Pantene #ShineStrong Campaign

Posted by Joe Cannon

This came out back in November, but I missed it then. But it is a neat story and you might like to show it in class. Surprisingly, at least to me, this Pantene ad came out of the Philippines. There is some great advertising work going on in developing countries. The ad speaks to Pantene’s core target market, women with aspirations. Of course it also speaks to this father of three girls. Below the ad is a brief expert commentary on the ad. You could show both in a class dedicated to segmentation and targeting, advertising, or viral content.

Flash of Genius: Pantene #ShineStrong from L2 Think Tank on Vimeo.

What lessons can marketers take away from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Posted by Joe Cannon

We have all enjoyed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge over the last few weeks — with their attention on social media, many of our students have seen more buckets dumped than us. But I have wondered what lessons we can take away from this viral smash hit.

It would be a great discussion starter to ask your students “What [they think] Marketers Can Learn From the Ice Bucket Challenge” (AdAge, August 20, 2014). I am sure that you and your students have a few ideas beyond those offered by AdAge but this article is a good start. Plus it gives the background and history of the Ice Bucket Challenge — which was news to me. One of the early videos that launched the phenomenon is shown below (see article for more details).

While the Ice Bucket Challenge has been wildly successful in helping ALS raise awareness and money — it may also be interesting to discuss how ALS might leverage this success going forward as well as what opportunities it might have missed. The article suggests an in-post donation button in Facebook might have generated even more money for ALS. What other ideas can your students think of?

TD Canada Trust’s Thank You’s Go Viral

Posted by Joe Cannon

Canadian bank TD Canada Trust’s efforts to thank its customers has gone viral. Of course that is what TD Canada hoped for. You can read a bit more here and watch the video below. It might be interesting to talk to your students about what makes this video work so well. I think one element is the customization of each of the thank you gifts. I am sure this video required a lot of background work to pull off. Of course the strong emotional pull helps, too.

Does it move customers? Check out the YouTube comments.


“Why does popcorn at the movies cost so much?”

Posted by Joe Cannon

moviepopcornAmerican Public Media’s Marketplace radio show recently asked (and answered) “Why does popcorn at the movies cost so much?” (August 4, 2014, you can listen or read the transcript). The article also has some fun GIFs you might add to your PowerPoints. While I thought I knew the whole answer, I only knew half. Check if you know the whole answer – and perhaps use this as a discussion topic when you cover pricing.

Retail winners and losers

Posted by Joe Cannon

Bring a guest speaker to class. In this short 2 minute video the founder of consulting firm L2 offers his take on winners and losers in retail. Before you show the video, you might ask your students who they believe are winners and losers in today’s retail environment — and of course why? If the conversation wanders, you might focus them on the elements of marketing strategy — target market, Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. Then you might share the thoughts of an expert in the video below:

Winners and Losers: Retail from L2 Think Tank on Vimeo.


Is the price really “free”?

Posted by Joe Cannon

Free-Price-TagCustomers love it when the price is “free.” So you find more and more sellers using “free” in their promotions. It is not usually a good long-term business model to give things away — so it is rare that something is truly free. To read how this magical price actually plays out in the travel business read  “‘Free’ offers can really cost you” (USA Today, August 4, 2014).

This article might provide examples or discussion for when you cover Price and/or business models.

Recent misfires suggests care required with logo redesign

Posted by Joe Cannon

Social media panned Airbnb’s recent logo redesign. This wasn’t the first major brand to stumble with such an important undertakingNew-airbnb-logo-jpg. This blog post at Brand marketing hub, “Five brand logo redesigns that misfired and how to deal with the backlash” (August 1, 2014) offers some examples and tips.

The topic is timely — with Airbnb. We also have photos of the Tropicana failure in our textbooks. You might find it fun to talk about when you cover branding and logos.

Managing Product Lines

Posted by Joe Cannon

mercedes1audiProduct line management is a challenge in many industries — and the car market has especially difficult decisions to make. One of the questions relates to product line length — the number of individual products in a product line.

Some automakers often have a higher end model not so much for sales as to enhance the image of the brand — think Chevrolet Corvette. On the other hand, a high end automaker may produce a lower, entry level model to help consumers (perhaps those younger or on their way up) to begin using the brand. In this case a brand hopes the customer later buys the higher priced (and usually more profitable) products and generates high lifetime value. A risk is that the lower end model makes the brand less exclusive — one of the primary appeals of a higher end brand. To learn more about this phenomena in the automobile market, and to get a good example for class discussion, see “The Downside of Low-End Luxury Cars” (Bloomberg Businessweek, July 17, 2014).

Dog Food Companies Battle on Store Shelves and In Court

Posted by Joe Cannon

The dog food market is very interesting. The premium end of the market is especially interesting. As more of us view he family dog as “part of the family” we are also more willing to spend more on what we feed our dog. Our textbooks have a great video on this topic – “Targeting the Premium Dog Market: Cashing in on ‘Doggy’ Love.” Many of our students have dogs (or cats, or other pets) and can relate to this market.

I have come across an article, a news story, and a spoof to offer you something to talk about when you cover consumer behavior, advertising, entrepreneurship, or legal issues (Lanham Act). An extended article in Bloomberg Businessweek “Dog Food Fight! Purina Says Blue Buffalo Is ‘Built on Lies’” (July 24, 2014) offers some insight into a legal battle between Purina and Blue Buffalo. The same article describes the very interesting rise of Blue Buffalo by a former ad-man who also founded beverage company SoBe which he later sold to Pepsi for $380 million.

For a short (2:37) take on the legal battle, see this video clip below from ABC’s Good Morning America.

If you want to have some fun, you could show this Saturday Night Live skit which spoofs Blue Buffalo.

Ideas for class include using this as an example of changing social and cultural values and its impact on consumer behavior. You could also use the first ad to discuss the Lanham Act and legal issues in advertising. The Blue River dog food story in Businessweek shows how important marketing has been to this upstart firm.

Market Research at 30,000 Feet

Posted by Joe Cannon

This article/video combination offers some great examples to show or talk about when you cover market research or new-product development. In “This Cross-Country Flight is the Future of Flying” (Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2014, non-subscribers may need to click here.)  The article and video describe a competition that American Airlines staged to support entrepreneurs with ideas for improving the flying experience. Twenty-two teams submitted ideas in June, with four of those teams selected for a final competition. The competition takes place on a San Francisco-New York cross country trip where the teams pitched their ideas to six “road warrior” elite American Airlines travelers. The fliers voted for their favorite app, which received development support from a San Francisco incubator.

You might consider assigning the article to your students or simply show the video in class. It could be used to stimulate a discussion on other new product ideas for airlines.