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.
When traveling over the holidays my wife and I were surprised (and, frankly, irritated) by the number of animals traveling in the passenger cabin of our plane. This topic has been in the news a fair amount over the past year as people tried to bring squirrels, peacocks, and other animals on board under the guise of emotional support. Popeye’s has launched a seasonal marketing campaign capitalizing on the recent press. Their “Emotional Support Chicken” was available to passengers going through the Philadelphia airport. You can read more about the campaign in this Forbes article.
Facebook has been plagued by negative publicity for the past couple of years but according to this article from AdAge, they don’t appear to be losing any advertising dollars. From all appearances, Facebook seems immune to issues resulting from high-profile hacks, Russian political interference, privacy issues, negative press, and more. Perhaps Facebook’s plethora of problems stems from their long-time motto: Move Fast, Break Things.
The lack of impact in advertising dollars to Facebook seems to fly in the face of a consumer society (primarily millennials) who value transparency and social responsibility. According to the AdAge article, many industry executives are urging caution and suggesting the tide might turn against Facebook if they can’t get a handle on their business.
I find the situation interesting, especially considering the fact that Facebook is now considered “old person social media” (at least according to my students). Perhaps the millennial desire for social responsibility won’t have an impact if advertisers aren’t focusing on that demographic.
As a side note, the article also talks about efforts made by a firm with ties to the Republican party that have tried to push lawmakers off of Facebook and onto Google and Apple. This can provide a good example for students of how the political/legal environment can potentially influence the business environment.
Every generation presents new marketing challenges. As consumers flock to online shopping, CoverGirl decided to open their first brick-and-mortar location in Times Square, NY. You can read about the new store and it’s planned opening (Black Friday) in this article. The new store is designed around providing “an experiential beauty playroom”. The new store will be utilizing Google’s artificial intelligence platform, DialogFlow, to power a virtual greeter (Olivia) and augmented reality stations to help shoppers visualize the different options. Of course they will utilize personal sales representatives as well to assist in any areas not covered by their new technological assets.
Will this be a good move for CoverGirl? Should any of their current retail partners feel threatened by CoverGirl’s forward integration?
We often see examples of how the internet and advances in marketing technology enable mass personalization of marketing messages. 3D printing is a disruptive technology which promises to bring the same capability to product design. Gillette announced a pilot program wherein they will allow customers to create a customized razor handle which will be 3D printed in Gillette’s Boston headquarters. Customers can expect a two to three week turnaround time to receive their custom razor. Customers can choose from 48 designs and 7 color options when designing their razor. You can read more about it in this Business Wire article. The article has a quote from Formlabs (the company providing the 3D printing technology) talking about the potential for mass customization with 3D printers.
Talk with your students about the pros and cons of this approach. What challenges does mass customization represent? Will this be successful for Gillette? Is it possible that this technology might one day put Amazon out of business? If people can print items in their homes, do they still need retail?