Continuing the theme from our last post, our next example will be an example of direct competitive advertising, specifically this fits in the category of comparative advertising. This Blue Buffalo commercial is focused on highlighting the differences between their dog food and that of Iams.
I’m always on the lookout for current content that can be used to illustrate the concepts discussed in my marketing classes. Students especially enjoy video clips so when I can find commercials or other video clips that fit with class content that feels like a home run. Advertising is often taught at this time in the semester so our next few blog posts will focus on current advertisements that illustrate the various forms of advertising covered in Chapter 15 of Essentials of Marketing.
This post covers pioneering advertising. As we explain in the textbook, pioneering advertising is more focused on creating primary (or category) demand rather than selective demand. This is most applicable in the earliest stages of the product life cycle and helps educate customers about the existence and potential value of a product they might be unaware of. This advertisement for Google Home does a great job of illustrating that concept. It doesn’t talk about advantages versus competing products, instead it focuses on various uses of the product.
Social media is great but the platforms have to find some way of generating revenue. The primary mechanism has been advertising revenue but those platforms are always on the lookout for additional opportunities. According to USA Today article, “Picture this, entrepreneurs: Selling via Instagram“, Instagram has been experimenting with a sales platform. This new feature allows followers of a company to buy a product if they see it in a company’s feed. The article states that 200 million users visit at least one business profile each day so there’s a lot of potential traffic to capitalize on.
A class exercise could be to ask your students to read this article before coming to class and then in class have them develop an Instagram plan for their favorite retailer. They could choose a clothing boutique, a bike shop, an electronics store, etc.
Many of my students have an interest in a career in sports marketing. The draw isn’t terribly surprising considering how much time and money devotes to athletics but most of these students have no idea what a “sports marketing” job actually entails. This article from the American Marketing Association, “A Night in the Life of the Chicago Bulls Digital Media Team“, does a great job of talking about the responsibilities performed by members of the Chicago Bulls digital media team.
In addition, the article can be a good focal point for a discussion about owned vs. earned media. It talks about the shift in control of content published from journalists and other media to the franchise owners themselves.
It was recently discovered that back in 2015 Facebook allowed 3rd party Cambridge Analytica to access private data from over 50 million Facebook users without consent from those users. Cambridge Analytica used that data to build psychographic profiles and use those profiles for targeted political campaigns. Facebook actually discovered the issue in 2015 and told the offending parties they needed to certify that they deleted the data but they didn’t verify that deletion and they never notified users. Now it looks like that data was not deleted and has continued to be used for political purposes by Cambridge Analytica. You can read more about the incident in this article.
Facebook has received a fair amount of negative publicity recently that continues to erode their brand and the trust their customers have in them. Ask your students how Facebook should respond. Ask if they think the negative publicity will actually have a material impact on the number of facebook users or ad sponsors. If students say it won’t have a material impact, ask whether Facebook should do anything about it or not if that’s the case. This can lead to a rich discussion that covers business ethics, opportunities for competitors to differentiate, opportunities for startups, and more. What role should the government play, if any, when it comes to regulating use of consumer information for marketing or other purposes?