Sunnier Side of the Office – February 4, 2019

The group's performance was every bit as thrilling as the game itself.

-Variety, on Maroon 5's Super Bowl Halftime performance

The other big game concert
By: Ben Thomas

It’s post-Super Bowl week, so we could do a wrap-up of the biggest Big Game moment, but we can sum it up with a resounding ¯_(ツ)_/¯. One of the most decidedly mediocre and meme-worthy moments was Maroon 5’s half-time show, which New York Times described as “a performance that was dynamically flat, mushy at the edges, worthy of something much worse than derision: a shrug”.

But there was performance in another big game – arguably the biggest game – this weekend, that had much more positive reviews. On Saturday, Fortnite hosted a live, in-game concert from EDM producer, Marshmello. At the one moment, every one of the millions of Fortnite players were transported to a virtual stage and given a front row seat to the exclusive, ephemeral 10-minute Marshmello set. They were met with stage production worthy of Coachella - custom graphics, holograms, lighting - but without the constraints of things like gravity (which, honestly, is one of my biggest complaints at gigs).

Players could dance along using their avatars, adding interactivity that brought the whole experience closer to actually attending a concert than passively watching. And while most concerts finish after the encore and the obligatory Instagram story, Marshmello’s Fortnite show extended beyond the set with monetized in-game items, rewards and quests.

The concert is another example of the huge – but often untapped – potential of gaming to bring together massive audiences, unique and interactive entertainment, and create a shared, memorable moment that isn’t a shirtless Adam Levine.

Watch it here.
Super Bowl LIII Secrets - How'd they make that? 
By: Cara Orlowski

These insightful tidbits come from our newest hire and head of Business Affairs, Cara Orlowski, who joins us from Intel's Agency Inside were she handled all celebrity negotiations and other brand integrations (NFL Partnerships, etc).  

Amazon Alexa: Harrison Ford debuted in his first commercial (congrats, Amazon!). Previously, he notoriously turned down all commercial work except those in support of non-profit organizations.  

Bud Light/GoT: Right place, right brand, right integration. HBO/Game of Thrones & Bud Light partnered on a spot promoting 'Game of Thrones' final season. Bud Light's current 'GoT' inspired "Dilly Dilly/Medieval Times" campaign was a natural fit for the spot-turned-show-promo (misdirect) and was only possible because HBO and their agency approached the brand; not vice versa. Other items to note about the complexity of a partnership like this airing on the Super Bowl: Navigating the network clearance process must have been tricky given that the Bud Knight died (imagine the arm wrestling between HBO and Bud Light about how graphic that needed to be, what could they get away with on network TV (how loud can you make the "skull crunch sound", the spot featured two advertisers (one as advertiser in the game and one as a show promotion). Additionally, both brands took a PR risk in their collaboration; a) GoT partnering with Bud Light (would the fans look at this as a sell out?) and b) Bud Light killing off the Bud Light Knight (given the graphic nature of GoT as a series could you be offending Bud Light fans or enthrall them?  

Burger King #EATLIKEANDY: Andy Warhol eating a Burger King burger was probably the most intriguing commercial of the Super Bowl. This :45 scene was part of films produced in 1982 called "66 Scenes from America" by Jørgen Leth. The Andy Warhol clip was originally 4:30 long and required approvals from Andy Warhol's estate and foundation and those connected to the director, including his son. Burger King also has rights to air the full 4:30 film online. Interesting fact: Andy Warhol apparently wanted to eat a McDonald's burger because he liked the branding better according to interviews with the director. 

Stella Artois: Carrie Bradshaw and The Dude show that you can always 'Change Up The Usual'.  Rights to "Sex and the City," the character of Carrie Bradshaw, the theme song, and Sarah Jessica Parker were required. Rights to "The Big Lebowski," the Character of Jeff" The Dude" Lebowski, Jeff Bridges, and the song by Bob Dylan, "The Man in Me" were required. We are talking writers, producers, actors, and musicians - all well known having to agree for this spot to happen. No small feat from the eyes of Business Affairs. It was also a fun to see the Dos Equis "The Most Interesting Man" change up his usual drink as well.  

Instagram’s World Record Egg cracks the internet for good
By: Luke Yun

By now, you’ve heard about the egg double-tapped around the world.

A month ago, @world_record_egg posted a picture of an egg on Instagram in a brazen attempt to take the most-liked-Instagram-post crown from Kylie Jenner. It succeeded, then promptly started hatching.

The internet lost its collective mind, as guesses for what’s inside ranged from Kylie Jenner and Tom Brady to universal healthcare and Soulja Boy. So when a post went up Friday teasing a partnership with Hulu, the disappointment was palpable. Of course everything fun and pure had to become tainted by commercialism in 2019.

But in an M. Night Shyamalan twist, the egg revealed a mental-health PSA that aired on Hulu after the Super Bowl. In the spot with nonprofit Mental Health America, the egg shares how it was cracking under the pressure of social fame: "The pressure of social media is getting to me," it says, "If you're struggling too, talk to someone. We got this." The PSA, now also on Instagram, encourages viewers to go to, where you can find mental health resources across the globe.

In a recent New York Times profile, the creators of the egg say that “mental health is the first of several causes that the egg — which they and their fans call Eugene — will come to stand for.” If so, and the causes continue to be positive, we stan good vibes in the form of an egg named Eugene in 2019.

And for those still on the fence, we’ll leave you with the top comment on the spot’s Instagram post:

Hulu to Launch Display Ad Unit in Q2 
By: Arthi Veeraragavan

Streaming content provider, Hulu, has announced a new ad unit that will serve display ads after a viewer pauses a program. 

The “Pause Ad Unit,” will launch in Q2, with Coca Cola and Charmin as the first two test partners. Per the provider’s business model, ads will only be served to ad-supported subscribers. 

Building off the momentum of 2018, where Hulu announced two record highs for the streaming service: reaching 25 million total subscribers and $1.5 billion in ad revenue, Hulu is looking to sustain growth through natural ad breaks versus relying on interruptive commercial breaks to generate revenue. 

While less interruptive units lend for a more natural user experience, the efficacy of static, display ads over video ads will likely need to be proven by test partners, before the format is widely adopted. 
Sunday's Super Bowl was the first one with no touchdowns made by either team in the first three quarters.
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