Super Bowl Ads 2012: Here Are The Winners And Losers

There’s fascinating disconnect between which advertisers  the media thinks did well on last night’s Super Bowland what the research  says was effective.

To hear the  business press tell it, Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime  in America” spot rocked  the house. It was indeed a great spot from a creative point of view.

But it didn’t even show up in the Ace  Metrix Top 10. Ace Metrix measures a panel of 500  consumers who watch ads and rate them for effectiveness. That research says Doritos’  sling baby ad won the night.

It was also a big night for dogs. Volkswagen’s much anticipated follow-up to  its little Darth Vader spot from last year used an obese  dog getting in shape to gets its revenge on a VW it wanted to chase down the  street (and then somehow ended up in the Star Wars cantina scene).

Skechers used a dog — Mr.  Quiggly — in a greyhound race.

As did Bud Light, whose appeal with Weego,  a rescue dog, was heartwarming.

So did Doritos, in another comedic appeal revolving around the whole Dogs  v. Cats war.

There weren’t any total disasters  — last year both Groupon  and HomeAway  had to apologize for their ads — but there were some failures in the sense that  clients ads bored people or went unnoticed.

Chase ran an ad that for the life of me I can’t recall even though I am  paid to remember these things. And TaxACT’s  ad, featuring a kid who urinates in a swmming pool, was disgusting.


So, whatever happened to L.A. Noire, the brillant Video Game from 2011?


Rockstar and the now defunct Team Bondi’s brilliant L.A. Noire was troubled since the beginning, resulting in an agonizingly long seven year development cycle that promptly ended the bright developer’s business upon its release.  Still, if a developer is going to release its final game, it might as well be as good as the absolutely sublime L.A. Noire.  It spoke directly to the love of the detective genre with its investigations into heinous crimes and really impressed with its disturbingly life-like facial animations, resulting in an unforgettable experience that is begging for the franchise treatment.  Let’s really hope that Rockstar gets it together to give this incredible framework the treatment it deserves before it becomes the gaming equivalent of the one that got away.  Get on it, guys!


Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier

Back in 2009, a movie arrived in theaters that transported audiences to a lush, unpolluted alien world without acknowledging the irony of sitting in an air-conditioned theater for its nearly three-hour runtime.  SinceAvatar became the biggest movie of all time (not adjusted for inflation), the world has patiently waited for the sequels that James Cameron, in his beneficence, has promised.  The second and third Avatar movies have been consistently pegged for 2014 and 2015, but it looks like we might have to wait an additional two years before Avatar 2 brings Pandora back to Earth.

With Cameron’s Titanic getting a 3D rerelease in a few months, producer Jon Landau recently spoke at a screening of the previous biggest movie ever.  According to Entertainmentwise, Landau casually dropped a new timetable for the science fiction trilogy, saying, “We are excitedly working on it as we speak and it will be four or so years before it will be out.”


To bust some basic arithmetic, that means we wouldn’t be seeing Avatar 2 until 2016.  Given that Cameron’s plan has been to shoot both films simultaneously and release them a year apart, Avatar 3 would presumably arrive in 2017.

This makes a bagful of sense.  Though the 2014 date has been bandied about plenty, star Sam Worthington revealed this week that he’s not sure Cameron’s even written the first sequel yet, and the actor was fairly in the dark about just when production would get underway.  Besides, Cameron has never been a filmmaker overly concerned with meeting a release date, not at the expense of properly mind-melting spectacle.

Landau, being a producer, continued waxing enthusiastic and confirmed that design work on the sequels is indeed well underway.  “We are excited,” he said.  “And we have a lot of the same team working with us, some great design and ideas and some great themes hopefully.”

WSJ: Kodak Preparing for Bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing for bankruptcy in the “coming weeks” in case efforts to sell its patents fall through, the         Wall Street Journalreported on Wednesday.

The photography and imaging equipment company has long struggled with revamping itself as a technology company amid advancements in digital cameras and photo sharing.  Shares of Kodak have closed under $1 for 30 consecutive trading days, the Journal reported.

Kodak has cut global staff to 18,800 from a peak of 145,300 in 1988. Jobs at its headquarter in Rochester, N.Y. were cut to 7,100 from 60,400 in 1982, according to the Associated Press.

The company is in discussions with potential lenders for $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, sources told the Journal.

Christopher Veronda, a spokesman for Eastman Kodak, told ABC News the company had no comment, “as it’s our long-standing policy not to comment on market rumors or speculation.”

If the company does file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it would operate normally and try to sell its 1,100 patents through a court-supervised bankruptcy auction, the Journal reported.

On Tuesday, Kodak disclosed the New York Stock Exchange warned the company’s shares could be delisted unless it gets its finances in order in the next six months.

The company has been called Eastman Kodak Company since 1892 under George Eastman , who tinkered with film and photography machines. In 1888, the word KODAK was registered as a trademark for a camera that could be used by a larger market, according to the company.

I really hope they can get it back together soon.

iPad 3 Coming in February 2012: Citi

By Simon Constable


As if anyone actually doubted it, the iPad 3 will be launched in February 2012, pretty much in line with the launch dates of prior models.

