Critical Thinking

News and thought leadership from Critical Mention.


Request a Demo of Critical Mention


Political Campaign Ad Awards 2014

Posted by | Elections, Media Intelligence, Media Relations | No Comments

Written by Nicole Lennon:

Election Day is only a few days away and we’ve been keeping a close eye on this year’s candidates. Though we don’t know how things will turn out on November 4th, we know who has been spending their time (and money) on the television screen. Debates, interviews, and press conferences are just some of the candidate appearances you’ve seen this election season, but it can’t be argued that the most entertaining campaign tactic is the TV commercial, and a growing number of online video ads.  Here’s our highlighted candidates’ TV mentions from the past two weeks:


We at Critical Mention are the Neil Patrick Harris’ of this year’s Political Campaign Ad Awards. We have media coverage of the corny, the impactful, and the tear-jerking moments of this year’s campaign commercials.

1.       Jeanne Shaheen- Most Successful At Making Opponent Look Like James Bond

Jeanne Shaheen, we would first like to say that it’s great that your names rhyme with each other. Aside from that, we’re not entirely sure what Scott Brown did wrong because he looks so macho in this commercial.

2.       Tom Udall- Best Combination of a Veteran and the Up theme

How cute is this guy? He’s active, he’s happy, and there’s swing music playing in the background. You can take more money out of my paycheck for social security if it’s going to this guy.

3.       Seth Moulton- Best AT&T Commercial Spoof

Great job Seth. These kids are both adorable and smart. In fact, if you win you should hire them all as part of your staff.

4.       Joni Ernst- Best Use of Farm Animals in reference to Washington

Who doesn’t love a good metaphor?

5.       Bruce Braley- Best Ken Burns Effect on iMovie

Did the ASPCA commercial just come on? If you want impactful, the documentary-style editing here is a winner.

6.       Ann Callis- Metaphor Award

Another great metaphor.

7.       Dick Durbin- Tear Jerker Award

 Well, that’s one way to get votes. Pass the tissues, please.

 8.       Michelle Nunn- Best Ad Attacking Ads That Attack

So meta.

9.       Cory Gardner- Best Supporting Grandma

She’s strong, she’s supportive, she’s getting you votes.

10.   Mark Udall- Best Anti-Politics Politics

One way to get votes is to go against everyone who is currently or has ever been in office. Everything is terrible. The world is ending. Change is imminent if you vote for Mark Udall.

11.   Tom Cotton- Best Use of a Puppy

Exploiting puppies. It’s a requirement.

12.   Tim Walz – Most Likely to Take Running for Office Literally

Run, Tim Walz, Run.

13.   Dan Maffei- Best Use of Crime Show Graphics

There’s a reason Law & Order is the longest running crime show on TV. People love it. Good move, Maffei.

14. Mary Landrieu- Best Vacation Ad

Wait. Was I just watching a campaign ad? Because I just bought myself tickets to New Orleans.

15. Mitch McConnell- Ad of the Year.

Standing ovation for you, McConnell. This ad does a great job of making fun of the campaign ad process while being funny and not corny.

With 17,000 mentions in the past two weeks, Mitch McConnell wins the most TV Mentions Award as well as Ad of the Year. 

Share the full playlist:

Political Campaign Ad Awards 2014

| Elections, Media Intelligence, Media Relations | No Comments

Written by Nicole Lennon: Election Day is only a few days away and we’ve been keeping a close eye on this year’s candidates. Though we don’t know how things will… Leverages Critical Mention’s Big Data API to Add Real Time TV & Radio Content from Around the Globe

| Press Releases | No Comments

Washington, D.C. and Detroit, MI –, a leader in public opinion research, media monitoring, and integrated analytics solutions, announced today that it will integrate the Critical Mention API so…

Compiling and Distributing a Media Clip Book

| Public Relations | No Comments

Keeping Track of Your Client in the Media and Doing Internal PR at the Same Time By Andrew Blum* Next to getting media hits, perhaps the next most important task…

Avention announces integration of Critical Mention API at Dreamforce

| Partnerships | No Comments

  People respond well to kindness.  In business, relationships between sales professionals and their customers and prospects are strengthened when timely, constructive information is passed along. The first person to…

Newsletter Articles

Critical Mention Analytics Launching Monday

| Media Monitoring, Newsletter, Press Releases | No Comments

Monday is a big day for our team here at Critical Mention, and for anyone who knows the value of merchandising their PR and communications successes. When logging into the…

PR awards season

| Newsletter | No Comments

It’s PR awards season. Congratulations to all the Critical Mention subscribers whose hard work has paid off in the form of selection as a finalist, honorable mention recipient or grand…

