Trends Roundup: 2015 Super Bowl Ads


On February 1, people all across the country will come together to watch the Seattle Seahawks face the New England Patriots during the 2015 Super Bowl. While The Motherhood team is excited for the camaraderie and great food that accompanies most Super Bowl parties, we’re most looking forward to seeing how brands execute their related ad campaigns this year.

Here are three Super Bowl advertising trends and predictions we’ve been seeing this week:


Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons – atTRAZIONE MOTORI

1. Auto brands bow out. 

Auto brands have always filled the Super Bowl advertising spots, but not this year. Audi and sibling brand Volkswagen, as well as General Motors, Lincoln, Ford, Jaguar, Honda and Acura, have announced they won’t be airing a Super Bowl commercial this year. For Audi, this will be the first time in seven years that they keep themselves on the bench!

You’ll still see at least six automakers during game-day commercial breaks, but that’s a significant decrease from the 11 auto brand commercials that appeared last year. Right now, the only explanation for the sudden change is the cost of a 30-second ad spot: $4.5 million. Forbes points out that auto brands have a harder time standing out among other other auto brands and rarely see results worth the price tag of a Super Bowl ad.


Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons – Ognian Mladenov

2. Hashtags!

In 2012, only seven percent of Super Bowl ads contained a hashtag. That percentage jumped to 50 percent in 2013 and 57 percent in 2014. We can only expect the number will continue to increase as brands attempt to reach the widest audience possible via social media. Some are predicting that up to 75 percent of commercials will contain a hashtag in 2015 Super Bowl ads.

3. Ads that live on beyond the 30-second screen time.

Forbes is also predicting that ”many advertisers have woken up to the fact that a spot on the Super Bowl is not effective as a standalone effort,” and are therefore developing campaigns that can be accessed before or after the commercial’s airing.

Budweiser is one example: The company built a life-size Pac-Man maze in Los Angeles’ Fashion District that will be seen in its Super Bowl ad this year. Another bubbly brainchild comes from PepsiCo and their filming of a reality show video series called “Game Day Grub Match.”

With hashtags reaching ubiquitous status, brands are smart to increase the lifespan of their hashtag beyond Super Bowl Sunday. Brands that air Super Bowl ads have invested heavily in their creative concepts, so getting more mileage out of them with pre- and post-game extensions is a worthwhile strategy to sustain engagement among consumers.

The Motherhood team is looking forward to watching Super Bowl 2015, as well as paying attention to how brands aim to make a big splash on game day!

Top Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons – Parker Anderson

New Year’s Resolutions You Can Use

team meeting

Earlier this week, The Motherhood team members from across the country – Seattle, St. Louis and New York – met at our new headquarters in Pittsburgh to discuss planning and goals for 2015. Along the way, we identified a few “New Year’s Resolutions” – action items both large and small to help our company make strides throughout the year.

Here are three examples that could be beneficial for you, too:

Dust off neglected social media accounts.

Although The Motherhood has hosted a profile on LinkedIn for many years, it always has been overlooked in favor of building our presence on Facebook and Twitter. That will change in 2015 as we expand our focus and tidy up our social media platforms across the board. Our starting point for review and changes has been Ragan’s suggestions for 21 steps to a perfect LinkedIn profile. Some of our favorite advice:


1. Your headline should be catchy, and include key words and phrases that you would want to turn up in Google search results.
  • Our suggestion – like everything online these days, you need to maximize for SEO! Think about what your desired audience might be searching when they’re looking for someone like you.
2. Write in first person.
  • Our suggestion – avoid industry jargon that will make your readers’ eyes glaze over. Be informal and conversational. This isn’t a resume, it’s social media.
3. At least 500 connections. Social proof is important online. It leads to credibility and authority on the Web.
  • Our suggestion – start with manageable chunks, such as a goal of adding 30 people by the end of the month, and go from there.
4. Use a professional photo.
  • Our suggestion – artsy pics and selfies have their place on Facebook and Instagram, but encourage your employees to maintain more professional profiles on LinkedIn. You might consider using a square design of your logo for the company profile photo, as we have.
5. Daily status updates to provide value to your network. Share your latest blog post, presentation or content worth passing along.
  • Our suggestion – you don’t need to spread yourself too thin if you prefer to focus on other social networks, but start with a goal of sharing one LinkedIn post each week and go from there.

