The game itself, in a nutshell
The New England Patriots bested the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in the first overtime Super Bowl on Sunday night. It is the fifth championship for both Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead, missing opportunities to take time off the clock late in the fourth quarter.
Several of the brands that dished out seven-figure sums to advertise during the big game aired ads with messages of inclusion, including Budweiser, which told the immigrant story of one of its founders. The ad everyone was buzzing about was that by 84 Lumber, which depicted the journey of immigrants to the U.S. The company’s website crashed and its social media team worked to deflect angry messages on Twitter during the second half of the game. Kia’s ad starring Melissa McCarthy—more on her later—won USA Today’s Ad Meter.
Trump halftime interview turns heads
President Donald Trump sat with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for a pre-recorded interview that ran at halftime. The comment that’s getting the most attention is Trump’s defense of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, saying the U.S. has "a lot of killers," too. The Kremlin demanded an apology on Monday morning for O’Reilly’s labeling of Putin as a "killer."
Spicer chats with PRWeek
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer probably wasn’t having the best weekend, at least until the Patriots pulled out the unlikely win last night. Actress Melissa McCarthy savaged his confrontational style and gum-swallowing habit on Saturday Night Live, prompting more Spicer memes during the Super Bowl. He chatted with PRWeek about his first few weeks on the job in a late Friday interview.
White House to rethink policy and comms
The Trump administration is reevaluating how it conducts policy and communications after a rocky start in which its executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries caused widespread confusion at airports, according to The New York Times. Aides are also having trouble figuring out how to work the lights in the White House, according to the Times.
Tech heavyweights fight back against travel ban
Companies including Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are pushing back against the travel ban in court, saying the measure hurts their businesses and violates immigration laws. A federal court put a temporary stop to the executive order over the weekend. The White House has appealed the ruling.