TV Remains Top Device for Accessing News

| Broadcast, Newsletter, TV | No Comments

Maybe it’s the limited battery life.  Maybe it’s the screen size. Whatever the reason, a new survey is probably sweet music to the ears of TV news professionals and PR…

Wasabi Rabbit Chief Takes Brands from ‘Harebrained’ to Mainstream

| Media Monitoring, Newsletter | No Comments

The incubation time between merely talking about new marketing ideas and actually employing them in real life is shrinking. That means futurists are more important than ever to alert the…


Video News

Top Tech Earning TV Coverage During CES
Top Tech Earning TV Coverage During CES
The Garmin VIVO Fit has been mentioned on TV 48 times in the past 7 days, with coverage mostly from Extra (est. audience of more than 4 million). The Fit is a fitness band that automatically greets users with a personalized daily goal, tracks their progress and reminds them when it's time to move. In conjunction with CES, Bosch has been mentioned 148 times. BOSCH demonstrated driverless car parking with Park Assist. Park Assist will be an available smart phone app that works on any vehicle. The app scans the space and the car does the rest. For Google Glass competitors: Sony showed off the Smarteye, which is built its own frame, resembling traditionally glasses. Sony has been mentioned more than 459, and on wider programming, such as HLN and Global News Networks. For Fashionistas: There's a new GPS integrated jacket and LED high heels that can broadcast images, messages or even Live Twitter feeds. Now that's high-tech fashion!
Sweet as Tupelo Honey
Sweet as Tupelo Honey
For people looking to relocate, Wikipedia may be their first visit. But with only a few lines of text for towns such as Tupelo, Mississippi, they may be looking for more substance to make the transition from somewhere else a little easier: Enter the role of the community development organization of Tupelo, the city seat of Lee County, who previously published a guide to the county's businesses, restaurants and attractions in a local publication called 'Images'. Recently, the public relations team has moved their community relations efforts to a new publication and online living directory called "Livability". Livability is an online resource for cities to combine information on not just living and business information, but things to do for potential visitors and tourists. It's a great resource for anyone looking to move or travel to a new city. The site also offers a LivScore and other helpful ways to choose your next destination or home. Currently, Palo Alto, Calfornia ranks #1 on Livability and although Tupelo lacks a rank in the top 100, the town boasts small-town living and the birthplace of Elvis Presley.
Building Imaginations
Building Imaginations
The parents and children of St. George, Utah and aspiring museum operators have something new to be excited about: This week marked the official opening of the St. George Children's Museum. The newly designed building hopes to inspire the imagination of all visitors. It's a fitting place, as even the foundation of the old building was built a century ago with black volcanic rock and the walls are made of red sandstone blocks. Funding for the museum comes mostly through corporate and private donors. The museum also offers both membership only hours and private events, with a gift shop housed on premises. The museum was almost 10 years in the making, with many of the exhibits being repurposed from other museums. The museum currently operates under limited resources and is seeking volunteers so they can operate on a long term basis. For those looking for a way to give back to the community, volunteering at your local museum, or even starting your own, gives the rewards of discovery and education to growing minds. You can visit to learn more.
Reconstructing a National Image
Reconstructing a National Image
As combat operations in Afghanistan are scheduled to draw to a close at the end of 2014, questions about the effectiveness of reconstruction and the country's future continue to grow. Meanwhile, in Kabul and barricaded by blast walls and guard towers, the American University of Afghanistan offers a lasting symbol of America's involvement in Afghanistan. Other than the fortifications, the building stands unassuming, as there is no sign of American influence. There is no American flag or emblem. Inside the building offers a different story. With nearly 2,000 students, the first private, not-for-profit university in Afghanistan offers a chance of a higher education, a brighter future and a possible road out of the country. It's a place of freedom of speech and a haven where both men and women can converse openly. The University currently relies on contributions from around the world... including those made through the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. You can contribute online today.
Ending a Long-Term Crisis
Ending a Long-Term Crisis
For more than 8 decades, "Redskins" has been the name used by Washington's NFL franchise and according to owner Daniel Synder, "It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect." Kansas City has also been criticized for their own franchise name, "Chiefs". In 1992, NFL representatives met with tribal leaders about the Redskins and Chiefs team names, which ended in the league not pressuring the teams to change their names. Alternative names have also been rumored, such as a patent taken out by Synder's neighbor on the name "Brave Hearts". The NFL continues to meet with tribal leadership and public outcry continues to grow over the names. But what's in a name? In 1998, the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee and renamed themselves the Titans. You can learn more about crisis communication strategies during Critical Mention's Webinar. Insight provided by Critical Mention's media monitoring service
