February 3, 2014: Super Bowl Edition: Super Bowl Ads Have Few Standouts, Live Events Continue to Connect With Viewers, Transit Glitches Delay Football Fans

By Beth Kormanik February 3, 2014, 8:07 AM EST

1. SUPER BOWL ADS HAVE FEW STANDOUTS: Popular subjects such as puppies, Clydesdales, and military heroes dominated the commercials, but critics and regular viewers sharing thoughts on Twitter seemed unmoved by this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads. The best, according to The New Yorker, included Coca-Cola’s multilingual rendition of “America, the Beautiful” and a TurboTax spot that compared watching the Super Bowl when your team isn’t in it to seeing your dream girl attend prom with another guy. Even a Seinfeld “reunion,” which aired at halftime as a promotion for Fox, “had a hard time connecting,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

2. LIVE EVENTS CONTINUE TO CONNECT WITH VIEWERS: The Super Bowl is the biggest example of must-see TV, but other live events continue to draw mass audiences in the age of social media. The New York Times: “Live events—including the N.F.L.’s regular season, the Grammys, the Oscars, and the Golden Globes—have all managed to escape the broad loss of audience in network television. New-media types will posit that second screens fueled by social media have made live events seem all the more urgent, and while that’s true, I think something more primal is at work. At a time of atomization in which we all end up down the hobbit holes of our special interests, big live television fulfills a need to have something, anything, in common.” Many brands tried to capture that energy with social media campaigns that saw Jaguar make fun of Maserati’s TV ad and gibberish tweets from J.C. Penney that sounded like they were coming from a drunk person. Ad Age compiles the best and worst efforts.

3. TRANSPORTATION, NOT WEATHER, WAS BIGGEST SUPER BOWL GLITCH: While worries about polar vortex-like temperatures went away with unseasonably mild temperatures, the game did not come off seamlessly: The first “mass transit Super Bowl” failed as New Jersey transit did not adequately prepare for the crowds, with long lines at security checkpoints to board trains and bottlenecks that required some fans to get emergency medical attention, according to the New York Post.


COAST TO COAST:  FreemanXP, an experiential marketing agency within Freeman, has hired Kim Myhre as senior vice president of international and appointed Mark Fein to senior vice president of strategy.

BOSTON:  Chef Daniel Boulud will take over Asana at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in September.

CHICAGO:  The Chicago Green Wedding Alliance will host Committed, a green wedding showcase, at Greenhouse Loft on February 24.

DETROIT:  Convention bookings and hotel room nights in metro Detroit are up for 2014, according to the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, with 236,000 room nights for 2014 compared to 129,000 in 2013. Metro Detroit will host 12 multiple hotel meetings in 2014, more than double the number in 2013.

LAS VEGAS:  The 13th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tournament, hosted by ARIA Resort & Casino at Shadow Creek, returns to Las Vegas April 3- 6.

The 2014 Great Vegas Festival of Beer, a craft beer festival April 26, is relocating to downtown's Fremont East Entertainment District.

The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas will host former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich Tuesday, where the couple will sign copies of their latest books.

LOS ANGELES: Children Uniting Nations, an organization benefiting children in foster care, will hold its 15th annual fund-raiser and Academy Awards viewing party on March 2 on the grounds of the Warner Beverly Hills estate.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 356-room Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront hotel has finished a $25 million renovation that includes a LEED-certified tower, a new lobby bar and café, a new pool with luxury cabanas, a redesigned beachfront tiki bar, and new indoor-outdoor meeting space. The hotel has about 5,800 square feet of meeting space including a ballroom, boardroom, and event lawn. A grand opening is this week.

A Nobu Hotel will open as a “hotel with a hotel” within the Eden Roc Miami Beach, the companies announced, similar to the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Press release:

South Florida’s 2013 Industry Holiday Party, an annual effort by event and hospitality companies, donated $7,000 each to Feeding South Florida and to Gilda’s Club.

NEW YORK:  Park Kitchen, a contemporary American restaurant, has opened at the Park Central Hotel under executive chef Nathaniel Eckhaus, formerly of Eleven Madison Park and Union Square Events. The venue is part of the hotel’s just-finished multimillion-dollar renovation by Jeffrey Beers International.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  The Wedding Company has partnered up with Hudson's Bay and Oliver Bonacini Events to create a boutique-style wedding show called the Wedding Room. The event will take place February 22 and 23 at the Arcadian. Newswire:

WASHINGTON:  The National Cherry Blossom Festival announced that Events DC will present the the festival parade, allowing the April 12 event to be nationally syndicated on television.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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