Online shopping continues to challenge traditional retailers. Less adaptable retailers like Sears lose the battle and go out of business but others, like Best Buy have found ways to adjust and enhance their value proposition to maintain relevance. The same dynamic is affecting drugstores and Walgreens and CVS are experimenting with added services to keep customers coming in. This CNBC article talks about some of those efforts. CVS is running a pilot with SmileDirectClub to fit people for invisible braces in-store. Walgreens is experimenting with opening a dental office inside a few of their stores. Walgreens is also experimenting with shifting their segmentation focus to double-down on seniors.
We love our Super Bowl commercials, especially in marketing programs, but I thought this USA Today article, “Who’s the real winner of Super Bowl LIII? Hint: It’s not the Patriots or the Rams” was a good example of a few different marketing concepts. According to the article, roughly 1.38 billion (yes, billion) chicken wings are expected to be consumed during this year’s Super Bowl – poor chickens! That number appears to be steadily increasing each year. Interestingly, women eat more wings than men on Super Bowl Sunday though men eat more food overall. The article talks about why wings are so popular and it’s a good example of a marketing opportunity to capitalize on a cultural tradition.
Our society continues to become increasingly polarized and we see that polarization spill over into marketing campaigns as well. One recent example is Gillette’s campaign, We Believe. The commercial calls out bullying and harassment, challenging men to rise above the stereotype of toxic masculinity. According to this MarketingDive article, the campaign was met with 1.1 million social media and news mentions within the first 24 hours of the ad’s launch which represented a 215% increase in brand mentions compared to the previous 24 hour period. As you would expect, not all of the mentions were positive but overall consumer impressions were very positive (79.6% of survey respondents saying they liked the ad) and the majority of respondents thought the ad was very memorable.
This can be used in a discussion about different forms of advertising (this seems to fit the institutional advertising definition best), it could be discussed in context of evaluating the social environment, and possibly even an ethical discussion – could campaigns like this be viewed as disingenuous or backfire on the company?
Cadbury has announced a campaign promoting the release of their white chocolate cream egg. The campaign encourages fans to search for hidden Cadbury eggs in other brands’ TV, print, and outdoor ads. Fans who find those eggs are supposed to take a photo of the egg and upload it to the campaign website. The website will then unwrap the egg and reveal whether the user is a winner or not. Winners can receive prizes ranging from a free white chocolate cream egg up to 10,000 British pounds (the campaign is running in Britain). Looks like a good way to bolster earned media, cross-promote other brands, and generate awareness and excitement for the new product. Visit Cadbury’s campaign site to learn more.
I frequently see students suffer from cognitive bias. They define the world based on their own observations and experiences and it can be a challenge to help them break free of their own bias and look at the market more objectively. Demonstrating this bias is pretty easy – just ask your students how Coca-cola should market a new beverage. Chances are they’re going to answer the question based on what they think will be most effective for them and their peers but they need to think about it from a corporate perspective. What’s the largest and/or most profitable target market? Should they use a segmented strategy or combine multiple demographics together?
This Marketoonist cartoon and the accompanying narrative illustrates this idea. The article says that Baby Boomers control 70% of disposable income in the US and spend ~50% of the consumer product dollars but only 5% of advertising dollars are directed at them. What do your students think about that?