Find new ways to connect efficiently.

One of our major projects for 2015 involves finalizing a proprietary database and project tracker we’ve been working to build to our exact specifications – from the ground up – for months. The end goal is to create a system that centralizes and consolidates our communications with clients, employees and blogger partners to maximize everyone’s time.

You don’t need to build your own system to find ways to connect more efficiently, however. You could start simply by cleaning up your emails, using these 10 tips from The Muse.

Stay tuned for more information about our proprietary database when we roll out the new system this year!

Evaluate online tools that could help improve your performance.

The Motherhood’s structure is highly virtual, and with team members in four different cities, we do plenty of work in the cloud. There are some fantastic tools available to facilitate this structure, and we use many of them. In 2015, we plan to work on identifying additional resources that could prove useful in revamping our website, reporting campaign results to clients and more. Here are a few we’re considering:


1. Rebel Mouse: Aggregate content online in an attractive, personalized format, creating one central hub of images, videos, status updates and more ­­– helping to build communities and tell stories through social, mobile and web platforms. In other words, it does all the heavy lifting of populating and updating your web pages with great content.


2. Buzz Sumo: Analyze top-performing content across social channels – within your industry, for your own brand or company, or among competitors. We love the idea of being able to identify the most successful, engaging content at a glance.


3. PowToon: Free method of creating animated videos and presentations. With Powtoon, you can create and edit video clips and upload straight to YouTube or to your computer to distribute as you like. Video has become a popular request among our clients, and PowToon is a fun twist on the traditional format.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on what we’ve shared, feel free to leave them in the comments! We would love to hear your personal or business resolutions for 2015.

The Motherhood Helps Kick Off #Action2015 Today


2015 is a big year for a few reasons. Not only do I have a 15 year old in ’15, but this year marks the end of the first UN Millennium Development Goals – the most successful global anti-poverty effort in history – and the creation of the next set of goals.

So, how great that the UN and the ONE Campaign brought in a group of 15 year olds to celebrate! All born in 2000 when the first MDGs were created, and all kids who will inherit the world in 2030, the target date for the next set of goals, they filmed a video with the UN Secretary General, kicking off #Action2015 today (my daughter Erin is sitting front right):

#Action2015 is mobilizing the support of young people around the world to empower them to create one vision for their generation to end poverty, inequality and climate change.

You might like this video as well -Your World, Your Choice - also published today for #Action2015:

Sign up for #Action2015 here.

An Office-warming with The Motherhood’s Pittsburgh partners

Over the weekend, the team at The Motherhood officially unveiled our new office location to our families and a small group of Pittsburghers who have made incredible contributions to our business. Some have worked with us for years, and some for just a few months, but we are equally grateful for their wisdom, insights, creativity and interest in the world of social media marketing. Thank you to everyone who attended!


The Motherhood’s newest addition – our art director, Stretch Carter (center), with his girlfriend Dora (left), along with longtime local supporters of The Motherhood Katie Heldstab (right) and her wife Christa Puskarich, founders of Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches.


From left, The Motherhood’s Brittnee Hammonds, local supporter Katie Heldstab of Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches, The Motherhood co-founder Cooper Munroe and attorney Erin Farabaugh of Houson Harbaugh.


The Motherhood’s Sarah O’Rourke, Serena Mounts and Nicole Paladin with Serena’s husband Jimmy.


The Motherhood’s Brittnee Hammonds and Brittney Coburn with Brittney’s husband Rob.


The Motherhood’s Kayla Geahry with her husband Stephen.

