So why are you watching Super Bowl LI? The game? The commercials? Lady Gaga? Just want to fit in? Well you’re in luck. 2017 has already been full of surprises and with Super Bowl LI just around the corner here are some things we can expect. The Super Bowl has evolved from a championship game between the two best teams in the league into one of the world’s largest marketing events. Not only have prices increased exponentially to air advertisement, but the types of ads are also ever evolving. We currently live in a world where if something is not talked about or posted on social media, it might as well have never happened. With a constantly changing world it’s hard to know what to expect, so here is your guide to everything you need to know about Super Bowl LI with the exception of the actual game.
As one would expect, prices have increased from $4.8 million to $5 million for a “30 second ad” from 2016. On top of the initial price companies can plan to pay at least a million or more to market the ad effectively. With “80 national commercial slots” available, we can expect to see a lot of familiar companies as well as some new faces. Companies such as KFC are airing their first ever commercial during the Super Bowl. Other companies such as Doritos, a long time Super Bowl contributor, is not airing an ad for the first time in ten years. We can assume to see many familiar faces such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audi, GoDaddy, Intel, P&G, and others big name companies.
Super Bowl ads are notorious for taking the next step in creativity and thinking outside the box, just think about last years “Puppy Monkey Baby” ad by Mountain Dew. This year Snickers is not only taking their ad to the next level, they are bringing it to you live. Snickers will be airing the “first ever live TV ad” during Super Bowl LI. The ad will be performed and broadcasted during the first commercial in the third quarter. If live ads are not enough, what about virtual reality? Super Bowl organizers have partnered with NASA in creating a VR experience unique to the event. Individuals taking part in the activities surrounding Super Bowl Sunday have the opportunity to “visit Mars via VR“.
Super Bowl LI is already being referred to by some as the “Toilet Bowl“, and no it’s not because the teams are garbage. When thinking about Super Bowl ads most think of cars, beers, food, and more cars. 2017 took a different approach. This year is the first year ever that four household brands will be airing during the Super Bowl, reinforcing how surprising 2017 has already been. A not so surprising fact about Super Bowl LI is the “effect social media will have on the event“. Airing the actual commercial is only part of the marketing. The impressions, posts, conversations via Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Youtube are what marketers are really looking for to create long term connections with the potential customers.
With that being said, we hope you have a splendid Sunday and let us know how you feel about the game in the comments below!
Super Bowl LI Photo via Wikipedia
Puppy Monkey Baby Photo via Ron White Design
Toilet Bowl Photo via The Malcolm Auld Blog
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music nonstop on my morning commute, in the office, and well everywhere in between. One song in particular has struck my fancy; aren’t you curious as to what it is? Alright, no need to whine, Santa is watching after all – It’s Andy William’s “Happy Holiday” of course, an anthem to all things merry! My version differs, for it goes a little something like this:
We have a big, fun FLIRTcasting up on the blog
With lots of activities for you and for me
So leave a comment or like for good ole’ FLIRT
Written on social media
Pretty catchy, right? Keep on reading to see how many winter activities you’ve accomplished this holiday season!
Grab your scarf, mittens, puffer jacket, and hand-warmers for caroling at the Cloud Gate – This Friday (12/16) from 6-7PM! You don’t have to be gracious singer; you just simply have to enjoy spreading some holiday cheer alongside Chicago’s local choral groups. Perhaps even Mr. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance, delighting the inner child in all of us. Afterwards, feel free to take a twirl on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park equipped with frosty views of the bean and Chicago’s staggering 69-foot Norway Spruce Christmas Tree.
Deck the zoo with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights in Brookfield’s 35th annual Holiday Magic. See the enchantment zoo-wide all month long and enjoy multiple activities including a 41-foot talking tree, model train display, Christmas carolers, ice carvers, and photos with Santa and the Mrs. If all of that holiday cheer has yet to woo you, you also get to sing to the reindeer, big cats, and bears, oh my! “See the lights, Feel the Magic, Continue the Tradition” at Brookfield Zoo.
Finish Christmas Shopping
Bake Christmas Cookies
Enjoy Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest!
Add Chicago’s biggest indoor winter playground to your weekend to-do list! Why not bring the whole family and enjoy 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, 15-foot snow tubing hills, and the Chicago Blackhawk’s ice skating rink. It’s a great way to stay warm and toasty hidden away from the Chicago cold; yet, still enjoy Father Winter’s glorious activities!
Let’s be real, who hasn’t had visions of sugar plums dance in their heads? Whether you have or haven’t, go buy your tickets to Joffrey’s new Nutcracker, performing all month long at the Auditorium Theatre. This reimagined ballet with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon celebrates Chicago’s mysterious 1893 World’s Fair through the playful eyes of a child, an electrifying spin on the classic fairy tale about a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets.
