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Press release from Business Wire

Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials Ranked in Real-Time by the Public on “Brand Bowl”

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>Boston.com and Mullen Host Online Social Media “Party” to Monitor High Profile TV Ads</b></i> </p>

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials Ranked in Real-Time by the Public on “Brand Bowl”14:49 EST Tuesday, January 31, 2012 BOSTON (Business Wire) -- Super Bowl XLVI is less than one week away, and while many are focused on the outcome of the game, many Americans are just as interested in the high-profile TV commercials. Boston.com and Mullen together have launched Brand Bowl 2012, a social media event using Salesforce Radian6 to analyze the Twitter commentary and rate the most popular and disastrous Super Bowl TV commercials. Realizing how social media has changed the way fans enjoy the game, Mullen launched the original Brand Bowl four years ago. Boston.com, one of the nation's largest regional news portals, began hosting the information on their site last year. The virtual event at BrandBowl2012.com features an up-to-the-minute stream of Tweets about Super Bowl commercials to determine which brands are the most and least effective. Last year, over 300,000 Tweets were counted to determine the winner of Brand Bowl 2011. Chrysler finished number one and Cars.com finished at the bottom in last year's rankings. The brands are ranked based on volume (who has the most/least chatter) and sentiment (who has the most/least positive and negative comments). “We're excited to host Brand Bowl again this year with Mullen, and it gives us yet another opportunity to provide our readers with the interactive experience that they've come to expect from Boston.com,” said Ron Agrella, editor of Boston.com. “We aim to not just provide content, but to engage our readers in the public conversation, especially surrounding a significant event like the Super Bowl.” New features this year include: “Head-to-head” statistical breakdowns between brands A “featured tweet” section that highlights funny and insightful tweets from participants Geolocation and gender specific data about tweets A streamlined Brand Bowl mobile experience so users can more easily see the live rankings and Tweet their votes “Advertising is social, and given that Twitter's active user base continues to grow and that armchair advertising critics are an expanding population in social media, we expect to get some outstanding data this year,” said Edward Boches, chief innovation officer at Mullen. “The most savvy brands are recognizing the power of social media and are releasing their commercials before the Super Bowl to build the buzz online, and orchestrating elaborate social media campaigns to maximize the impact of their multi-million dollar investments.” Participation in Brand Bowl is easy. During the game, users can reference a specific commercial or simply include the hashtag #brandbowl in their Tweets to voice their opinions. The Tweets will be streamed live on Boston.com and a new mobile-friendly version of the Brand Bowl site during the game. The single page feature also includes videos of the commercials and lets readers share Tweets, post images, follow conversations and see what other Super Bowl commercial fans are saying – good or bad – about their favorite ads. Post-game, the winners and losers are ranked in these categories: top scores (a combination of volume and popularity), most popular, most volume, and least effective. The Brand Bowl pre-game site is live and a fully-functional version of the site goes live on February 5 at the same address. Boston.com is one of the most visited regional portals in the U.S and is wholly owned by The New York Times Company, a leading global multimedia and information company with 2010 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, About.com and related properties. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment. Mullen is a leading, Ad Age A-List advertising agency, named the fourth most innovative marketing company in America by Fast Company. Mullen is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50151995&lang=enBoston.com:Diane McNulty, 617-929-3339diane.mcnulty@globe.comorMullen:David Swaebe, 978-473-6644dswaebe@mullen.com