Not pictured are Emily McKhann, and also Bob Stein, Executive Director, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and Kahlianne Jones, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. They have done tremendous work in partnership with The Motherhood and brought our business to new heights, and we thank them, too.

We’re looking forward to a productive 2015!

Kicking off 2015 with exciting Twitter parties this week!

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We had some amazing conversations with you during our Twitter parties in 2014 at The Motherhood, and we are so excited to start off 2015 with another packed week of chats! Here’s all the info you need to know to join us!


Tuesday, Jan. 13 @ 1 p.m. ET

The much-anticipated Super Bowl is right around the corner, and Naturally Fresh® wants to show you how to put a fresh twist on your Game Day snacks! Join the party to learn recipes and tips using Naturally Fresh® homemade-tasting dressings and dips – with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives!

Prizes! We’ll be giving away five prize packs that include a $25 Visa gift card and coupons for a free 12-ounce bottle of Naturally Fresh® dressing during the party to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.


Thursday, Jan. 15 @ 12 p.m. ET

Infertility is a serious and heartbreaking issue in the United States – 1 in every 6 couples have difficulty conceiving. That’s why we are looking forward to talking about the The Stork OTC by Rinovum – an innovative new option that can help couples who are trying to get pregnant. Join the Twitter chat to learn more about the at-home device that combines innovative technology with an established conception technique to help couples get pregnant. The Stork OTC is FDA-cleared for home-use without a prescription and is a available at CVS/pharmacy and online!

Prizes! We’ll be giving away five prizes to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia Q’s correctly. Each prize is a $50 CVS gift card. Prizes are limited to U.S. participants only.

The Motherhood’s Pittsburgh HQ has a new location!

The year 2015 is bringing many exciting changes to The Motherhood – including a new building for our Pittsburgh office! We are thrilled to announce the move and share a few pictures. Stay tuned for additional photo dispatches on the blog and from @theMotherhood on Twitter.

Our new company headquarters can now be found in Sharpsburg, PA, in the old Fort Pitt Brewing Company building. In the early 1900s, this brewery was the leader in the local beer market, and the brand name is still remembered by Pittsburgh natives today. We love that we work from a building that has a such a rich history and tie to our city’s roots.

Welcome to the new office!

office door

Our entry wall proudly announces that we’ve moved in:

office wall

The brewery’s motto, “Fort Pitt, That’s It!” remains on our front lobby floor:

ft. pitt

One hundred years ago, these offices were filled with the (likely all-male) executives of the brewing company, and now the space is occupied by a company owned and operated by women. What a difference a century makes:

office entry

Next week the whole team will be together to celebrate the new office space and discuss a few changes for The Motherhood in the New Year. We look forward to sharing additional news!

Congratulations #GivingTuesday!

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 11.09.11 AM

#GivingTuesday – the global day of giving back - was a huge success in December 2014, as you can see from the new infographic below highlighting the day’s fantastic impact.

The Motherhood loves #GivingTuesday and we are thrilled that so many bloggers in our network joined the effort.  Thank you all!

We’re sending huge congratulations to the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y for launching #GivingTuesday and making it the nationwide movement it’s become!  Thank you for inviting The Motherhood to help with social media outreach every year since #GivingTuesday launched in 2011.



Happy Holidays from The Motherhood!

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons- William Follett

“May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.” - Mary Anne Radmacher

Another holiday season is upon us, and we at The Motherhood are excited to spend quality time with our family and friends! Whether you’re still shopping, wrapping presents or preparing a holiday dinner, don’t forget to take a break and enjoy this wonderful time of year!

Warmest holiday wishes from our families to yours, and a Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons- William Follett

Where Are Germs Hiding in Your House?


With all the festivities that come with the holidays, no one wants to be stuck in bed battling a cold or the flu! That’s why Clorox®, The Motherhood and a team of germ-fighting bloggers recently shared the icky truth about where bacteria and viruses hide, and tips on how to stay healthy through the season!

