“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:

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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