“Allison, Can you explain what Internet is?”

That’s the punch line of a video that I’ve used frequently in my presentations over the last couple of years.

It’s also the set-up for what I think will be the best Super Bowl ad today.

Until now, most people had not seen it before I showed it to them in my presentation. I typically introduce it by saying we’re going to take the WABAC Machine to 1994, to the set of the TODAY show, and hear Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric discussing the Internet.

After Katie queries Allison, and the crowd laughs knowingly, I generally say something like…

That was just 20 years ago. Bryant and Katie weren’t dummies. They were just encountering something that was unfamiliar. Twitter and other social media platforms use that funny sign, the ‘a with the ring around it’ too. Today you can’t even imagine life without email. And if you’re not already using platforms like Twitter, it won’t be long before they’re just as familiar to you as email is today.

Thanks to the commercial BMW is running in the Super Bowl today, if I continue to use the original video snippet I’ll no longer have the element of surprise. As I write this, the YouTube video already has 9.5 million views. And if last year’s audience is a guide, another 110 million or so will see it this evening.

So I’m going to need to adapt my approach, but hats off to BMW for a creative take-off on some classic footage from the NBC video vault:

A Special Delivery

My colleague Nicole Engler, who works with our Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and its communications, is a great Mayo Clinic employee and a true believer in the power of social media. She’s involved in the leadership of a young professionals group in Rochester that invited me to do a presentation on social media and be part of a panel last July, and it was a tremendous event.

But it was nothing like her blessed event last Thursday. You can see the story below, embedded from her appearance Sunday morning on Today:

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We will all miss Nicole during the next few months as she’s home with Austin, but it’s typical of her work that she would find a way to get national media attention even as she’s going on maternity leave.