When an Individual Becomes an Issue & Crisis
When an Individual Becomes an Issue & Crisis
On October 30, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed Katherine Archuleta as the next federal personnel chief. Archuleta's nomination was stalled for months after her predecessor stepped down in April over a dispute about how the Affordable Care Act treats Capitol Hill aides and members of Congress. Several members of the opposing party stated their opposition towards the issue, rather than the individual nominee themselves. There are several key takeaways from Archuleta's response: 1) She maintained her individualism and track record 2) She outlined a personally accountable plan Archuleta has described her leadership style as "holding individuals accountable" for their work and has pledged to create a plan in her first 100 days to move the Office of Personnel Management forward. Since the position was created in 1978, this was the first time that a nominee to run the agency was confirmed with a recorded vote, which was approved by a slight majority. You can learn more about crisis communication strategies during Critical Mention's Webinar. Insight provided by Critical Mention's media monitoring service
Paying for Silence in Times of Crisis
Paying for Silence in Times of Crisis
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, many state entities have rewritten their crisis communication strategies. Unlike the federal government, which cannot be sued by federal employees, organizations must invest in hefty insurance policies and awareness programs. In a recent Al Jazeera interview, crisis communication expert and acclaimed sports lawyer, Dominic Romano, offered a few key takeaways for organizations to focus on: 1) Monitor any issues very carefully 2) Take allegations seriously 3) Immediately implement policies In the case of Jerry Sandusky, the failure to act was a contributing factor to the size of the settlement for all of the victims. The continued cost of public relations and awareness, combined with settlement money and legal fees may bring the insurance and taxpayer cost to close to 100 million dollars. There are serious consequences for these transgressions and somebody has to pay if allegations aren't taken seriously. You can learn more about crisis communication strategies during Critical Mention's Webinar. Insight provided by Critical Mention's media monitoring service
Smoking Crack Usually Starts a Crisis
Smoking Crack Usually Starts a Crisis
It is crisis mode for the Toronto mayor's office, as a rumored video has made its way to the Toronto police department. The video allegedly shows the mayor smoking crack. Although the mayor hasn't yet been charged with any crimes, a myriad of events have begun to tarnish his public image. Ford's image has so far been bolstered by transit proposal victories and public appearances, such as an annual BBQ event that draws thousands of attendees. According to Bill Walker from PR agency FleishmanHillard, here's what Rob Ford did wrong: Ford made the media the villain and blamed the Toronto Star and people believed him. Prior to the video, Ford's support went up for awhile... which may change now that the video has surfaced. According to police, no charges against the mayor have been filed and nothing in video supports charges. You can learn more about crisis communication strategies during Critical Mention's Webinar. Insight provided by Critical Mention's media monitoring service
The Chris Brown Celebrity Crisis
The Chris Brown Celebrity Crisis
Dyana Williams is a leading crisis management and public relations consultant for radio and music personalities. In the world of celebrity and media, individuals embody their own brands. So for Williams and many PR pros: managing a crisis means taking immediate action. For Chris Brown's recent altercation, Williams has offered a few takeaways on national television. These can also be followed by brands in crisis. Maintaining innocence or a stance is priority number one. Next, maintaining an image, specifically a positive one is important. For Brown while he enters rehab for anger management, seeking professional advice is time-sensitive. Williams confirms that Brown may need help in preventing or mitigating altercations, but believes he could have been provoked in a recent assault that may violate his parole. You can learn more about crisis communication strategies during Critical Mention's Webinar. Insight provided by Critical Mention's media monitoring service
Tesla - Innovation vs. Traditional Media
Tesla - Innovation vs. Traditional Media
Within two days of October 01, 2013, Tesla's share price lost about 12% with a decreased stock value of about 3 billion dollars. It was on that day, that a Tesla S model -- previously recognized by at least 6 separate automobile publications as the car of the year -- caught fire. Before an official report was released, the New York Times released an article "Car Fire a Test for High-Flying Tesla". Other media outlets also couldn't resist weighing in on the graphic video that went viral of the Tesla Model S engulfed in flames after an accident. On October 4, 2013, Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla, explained exacted what occurred on the Tesla blog, saying the S model hit a large piece of debris on the underside of the vehicle, punching a 3-inch hole through an armor plate that protects the car's bottom. It was an accident that would have been even more devastating to a gas powered vehicle. Several days after Musk's comments, NPR ran their own story, without a single mention to Musk's public explanation to the fire. In times of crisis, public relations professionals need a full accounting of media coverage before, during, and sometimes weeks and months after an event. Tell us what you think on the Critical Mention Facebook page.