By The Numbers

Super Bowl Sunday’s MVC: Most Valuable Commercial

Tony Wagner Jan 30, 2015
2.6 percent

Gross domestic product expanded at a rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, as reported by the WSJ. That puts GDP growth for 2014 at 2.4 percent, a below-average rate compared to previous growth periods.

9 percent

The percentage Alibaba’s stock price slid Tuesday following a solid, if slightly underwhelming, quarterly earnings report. The fall has much to do with a leaked government report accusing Alibaba of being lax on illegal practices from vendors. Quartz has the full story.

15 years

More than a dozen brands will air their first Super Bowl ads Sunday, the highest number of newcomers in almost 15 years. Look for brands like Skittles, Weight Watchers and Always, maker of feminine hygiene products, to make their game-day debut. 


The number of ad slots NBC had to sell for this year’s Super Bowl game. The ads – which cost about $4.5 million for a 30-second spot – finally sold out this week, AdAge reported. Postgame and digital slots are all filled too, but there’s still a little time to buy a pregame spot if you have a few mill to spare. Here’s a roundup of the ads confirmed so far.


What an ad in the first Super Bowl cost in 1967, or $266,000 when adjusted for inflation. Slate has a retrospective of the most iconic ads over the game’s last 48 years.


The number of users on This., a new social network that – based on its coverage in the New York Times – is the new Ello. The invite-only site promises a pared-down social media experience wherein users may only share one link a day and nothing more.

4 purchases

How many credit card purchases you need to make before you can be identified, despite anonymous credit card data. As reported by Reuters, scientists at MIT worked with metadata (data that only identifies time and place of purchases) and then looked at public information like non-anonymous purchases and social media to match people with their credit card activity. In some cases, it took only two purchases to positively ID a person.

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