Mm…do you smell the inviting aromas of sausages, Strudel, and Glühwein, a traditional German holiday market hot spiced wine? Why, that’s enough to please the pallet and warm the soul, especially in the North Chicago Pole. Check out Chicago’s largest open-air market inspired by a Nuremberg, Germany market that was founded way back in 1545. This special holiday exposition brings cherished German and European traditions whilst welcoming an international flair and new cultures each and every year. After indulging in the large assortment of savory food, drinks, and treats, complete your shopping experience by meeting and greeting the other vendors. Perhaps you might even come home with a few cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and hand-painted ornaments!
New Year’s Eve Festivities
2017 is just two weeks away! With that being said, have you made plans to ring in the New Year? Chi-Town Rising embarks on its second annual celebration along the Chicago Riverfront between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. This year’s party will feature activities on the Chicago Cultural Mile, live entertainment, and of course a dazzling fireworks display alongside the beautiful Chicago River courtesy of Navy Pier! The countdown will commence with the Rising Star ascending 36 stories up above the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s West Tower, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to the party, NBC 5 will be broadcasting the event live.
Why not finish this off with a song and dance? Check back next year for another edition of FLIRTcasting!
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you and luck in Q1 2017!
Millennium Park’s Autumn Blaze Maples and Homestead Elms are beginning to lose their warm green hues. A collection of spectacular-colored crimson, orange, and sunglow yellow paint the sidewalk with expressions of fall. The harvest is upon us, now we can cherish the last leg of produce available at farmer’s markets and of course devour everything artificially pumpkin flavored. Ah, it’s finally Autumn. The weather may be cooling off, but there are still many events and commemorations to enjoy. Without further ado we present, Fall Festivals in Chicago:
On Sunday October 9, 45,000 participants will embark on a 26.2 mile journey across Chicago’s best known neighborhoods. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the race that raises millions for charities like Advocate Health Care, American Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though it is too late to sign up for this wonderful event, you can cheer on racers at Grant Park at 8AM, Sunday morning.
It’s the best time of the year to go to museums! For eleven days this month, Illinois residents can get up to 25% off admissions at Chicago’s best cultural institutions. This year’s museum week runs from October 13 through October 23. Other than the BIG 5 (Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute,) there are many other institutions that provide a spectacular experience for you and your family.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum located just north of Chicago. This Halloween event will showcase 1000 hand-carved pumpkins, some with Chicago icons, classic Halloween characters, garden “monsters,” and artwork representing Día de los Muertos. Check it out, October 20 through 23. (Note: you might also encounter zombies and other dangerous creatures along the pathway)
Join us for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2nd annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 22. Family-friendly festivities begin at 2PM in Millennium Park, Grant Park, and George Solti Garden. Enjoy an afternoon full of mask-making workshops, acrobatic performances, a children’s costume parade, and Chicago’s Longest All Souls Train on the Van Buren Bridge between Michigan Avenue and Columbus. End the celebration with The Halloween Gathering Spectacle from 6–8PM. Be amazed by an electric procession jam-packed with ghosts, ghouls, artists, and 13 new Creative Spirit Fellows. Perhaps you might even encounter a couple of FLIRTies working, and if you do, come say boo!
The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual event organized by Cinema/Chicago. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival will be held at AMC River East 21 from October 13 to October 27. This event showcases films from around the world that were previously unavailable in Chicago. Viewers will also have the chance to meet directors, producers, writers, and cast members.
Monday, October 31 marks the 20th birthday of Boystown’s Halloween Parade. Participation is free, but registration is required to partake in the procession and costume contest. Brace yourself for an extravaganza of weird, wild, and spooky costumes, kids, and pets, oh my! The event begins at 6PM and spans across Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. Remember to get a little creative with your costume because you’ll be competing against the best of the best!
If all else fails, you can always visit a pumpkin patch to find the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (oops, er…we mean loyal readers). Take a day trip outside of the city to Goebbert’s, Sonny Acres, or Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, just to name a few! Who could say no to a day filled with apple cider donuts and hayrides? Certainly not the FLIRTies!
The first contemporary international Olympic Games took place 120 years ago. The competitors were amateurs, the fields were rugged, and the rules were impressionable. Though technology, athletes, and resources have evolved, the mission is still the same: Every four years the world comes together for 16 days to support professional athletes and their endeavors to collect medals for their home country. However, in this day and age wouldn’t you think it’s time the Olympics enters the digital world?
Even though we can get news and results from various sources, watching it live is still the most exciting and rewarding way to engage with the games and your country. In the United States, NBC is the only commercial network that has the licensed right to stream the Olympics, but only selected events were broadcasted. People who were interested in the other events needed to go online to NBC’s website or use the app to watch them, but a cable subscription is required. For those who don’t have a cable subscription, it is nearly impossible to watch live streamings.
