December 1, 2020

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers are hoping that they can attract lots of Christmas customers to offset the losses of an especially hard year. In normal circumstances, stores would roll out the red carpet for Santa Claus and his elves to set up shop and learn about exactly what kids wanted to see under their trees. But due to the pandemic, this year mall Santas will be following extra precautions that could take away from the Continue reading

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November 19, 2020

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched earlier this month and is expected to be one of the blockbuster products of the holiday season. This video looks at the evolution of the console throughout the years and how it became a central focus of Sony’s business.

Questions:

  1. How did the PlayStation help Sony transition from a consumer electronics manufacturer into a gaming company?
  2. Why did Sony decide to focus closely on the gamer market for future generations of the PlayStation, and how did they accomplish this task?
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November 17, 2020

Since the start of the pandemic, takeout and delivery orders have taken on outsized importance at restaurants that have been unable to open to full capacity. As a result, some companies are investing in “ghost kitchens” that focus solely on pickup and delivery orders. For instance, last week Chipotle opened its first Digital Kitchen in New York, a location with no dining room that is largely closed off to walk-in customers.

“The Digital Kitchen incorporates innovative features that will complement Continue reading

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November 12, 2020

Since the 1990s, on November 11th Chinese retailers led by the e-commerce giant Alibaba have celebrated Singles Day with an abundance of discounts and deals. Initially started as a sort of anti-Valentine’s Day and celebration of singlehood, over the years Singles Day has grown into one of the globe’s biggest sales events. In fact, Alibaba said that consumers purchased more than $75 billion worth of products on its site during yesterday’s festivities. 

This massive haul represents a 26 percent Continue reading

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November 10, 2020

When lockdowns started to be put in place in March and April, parents across the country took to social media to find out which products would keep their kids entertained at home for extended periods of time. The overwhelming favorite among Facebook groups and blogs soon became the Nugget couch, a microsuede fabric couch that is specifically designed for kids to go crazy on. Although it certainly can be used as regular furniture, the Nugget is mainly designed for fort-building, Continue reading

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November 5, 2020

Over the last few years, fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell have invested heavily in breakfast menu items in order to drive up morning sales. This strategy worked for a while as breakfast sales continually increased from previous years and chains poured millions of dollars into marketing the so-called “most important meal of the day.” But like so many other previously successful ventures, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a major toll on the breakfast business.

Morning drive-thru traffic Continue reading

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November 3, 2020

Today is election day, and major companies across the country are taking measures to ensure that their employees can go out and vote. While Bank of America workers will receive three hours of paid time off to go to the polls, Best Buy stores will remain closed until noon so staffers can vote in the morning. Paypal offered paid half days for employees who volunteer at polling places. “Companies can’t do everything, but we can function in civil society in Continue reading

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October 29, 2020

Jingles were once a regular feature of television and radio advertising, but these catchy tunes are no longer as popular with admakers as they used to be. This video looks at the history of jingles in commercials and why they have slowly disappeared in the age of digital advertising. 

Questions:

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using jingles in modern advertising? 
  2. How did the use of music in commercials evolve over the course of the 20th century?
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October 27, 2020

The stock market plunged in March as the coronavirus emerged in the U.S. but eventually recovered as some businesses reopened and consumers received economic relief. With cases once again on the rise, however, the combination of potential closings and a lack of another stimulus package caused the Dow to plummet by 650 points on Monday. “Financial markets are getting a reality check, as investors come to terms with the failure of Congress to agree to a pre-election stimulus package and Continue reading

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October 22, 2020

Last week, another 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. This represents a drop from the stretch of months where more than 1 million people filed for unemployment week after week, but it nevertheless reflects a deeply strained economy. “The ranks of people applying for extended unemployment are starting to make it look like a traditional recession,” said economist Diane Swonk. “This leaves scars in the labor force, is demoralizing, and increases health risks for workers…We’re not calling people back Continue reading

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