path Where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.
    “Oh, how clumsy of me,” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”

    Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had Picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his Dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into a extremely advantageous one.


    Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don’t attempt to think.

    OTNB IDEA: When Competition is Counterproductive

    Competing with superstars adversely affects performance

    When confronted by a Tiger Woods or a Michael Phelps, do challengers step up their game or throw in the towel? Managers often use internal competition to motivate employees, but new research suggests that adding a superstar to the mix might actually hurt productivity rather than help it.

    In a recent study, Jennifer Brown of the Kellogg School’s Department of Management and Strategy found that while competition may be beneficial among closely matched contenders, large differences in skill reduce the efforts of competitors and become counterproductive.
    Continue reading “OTNB IDEA: When Competition is Counterproductive”

    Inauguration was TV ratings bonanza; nielsen numbers

    City-by-City Ratings-Click here for .pdf
    As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, TV viewership of the Obamaugration was going to be huge. Nielsen confirms it.
    Overall, Nielsen reports 29.2% of the households in the top local television markets watched the Inauguration. That could make it the most watched Inauguration since Ronald Reagan’s in 1981.

    Here are cable numbers: Early cable ratings for the half-hour of Obama’s swearing-in: 8.5 million for CNN, 5.5 million for Fox News, 3.1 million for MSNBC.

    NBC most watched broadcast network
    Most people watching television during the day yesterday chose to watch NBC for inauguration coverage with ABC a very close second, according to Nielsen Fast National Data.


    • Total Viewers:

    NBC – 10,406,000

    ABC – 10,129,000

    CBS – 7,049,000

    • A25-54 demo:

    NBC – 4,335,000

    ABC – 3,931,000

    CBS – 2,724,000

    The lesson of the Inauguration for local news

    Obama Pennsylvania Ave.We don’t have numbers yet, but predictions are that Obama’s inauguration will be the largest television event in history. Here are my Outside The News Box thoughts on this historic occasion.

    Our future is in television events
    From covering big events like Super Bowls and Inaugurations, to our approach to Breaking News, we have got to elevate our presentation to produce a steady stream of “events that viewers will find engaging, exciting, and wonderfully unpredictable. We must be “live” on all our platforms. Our future is about “currency” and “urgency”

    Social Networking is still more about engaging than numbers
    Alot of people are engaging us in new and exciting ways, but their numbers are still dwarfed by television viewing. Facebook and CNN provided a great service today, allowing me to watch and network at the same time. Twitter had its biggest day ever. But I saw as many “crash and burns” as I saw success stories. I really just wanted to sit and soak up the history. That said, the marketing of social engagement tools says a lot about your organization and servicing this audience is IMPORTANT brand management.

    We have got to hire smart people
    Today, it was Charles Gibson on ABC who never seemed to be at loss for words. As importantly, he knew when to stop talking. I was in a small golf community last week during the Emergency landing in the Hudson River. The young talent blathered on, repeating themselves, and offered little insight.
    We have got to identify new talent, mentor them, give them opportunities to exercise their skills. Insist they know the news of the day, every day! They need that knowledge to ask relevant questions and fill in the gaps as the story plays out.

    It takes a plan
    We can’t rely on good people to just wing it. When we are executing our latest event we need to planning the next one. Plan, De-brief, then Repeat. Planning helps eliminate repetition, encourages confidence, and identifies where we need to improve.

    Your thoughts?