For me, the biggest part of any Super Bowl is usually the commercials. I remember the year of Pets.com, along with a lot of others, where the bigger the ad and the investment, the bigger the impact. Of course, pets.com died a quick death after that, as the bubble burst for everyone. This year, the advertisers expect you to be multi-tasking the game, with your head in your mobile device or laptop just as often as you’re staring at the larger screen.

This year, advertisers are taking quite a different tact in their Super Bowl ads. Not only are they releasing ads ahead of the game on YouTube and client web sites, but they’re integrating social media into the campaign. According to Ad Age, Audi of America believes that “chatter  about Super Bowl ads begins to fade between 24 and 48 hours after the game is over.” Therefore, if you release the ad early, you’ll get more bang for your buck – a longer tail of discussion.

I’m not so sure. I prefer being surprised by the ad during the Super Bowl. I think the surprise maximizes the impact.

Here’s a list of some of the ad buys, their release dates, and their integration into social media (courtesy of Ad Age):

 - Anheuser-Busch got a twitter account for the first time on January 28. One of their ads, with the Clydesdales, will feature a foal. A-B has been soliciting names for the foal on Twitter.
- Audi posted three versions of its potential ad, each with a different ending, and let fans vote on which version they’d like to see run in the Super Bowl. The final spot appeared on YouTube on Jan. 27.
- Kia and Hyundai both pre-released their ads this week as well. Although I’m trying to avoid pre-released ads, I saw a space panda in a clip for Kia’s and I’ve since watched it. It’s hormone hgh damned cute.
- Axe pre-released their ad on Jan 28 and is running a contest (online of course) for some lucky group to fly into space.
- Coca-Cola released their ad on Jan 28. The ad features a contest, or game. In the ad, three teams are racing to get a Coke. The ad ends on a cliffhanger and viewers vote online for their favorite team. The ad featuring the “winning” team will air immediately after the Super Bowl.
- As usual, Dorito’s ran a contest for viewers to submit ads, with the winning ad appearing in the big game.
- Go Daddy has one ad that they’re keeping a secret and one that was released on Jan 25.
- Lincoln, of all brands, has an ad that incorporates ideas solicited by Jimmy Fallon via Twitter.
- Oreo, celebrating their 100th anniversary, is releasing an ad that shows fans of cookie vs filling. The neat thing (other than being a 100-year old brand)? They’re including a campaign on Instagram as well.
- Pepsi has been asking customers to submit photos and those will be used in a spot. Additionally, you’ll be able to sign up online to get a free soda.
- RIM, er, Blackberry has their first ad. According to Ad Age, “A social-media campaign to run alongside commercial will include promoted posts on Twitter and sponsored stories on Facebook.”
- Toyota is running an ad with Kaley Cuoco as a genie. The ad features a photo of a consumer chosen from an Instagram and Twitter campaign using the hash tag #wishgranted.
- Disney Pictures is running a spot highlighting the new Oz: The Great and Powerful film. After the commercial airs, one of the witches from the film will overtake the Disney web site.
- Wonderful Pistachios is running an ad featuring Psy. Fans can upload a photo of them getting “crackin’ Gangnam Style” with pistachios and potentially win a 12-month lease of a new Mercedes Benz.

Not many people think about football when they think mobile and digital technology. However, according to the WSJ (subscription needed), both the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are using digital technology to improve their football operations. Primarily the teams are using them in the back office to gather deeper analytics and statistics and use those to analyze every aspect of their operations — even going so far as to look at fan tailgating habits. More importantly, the teams hope to harvest the data to help coaches perform analyses on plays, and to provide player data to the players themselves so they can conduct “deep reviews” of their on-the-field actions.

