It’s amazing how fast two weeks can fly by.

It seems just like yesterday the NFL was still one of the most beloved brands, you could ride the Mantis at Cedar Point and the Browns looked like…well, the Browns. But my how things change.

Sorry for being MIA, but I was in Las Vegas for a tradeshow. And you know what they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Except for this picture of a big inflatable frog at the Wynn:

Ben Frog

Apparently I was in Las Vegas during one of the hottest days of the year, although I’m not sure how you can tell. They all seemed pretty hot. And while I was walking the strip I couldn’t help but think how good an ice bucket challenge would feel. And then that got me thinking about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and how much money it may or may not have raised. And how much water it may or may not have wasted.

Fortunately, I came across this presentation on SlideShare from Jeremiah Owyang that talks about those stats and a lot more. Check it out for yourself – or take a look at some of the stats I think are interesting and just say you read it:

  • 2.4M videos shared on Facebook
  • 1.1M gallons of water used
  • $100M raised in 31 days
  • $2.5M raised during the same period last year

The best part is this adds a level of credibility to all of us in this business that have said for years you cannot top the impact of social conversation. The bad part for everyone in this business? We’re going to be asked many times to try and replicate the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge.


Yes, Surge, everyone’s third favorite Mountain Dew rip-off soft drink is finally available again – after an 11-year hiatus. When it debuted in 1997, I was a different person. I could drink a case of Surge, a 12-pack of soft tacos from Taco Bell and half a pack of brownies my friend used to buy at the store (you know the kind – it looks like a mini cake and the frosting is like a chocolate paste…oh man, it was good). However, I couldn’t drink one Surge today without regretting it for the rest of the day. That’s why I drink beer now.

But, apparently a lot of people are happy. So many in fact that it sold out in one day, on Amazon (the only place you can get it unless you travel to Norway, where it has always been available under the clever alternative name Urge).

But why is it back, you ask? Well, here’s that social media at work again – a Facebook fan page called The Surge Movement made a lot of noise. But I have to say, I’m a little surprised it was ‘only’ 146,000 fans. I would think there’d be more. Don’t get me wrong – I’m encouraged by this. If it only takes 150,000ish fans to affect change, that’s a good thing. I say we make a list and start working on a few other things from the 90s:

  1. The Budweiser frogs
  2. Boyz II Men

Never mind, I’m not sure I can think of enough things from the 90s to bring back. Scratch that.

Personally, I was more of a Kick guy myself. Enjoy the Surge Movement. Whatever form it takes.

Shhh, it's a secret.

Finally, I wrote about Secret a few months ago – the private community network where you can share your inner most fears, thoughts, secrets, desires. (I thought that’s what Facebook was for). It seemed like an interesting concept at the time – a place where people can use social media in a form that a lot of us think social takes anyway – voyeuristically.

But thanks to some very real issues – bullying, suicide, abusive language – brands that decided to jump in are now having to navigate the dark very carefully. Secret, and networks similar to it, have been very strict about protecting their users’ privacy. Great, right? You kind of need to if ‘discretion’ is the whole basis of what you’re offering. However, ironically, that commitment to privacy is also protecting those who are posting abusive content.

You can read more in this great article from AdWeek, which goes into a lot more detail. Personally, I find these networks fascinating – and clearly the next phase of social media as millennials have quickly embraced it. The premise of being social, without being social, is just too interesting to me to pass up.