July 22, 2021

In the coming months, regular drinkers of the sugar-free soda brand Coke Zero might notice a slight change in the taste of their favorite beverage. According to company officials, the formula for Coke Zero will be altered in order to “deliver an even more iconic Coke taste.” While this might seem like a relatively harmless change, any alteration to a Coca-Cola product draws plenty of public scrutiny after the company’s disastrous launch of “New Coke” in the 1980s.

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July 21, 2021

Over the last month, communities across the Western United States have imposed restrictions on water use as a major drought wreaks havoc on the region. This video looks at how the drop in the supply of surface water has hurt California farmers and why their pain could soon ripple out across the country.

Questions:

  1. How has the drought in the Western U.S. affected farmers in the region? 
  2. Do you think regulators should place restrictions on the use of groundwater Continue reading
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July 14, 2021

The uncertainty and strain of the coronavirus pandemic caused a significant uptick in stress among millions of people across the country. According to a survey conducted by the CDC, nearly one-third of Americans said that they had recently experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety. In 2019, that number sat at just 11 percent. 

As a result, companies are making sure to emphasize stress-relief and wellness in their marketing campaigns and as features of new products. For instance, Lincoln is Continue reading

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Yesterday, we looked at how cost-cutting measures used by rental car companies to survive the pandemic have now led to supply problems that are affecting travelers across the country. But rental cars aren’t the only items that are in short supply these days. For instance, a garden supply store called Valley View Farms experienced record sales of patio furniture in March as customers began to emerge from the extended stays at home. Soon after this boom, though, the Maryland retailer Continue reading

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As Americans start to travel once again, many people are getting sticker shock at the rental car counter as prices have increased significantly in the last few months. This video looks at how cost-cutting strategies used by rental companies during the pandemic have led to a shortage of cars that is likely to persist throughout the summer travel season. 

Questions:

  1. Why have rental car prices increased in recent months?
  2. What does the video recommend for travelers who are looking Continue reading
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June 24, 2021

Last year, companies across all industries scrambled to figure out how to continue doing business during the coronavirus pandemic. As time went on, subscription services proved to be dependable profit sources given that they required customers to provide regular payments every month. Subscriptions to streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus skyrocketed in 2020 while many restaurants also found success with membership models. 

For instance, in early 2021 six eateries in the Washington, D.C., area joined forces to create Continue reading

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June 22, 2021

Last month, we looked at how the global shortage of microchips has severely restricted production of everything from video game consoles to dog washing stations. This video examines the manufacturing process for these precious components and explains why semiconductor production cannot be easily increased. 

Questions:

  1. Why is it difficult for manufacturers to speed up production on microchips and semiconductors?
  2. What are some possible solutions for increasing global microchip production?
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June 17, 2021

After a year-long delay due to the pandemic, the UEFA European Football Championship is finally taking place across the continent until mid-July. Along with giving sports fans a smorgasbord of summertime soccer to watch, the Euro tournament also provides major brands with a golden opportunity to reach captive global audiences. But as Coca-Cola found out this week, sometimes grabbing attention on such a large stage can backfire big time. 

On Monday, the Portugese superstar Christiano Ronaldo held a press Continue reading

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June 15, 2021

In fall 2020 McDonald’s launched the Travis Scott meal, a branded partnership that significantly boosted sales at the fast food chain and earned more than $20 million for the rapper himself. The success of this promotion led to more collaborations with recording artists, including McDonald’s latest branded venture with the South Korean pop group BTS. According to observers, U.S. sales of the BTS meal are currently outpacing last year’s Travis Scott promotion, with restaurant visits up 12 percent from the Continue reading

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June 10, 2021

In 2017, the startup Moviepass offered film buffs a deal that seemed too good to be true. For $9.95 per month, subscribers could see up to one movie per day at all major theaters located throughout the country. Moviepass hoped to offset the costs of purchasing so many tickets by brokering bulk deals with theater chains and by monetizing users’ data. None of these plans ever came to fruition, however, which left the company with more than three million subscribers Continue reading

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