October 16, 2020

On the surface, food advertisements don’t seem to be overly complicated. As this detailed video shows, though, filming the average food commercial often requires scientific precision as well as robotic assistance. 

Questions:

  1. Why is it important for ad makers to stick closely to what their clients want to see in a commercial? 
  2. Do you think it is worth the expense for companies to use robots and other complicated and expensive filming techniques in their ads? Why or why not?
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October 13, 2020

As brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic, e-commerce outlets like Amazon are thriving as consumers purchase more products from home than ever before. Experts expect that this trend will continue into the holiday shopping season, which can drive as much as 30 percent of retailers’ overall sales. So while companies would normally be hiring extra cashiers to prepare for Christmas, this year they’re bringing in warehouse workers to handle the high volume of online orders.  Continue reading

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October 1, 2020

Back in March, airlines received $25 billion in relief so that workers could stay on the payroll as the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive disruption in world travel. But with that money now spent, major carriers had been hoping for another round of economic stimulus from the federal government as demand for travel remains low. Legislators have been unable to come to an agreement so far, however, leading American Airlines and United Airlines to announce that more than 32,000 employees Continue reading

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September 29, 2020

According to the National Restaurant Association, during the pandemic more than 100,000 restaurants have closed either indefinitely or permanently and millions of jobs have been lost. Experts expect that the nation’s eateries will lose more than $240 million this year and warn that the worst could be yet to come. Along with takeout and curbside business, many restaurants have relied on outdoor dining to drive sales as many customers remain wary about eating inside. With winter on the horizon, however, Continue reading

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September 24, 2020

With audiences largely reluctant to return to the movies, it’s not just theater chains that are struggling to adapt to life during the pandemic. Farmers who supply theaters with popcorn have seen orders for their product almost disappear as retail suppliers have seen sales surge. While Orville Redenbacher, Jolly Time, and Pop Secret have benefited from consumers staying home, the Preferred Popcorn company in Nebraska has millions of tons of unsold kernels on hand.

Preferred Popcorn primarily supplies snack distributors Continue reading

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September 22, 2020

On August 27th, Warner Bros. began gradually releasing the movie Tenet in theaters that had been closed for months due to the pandemic. After more than two weeks on American screens, though, the $200 million film has only earned $29.5 million domestically. As a result, Hollywood studios may hold back on releasing major titles until audiences are ready to return. “You can’t do it. The economics won’t allow you to do it,” said one studio executive. “We can’t give [theaters] Continue reading

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September 18, 2020

In order to assess the state of the economy, analysts often examine how many long-lasting goods are being ordered by retailers and manufacturers. The idea is that companies who are confident enough to stock up on durable goods like appliances and cars are anticipating a consumer base that’s eager to purchase them. This video looks at the durable goods indicator and explains how investors often look beyond it to get a better sense of where the economy is headed.

Questions: Continue reading

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September 10, 2020

With Labor Day weekend come and gone, airlines have entered the period of the year where business travelers usually make up the bulk of their flights rather than tourists. But as the pandemic continues to disrupt life throughout the U.S., almost nothing is proceeding like normal in the air travel industry. All told, the nation’s carriers are losing $6 billion per month and have laid off more than one-fifth of workers as the industry desperately looks for ways to cut Continue reading

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September 8, 2020

More than 15,000 restaurants have closed permanently since the start of the pandemic, and not all of them are small independent operations. NPC international, a major franchisee of Pizza Hut and Wendy’s locations, recently filed for bankruptcy protection as sales across all stores dropped 37 percent compared to the previous year. But while much of the restaurant industry has struggled, one chain has managed to thrive: Domino’s Pizza sales have increased by 16 percent since March. 

By focusing on Continue reading

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August 20, 2020

As companies across all industries look for ways to reduce contact between employees during the pandemic, many are turning to automated labor as a way both to stay safe and trim costs. This video looks at how advanced robotic technology could change workplaces in the long term while also examining the potential limitations of automation. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies investing in automated labor during the pandemic?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of automation?
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