Every 2018 Super Bowl ad, from best to worst

In the Ad Bowl accompanying Super Bowl LII, there were some surprises this year: A car company decided it was okay to use a Martin Luther King Jr. speech to sell its trucks. Budweiser left the Clydesdales out for the first time in almost two decades, and a spate of spots touted companies’ philanthropic efforts. That’s a shift from the sharp political tone of some ads last year. But there were still celebrities aplenty – Chris Pratt, Cardi B, even Michael Jackson footage – and spots using physical comedy to try to grab viewers by their short attention spans.Here are our rankings of the best, the worst and the so-so:Tide, ABig Detergent absolutely nails it in a spot that’s not only front-to-back engaging but also manages to co-opt all the other ads people paid $5 million or more to air. Regular-guy “Stranger Things” star David Harbour opens in a car in the McConaughey pitchman position. “Typical Super Bowl car ad?” Harbour asks. No. Suddenly he’s in a bar as a bottle crashes to the floor: “Hilarious beer ad?” Nope. “It’s a Tide ad,” we learn, because the guy working under a car has a dirty face but a clean shirt. And it goes on, false-starting a recognizable beach-based beverage ad and more. So, says Harbour, “Does this make every ad a Tide ad? Watch and see.” Note perfect.Tide, AAfter introducing “It’s a Tide ad,” the detergent company nails it again -- as it will continue to do in future short continuations of the concept. Here, the Old Spice guy is back on the horse, saying “Hello again, ladies.” But instead of diamonds, a Tide bottle materializes in his hand. “I”m in a Tide ad,” he says. David Harbour is on the back of his extra-long horse. “Get off my horse,” says Old Spice guy. “Tide ad,” says Harbour. The Old Spice whistle plays. Once again, note perfect.“The Voice,” Continue Reading

American Airlines Group (AAL) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Image source: The Motley Fool. American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Jan. 25, 2018 8:30 a.m. ET Contents: Prepared Remarks Questions and Answers Call Participants Prepared Remarks: Operator Please stand by, we're about to begin. Good morning and welcome to the American Airlines Group Fourth-Quarter 2017 Earnings Call. Today's call is being recorded. At this time all lines are in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. To signal for a question or comment during that time, please press *1 on your telephone keypad. And now, I'd like to turn the conference over to your moderator, Managing Director of Investor Relations Mr. Dan Cravens. Please go ahead, sir. Dan Cravens -- Managing Director of Investor Relations Thanks, Alan, and good morning, everyone, and welcome to the American Airlines Group fourth-quarter 2017 earnings conference call. In the room with us this morning is Doug Parker, our chairman and CEO; Robert Isom, president; and Derek Kerr, our chief financial officer. Also in the room with us for our Q&A session is Elise Eberwein, our EVP of people and communications; Maya Leibman, our chief information officer; Steve Johnson, our EVP of corporate affairs; and Don Casey, our senior vice president of revenue management. We're going to start the call today with Doug, and he'll provide an overview of financial results. Derek will then walk us through the details on the fourth quarter and provide some additional information on our 2018 guidance. Robert will then follow with commentary on the operational performance and revenue environment. And then after we hear from those comments, we'll open the call for analysts' questions and, lastly, questions from the media. To get in as many questions as possible, please limit yourself to one question and a follow-up. 10 stocks we like better than American Airlines Group When investing geniuses David Continue Reading

It’s been a wild year for travel. What’s ahead for 2018?