This year’s games in Rio, NBC averaged 27.9 million viewers for the first nine nights. Though it may seem significant, it’s actually a 15.5% overall drop and a 30% drop among viewers age 18-34. Why is this happening?
Well, most people don’t watch “live” TV, at least not in the conventional sense. According to a study done by The New York Times on media consumption, viewers ages 18 to 34 commonly report they use streaming sites to catch up on missed scheduled episodes. This is due to the fact that we are often out and about during peak TV-viewing hours; therefore, miss out on traditional “live” broadcasting.
Don’t confuse this notion with the idea that we don’t want live TV—we definitely do, but we want the opportunity and freedom to watch television without a TV. Cable is still the dominant mode of TV delivery for all age groups, but for young adults ages 18 to 34, nearly a fifth of them don’t subscribe to cable services and are content with connecting their TV to the internet or using antennas for broadcast.
With so many viewing opportunities available, who could blame us for shifting our streaming interests?
When you watch Simone Biles in women’s vault, it makes you want to (and believe you can do) a handspring, double aerial off of your couch. Then explain to your cat why you didn’t land it…and then remind yourself that you don’t owe your cat any explanations. People want to bring live television with them wherever they go, whenever they go. For us it’s about mobility, and socializing with others while Snapchatting, Tweeting, status-updating, and Instagramming about the games.
In essence, we don’t want to spend time and money on a television subscription, when we can rarely allot time to remaining stationary, watching TV. People are stealthy and undetected—quickly abandoning the TV landscape and dismissing what was once known as “Prime Time.” We look to YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Amazon Prime, really anywhere online for live streaming capabilities.
The Olympic Games unite all people and build bridges between all cultures. To spread this idea, people should have easy access to live streamings of the games. Perhaps someday you will find NBC’s monopoly on the Olympics released, and media like YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, and Amazon Prime capable of live streaming.
(And well, because this doesn’t get old, here’s our favorite Olympic shot of Michael Phelps)
Flint, Joe, and Suzanne Vranica. “NBC’s Ratings for Rio Olympics Fall Behind London.” The Wall Street Journal (n.d.): n. pag. 14 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Lynch, Jason. “How Millennials Consume TV Depends on Which Stage of Life They’re In Nielsen Report Examines the Demo’s Viewing Habits.” Adweek (n.d.): n. page. 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Steele, Emily, and Bill Marsh. “Millennials and Cutting the Cord.” The New York Times. N.p., 3 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Being in the cold and windy city of Chicago, one thing all of us at FLIRT always look forward to is summer! Between the many festivals, beautiful beaches, and outdoor events, it’s rather easy to find ways to stay busy in the sunshine. As a team we try to make the most of the season, even when we have to spend days in the office. We’ve taken boat trips on Lake Michigan, attended White Sox games, and we try to eat lunch outside as often as we can whether it be on our rooftop or across the street in Millenium Park. Besides our outings with the office, Chicago summers are also a blast for family, friends, and even solo outings. Here’s the FLIRT guide to making the most of the summer in Chicago:
Being in the Midwest, typically people don’t think of Chicago as having beaches. Contrary to their belief we have lots of beaches that are brimming with beauty! There’s a different beach for whatever activity you’re looking for. Whether it’s volleyball, taking the dogs out, or just getting some sun, there’s the perfect place for every beach lover out there. Follow this guide to find exactly the beach fits your day the best.
For any big city, and many small ones as well, summer is the opportune time to emerge yourself into the local music scene. Besides just your big name music festivals like Lollapalooza or North Coast, there are less expensive and more versatile selections of music to hear all around the city. Check out this list for an amazing selection of music to experience this summer.
I’ve mentioned before how we at FLIRT love food, but seriously, the FLIRT family consists of a big group of foodies. So if your anything like us, coming across a delicious food truck on a beautiful summer outing is more than blissful. Here you can track your favorite food trucks to see where they’re going to be, when, and what’s on the daily menu.
Besides just music, during the summer you can find all sorts of festivals that take over the streets of Chicago. Whether it’s art, food, or a cultural event, street festivals are flowing with variety around this gorgeous city. If you need a street festival survival guide, check out this blog by our very own Mae Quach.
Who doesn’t love a good movie night? The only thing better than cuddling up on your couch to watch one of your classic favorites, is gathering outside on a chilly summer night with all of your fellow Chicagoans. Every summer, The Millenium Park Film Series takes place in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and shows a movie every Tuesday night. So pack a picnic dinner, and grab your friends and family, because this is an ideal fun and free summer activity. Check out this list for the movie schedule.