“Several sources have confirmed the timing of this launch and there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining (contrary to some recent press reports),” writes Richard Gardner, in a new report from Citigroup Global Markets.

This should put to rest certain Asian supply chain worries related to floods in Thailand that had put into question the launch date.

The new device will have dramatically better resolution: double the current level, in terms of dpi (dots per inch), he says.

WSJ: Ryan Seacrest May Replace Matt Lauer


NBC Universal is courting Ryan Seacrest as a potential replacement for Matt Lauer on the Today show, the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper says NBC News, Today show, and NBC network executives met with Seacrest on Tuesday about the possibilty of  him joining the morning talker. The discussions with Seacrest include multiple possibilities that might enhance his role within the broader corporate context at Comcast and NBC Universal. Seacrest’s existing deal with Comcast/NBCUniversal expires next year. He serves as host and producer of a daily news show on E! network as well as E!’s red-carpet specials. Seacrest’s prolific TV production company is also based at E! A Seacrest spokeswoman would say only that negotiations with NBC Universal were ongoing.

From Wall Street Journal

The First Yahoo Bids Are Coming In, And They Look Pretty Low

by Matt Rosoff

Yahoo billboard SF

At least two private equity groups placed bids on Yahoo today, and both bids valued the company at more than $20 billion.

A consortium led by Silver Lake bid $16.60 per share for a minority stake, according to Bloomberg. That would value Yahoo around $20.6 billion, or about 6% higher than the company’s share price at market close today.

It’s also on the very low end of the bidding prices that have been floated in the pressover the last couple months.

Microsoft and Andreessen-Horowitz are also part of the Silver Lake group, the report says, although sources told us that Microsoft is still keeping its options open. Microsoft’s main interest in the deal is preserving its search arrangement with Yahoo.

TPG Capital placed a higher bid, but the exact numbers weren’t reported.

Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group is still interested in buying Yahoo to regain control of Yahoo’s 40% stake. It is monitoring the bidding.

Other firms reportedly considering a bid are KKR & Partners, Blackstone, and Thomas H Lee Partners.

Adobe Muse already used by 260,000 developers; gets software update

Summary: Adobe’s new Muse software is still only in beta mode, but the program is being touted as a runaway hit already.

Last month, Adobe introduced Muse, a new program targeted towards graphic designers that serves as an InDesign equivalent for creating websites and publishing websites.

Although the program is still in beta mode, Adobe is pleased with its success thus far as more than 260,000 developers have already downloaded a copy in the first 40 days of release.

Now Adobe is releasing a software update, Muse Beta 3, that includes approximately enough fixes to bugs discovered by Muse users to correspond with each day that Muse has been available.

Many of the improvements are related to performance, including addressing the way in which Muse generates code. For example, these improvements should reduce website load time and data usage by cutting the size of generated HTML and CSS files by up to 60 percent.

For reference, graphic designers can build websites quickly and easily without confining templates or any kind of code input of their own. The pages are written behind the scenes in HTML5 and CSS3.

Twitter Begins Accepting Political Ads

Twitter on Wednesday started accepting political ads and announced a sales team dedicated to the category.


The company ran its first such ad today, a Sponsored Tweet from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. (See below.) Romney is one of a small group of candidates and national party committees that Twitter is working with on a pilot program for the effort. Those partners will also run ads in coming weeks. The ads will be distinguished from other advertising by a purple “Promoted” icon and a Federal Election Commission disclaimer.

Twitter’s new political sales team will be run by Peter Greenberger, who until recently ran political sales for Google.

The 2012 presidential election has gotten under way in earnest. The FEC estimates that candidates for the 2008 presidential election spent $1.8 billion on ads.


The 4TB GoFlex Desk drive will retail for $249.99 and is expected to be available through online retailers within the month. UK pricing has not yet been confirmed. The new drive will be able to hold 2,000 high-definition movies or about one million .mp3 music files.

The drive is the latest in the GoFlex product family launched last year . The new GoFlex Desk represents the line’s first redesign, and it features a sharper “industrial look” with a smaller footprint. The entire line of GoFlex drives will adopt the new industrial design over the next few weeks.

Seagate chose to use a USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) connection on the new drive instead of one that uses the latest USB 3.0 (5Gbit/sec) SuperSpeed specification.

The company does, however, provide a USB 3.0 adapter that also features an illuminated gauge to display available space on the drive

Seagate said in a statement that with USB 3.0 still maturing and Apple now pushing Thunderbolt I/O technology, the adapter made more sense for use with existing desktops and laptops.

The GoFlex Desk comes with pre-loaded backup software that provides automatic, continuous back-ups with encryption for all stored files.

The GoFlex Desk for Mac external drive features both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month.

“Yet another industry first for Seagate, we have reached a new high-capacity in the 3.5-inch hard drive form factor,” Patrick Connolly, general manager of retail products for Seagate, said in a statement.

The GoFlex drives are Windows and Mac OS X compatible and have the flexibility to go between both operating systems. In addition to cross-platform compatibility, the GoFlex Desk drive can also be utilized with the GoFlex Home adapter if an owner chooses to use it as a network drive.