Additionally, as both teams prepare for Sunday’s Big Game, the HGH Ravens players have ditched their old, heavy playbooks for shiny iPads loaded with a custom app called GamePlan. This app lets the players study plays, drill down into play specifics, and even quickly look at “all third-down plays designed to gain more than 10 yards,” for example. The app is fun and easy to use, and coaches report that players are spending 50% more time studying the plays than they did with the giant playbooks of yester-year. No word if the 49ers are handing out iPads to their players yet, but being so close to the Valley, you’d think they’d have a tech-edge over Baltimore… doesn’t seem to be… yet. We’ll see how all this tech-bling plays out on Sunday!

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo about Vine — Twitter’s new “Instagram” for video app – since it was released last week (as a matter of fact, Apple removed it from the Editor’s Choice area on the App Store this morning). Most of the chatter is revolving around Vine’s purported (clean, and not dirty, we hope). Simply browse the #howto hashtag to see a ton of demonstration vids. Just this morning, I’m browsing vids that show me how to “make steak tartare” or how to “solve the Rubik’s cube” in 6 seconds or less.

If Vine can overcome the typical human need to share “what shouldn’t be shared” socially, it could be a powerful app for sharing knowledge (the non-porn type)… ;)

You may be asking what is Vine?

I’ve worked at home on and off for most of my career, though for the past five years, I’d been in an office. Now, I have a job enables me to work from home when I’m not on the road, and I am re-discovering some pitfalls. You know the big one: laziness.

I mean, really– how easy is it to not shower, not brush your teeth, and to eat cereal right out of the container when you literally won’t see anyone for hours?

Yeah, can’t do that. For one, I’m not productive. And for two, that reminds me a little too much of some of my darker days after I got laid off this past summer.

Being the gadget geek I am, I’ve turned to several apps to help me reinforce some good habits.

Moves: Moves is an app that tracks your movements and creates a “storyline” of where you’ve been.  It uses GPS and the gyrometer in your iPhone to track distance without having a second gadget. It tracks steps, running, cycling, walking– anywhere where you’re moving (but not cars; I guess they’ve programmed it to realize that humans can’t run 65 mph).  Today, I’ve really only walked around my apartment, but it also reminds me that movement is probably a good thing– and drives me to go out and walk in my urban neighborhood.

Lift:  Lift allows you to check into pre-created habits.  You can create habits like “Floss” or “Exercise”  or “Make the Bed” (a big one for me). You can search popular habits to see what other people are working on VolumePills (and to remind you what you might work on– “drink more water” was a good one for me) and are also organized by categories like productivity, mindfulness and fitness.  You can check on your friends’ activity, and support them with “props”.  It’s like crowdsourced responsibility.

GymPact: Put your money where your mouth is, or something like that.  GymPact makes you pay cold, hard cash every time you don’t go to the gym.  Make a pact with yourself (mine is currently 3x/week), check in when you go to the gym or go for a run, and earn money.  I found the checkins can be kind of buggy, but their customer service very quickly will credit you a gym visit that you missed because of their app.  Users get paid by those who don’t go to the gym. I’ve earned, like, $7 so far– which doesn’t cut into my personal training budget, but hey, it’s better than paying $25 for not going.  Ouch.  If you want to join, they have a “get $5 when you sign up” promotion.  Hey, I’ve never been paid to exercise, have you?

SparkPeople is something I’ve been using for years on and off– probably since 2006.  They are a local-to-me company that is the largest fitness site on the web, and happens to have a great app.  You can track calories, weight, measurements and exercise and it’s all free.  The reporting features is pretty good on the app and even better on the website.  Plus, if you have a Fitbit or other tracking device, you can sync it with SparkPeople’s tracking.

Many of us accept friend requests from people we don’t know on social networks for different reasons. We may want to grow our network, connect to influencers, or simply find new people to share with. However, you may want to be a bit more careful who you accept those friend requests from. Especially if you owe money.

It seems like those pesky debt collectors have turned to friending people on social networks to electronic cigarette demo publicly shame them into paying their bills. So if you get a friend request from a complete stranger that also happens to be a hottie in a bikini, be sure to second guess the request.

Federal regulators are weighing new restrictions on how debt collectors can use social networks as they work to impose federal oversight over the debt collection industry for the first time. Read more about this at Bloomberg.