Travel bans. Shootings. Viral passenger videos. No one will forget the past year in travel. How could they? But what does it all mean for your 2018 trips? “These are interesting times,” says Patricia Schultz, author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” The year’s watershed moments included a series of controversial travel bans, a mass shooting in one of America’s top tourist destinations and the expulsion of an airline passenger captured on video. At the same time, several largely unnoticed events, mostly happening behind the scenes, promise to exert an equally powerful influence on your travel plans next year. Bottom line: Travelers will need to be more vigilant in 2018 than ever. The year started with a series of travel bans and restrictions imposed by the new presidential administration. While these didn’t affect many American travelers — currently, they only apply to incoming visitors from eight countries, including Iran, North Korea and Venezuela — they created aftershocks that may be felt for years to come. Americans traveling abroad say that they are being taken to task for U.S. foreign policy shifts, which can lead to uncomfortable conversations and confrontations. “I find myself apologizing for our president everywhere I go out of the country,” says Wendy Lewis, who edits a beauty website and is a frequent traveler. “It is truly embarrassing.” Nonetheless, the political situation at home has prompted some Americans to go abroad, industry observers say. “The nonstop, divisive and out-of-control political news cycle in the U.S. did wonders for demand in international travel,” says Greg Geronemus, the co-chief executive of SmarTours, a New York tour operator. “People needed to take a break from the negativity.” Expect that trend to continue in 2018. The terrorist attack in Barcelona in August and the shooting in Las Vegas in October also permanently Continue Reading

‘Cattywampus’ and other colorful words our parents use that befuddle millennials

By Brandon Mercer Updated 3:32 pm, Thursday, December 28, 2017 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: 'mix' }); Continue Reading

‘The RV space is on fire’: Millennials expected to push sales to record highs

Sometimes, bigger isn't always better. The recreational vehicle industry has figured that out and it has led to record-breaking growth. This year, RV shipments are expected to hit their highest level ever, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, marking the industry's eighth consecutive year of gains. Those shipments are accelerating, and should grow even more next year, the group said. Sales in the first quarter rose 11.7 percent from 2016. Much of the growth can be attributed to strong sales of trailers, smaller units that can be towed behind an SUV or minivan, which dominate the RV market. The industry also is drawing in new customers. More from Out of Office:A look at airlines, then and nowThe worst airports for summertime travel delaysChecking out, and into, the hotel room of the future As the economy has strengthened since the Great Recession, and consumer confidence improved, sales have picked up, said Kevin Broom, director of media relations for RVIA. Two of the major players in the industry, Thor saw sales skyrocket 56.9 percent to $2.02 billion fromlast year. Winnebago's surged 75.1 percent last quarter to $476.4 million. Gerrick Johnson, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, attributed much of that growth to acquisitions. Thor bought Jayco, then the No. 3 player in the industry, last June; Winnebago bought Grand Design in October. Although Thor shares were down about 1.4 percent Friday, the stock has experienced strong growth over the past year of almost Continue Reading

Wi-Fi wrongly blocking sites? Blame humans

Q. The inflight WiFi I was using blocked a news site for no explained reason. Why would that happen?A. I was left asking this question after a recent United Airlines flight on which I could not read a story at the tech-news site Pando Daily -- and the error message offered no hint about what was wrong except that the site “could not be viewed.”The issue wasn’t just that site or my own attempt to read it. A week later, re/Code columnist Walt Mossberg tweeted his own annoyance at finding another tech-news site blocked: his new corporate sibling The Verge. He, like me, had been flying United.The vague unhelpfulness of this rejection was somewhat novel, but the underlying story is one I’ve seen before: A misguided attempt at blocking sites that would use a lot of bandwidth led to innocent sites getting shut out.In this case, the LiveTV satellite-based WiFi service United employs on some of its planes relied on a third-party blacklist “that is incorrectly categorizing some sites as streaming and downloadable video,” United spokeswoman Karen May said Thursday. “We are investigating it and we've submitted a list of sites to unblock, including Pando Daily and The Verge.”Like some other airlines, United employs multiple WiFi services. If you’re on one of its Boeing 737s equipped with WiFi, it’ll come from LiveTV, a subsidiary of the aerospace conglomerate Thales Group.Most of United’s planes rely on connectivity from other vendors: Most flights between New York and San Francisco or Los Angeles as well as many regional jets employ Gogo’s air-to-ground cellular service, while the much of the remainder of its fleet employs a Panasonic satellite service.The funny part is that in my experience, LiveTV’s inflight WiFi has been incredibly fast -- over the last year, the slowest download speed I’ve seen was 13.66 million bits per second, and it’s topped 20 Mbps a few times.I’ve seen Continue Reading