The Clorox Company and global public health organization NSF International conducted a study in homes of parents with young children, and discovered that germs hang out in unexpected places! More than half of parents surveyed said they felt the kitchen countertop was the surface they needed to clean most often. Yet the study results found that four times as many households had bathroom sinks that were germier than kitchen countertops. The majority of parents surveyed also ranked the kitchen drawer knob as the germiest surface, but in reality, other spots around the home – such as the kitchen countertop, bathroom sink and bathroom faucet handle – harbored more germs and viruses. Check out this #GermsStick video for other findings you might be surprised to see.

Our bloggers used #GermsStick stickers to show the germy hot spots that bacteria and viruses were found – and as a reminder for where to disinfect!

CloroxLaurie, Guessing All the Way

Clorox 2

Lori, A Day in the Motherhood

So how can you keep germs at bay in your house this season? Read on for some tips, and visit for more information and fun activities to share with your family!

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), viruses such as Influenza and Enterovirus spread through close contact with an infected person or by touching contaminated surfaces then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
  • To prevent the spread of germs in your home, the CDC recommends disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is sick. Parents can use an EPA-registered disinfectant, like Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, to kill 99.9 percent of germs* that can live on hard non-porous surfaces for up to 48 hours.
  • Along with disinfecting germ hot spots, parents can help keep their families healthier by taking the same prevention steps recommended every year, including:
    • Get Vaccinated: Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in flu prevention. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine each year to protect against the flu.
    • Stay Home When Sick: If possible, keep kids home from school when they are sick to help prevent teachers and classmates from catching their illness.
    • Sing & Scrub: Make sure kids wash their hands the right way. They should wash hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
    • Do the Elbow Cough: Teach kids to cough and sneeze into elbows instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs by touch.

*Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Influenza A virus.

#MakeWonder: Nurturing Creativity through Play

Kids controlling robot - Legos

With the holiday break just days away, children will soon swap schoolwork for fun at home – but the opportunities to learn don’t have to stop!

It’s been said that play is the work of childhood, and Wonder Workshop is taking this idea to an amazing new level.

With technology playing such an integral role in our world, Wonder Workshop – the maker of Dash & Dot - is engineering smart, new ways to take children beyond the screen and empowering them to learn, play and create joy.

The Motherhood team took a walk down memory lane and recalled some of the ways we delighted in using our imaginations as children and turned everyday objects into something extraordinary:

Brittnee: My cousins and I created and performed a puppet show for our family based on whatever holiday or occasion we were celebrating. With many of us participating, it was one of my first memories of working together with a group of people on a common goal – a performance for the whole family!

Brittney: I loved rounding up my neighborhood friends to create plays and musicals! We would create a script and choreography (music provided via cassette tape), spend a few days rehearsing, design and print flyers to promote the play and then put on our performance for a neighborhood audience. 

Erin: As kids, my brother and I could find magic in everyday objects and even trash: The laundry basket became a rocket ship, a refrigerator box filled with styrofoam peanuts became a certain rich cartoon duck’s money bin and our swing set in the backyard was a giant pirate ship. Our imaginations took us everywhere.

Kayla: I remember making homemade play dough with my mom when I was younger. I learned how to do it at school and was so excited I came home and begged my mom to help me make it again! It was one of our favorite things to do and I loved to make different colors, depending on my mood.

Nicole: When my brother and I were younger we used to make art out of ANYTHING. We would find smooth rocks and large leaves from outside and paint on them all sorts of colors and designs.

Sarah: I always loved building different types of buildings or houses with Lincoln Logs & Legos! I would try to “rebuild” places like my house and sometimes buildings like the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in downtown Chicago!

Serena: My two cousins and I started a recurring newspaper called “The Triple ‘S’ Post” (our first names all start with ‘S’) and distributed it to our families. We were each in charge of different sections: comics, sports, weather, wanted ads, even a gossip column! We found a few copies recently and showed my nieces and nephews, who are around the age we were when we wrote them. They loved the idea so much that they’ve started a similar paper themselves!

For more on how you can discover new ways for your children to play and learn, visit

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