If you don’t live under a rock (and you probably don’t if you’re reading this blog) you’ve most likely seen, or at least heard, about last Sunday’s super bowl ads. They’ve been discussed, analyzed, ranked and listicle-d to death at this point, so we’ll spare you our own dissertation. You can check out some other people’s thoughts here and here. There were no great real-time social opportunities, like the infamous Oreo moment of 2013 but cross-brand interactions seemed to be a big trend this year, and kept a steady stream of buzz.


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Last week Snapchat unveiled a new feature with their latest update; a branded content hub called Discover. Each branded “channel” will feature a set of stories developed with the Snapchat audience in mind; and will disappear every 24 hours, to be replaced with all new content. This feature is a huge step for Snapchat. The company is valued at $10 billion, and up until now it hasn’t been clear how Snapchat could every feasibly make money. Brands will soon be able to purchase ad space within the Discover content; whether the content itself resonates with Snapchat’s user base remains to be seen.

Uber is making their own foray into new ventures. The car-hailing service has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to form the “Uber Advanced Technologies Center”. This partnership will be focused on the research and development of driverless cars and mapping technology. This development would put Uber in direct competition with one of their big sponsors, Google. So far, Google has been at the forefront of driverless car technology. Rumor has it that Google has been considering developing their own ride-hailing service to supplement the driverless car developments, and it seems to have set the two companies totally at odds. It will be interesting to see how it all goes down.