March 16, 2021

The pandemic took a major toll on entertainment and recreational facilities as everything from theaters to gyms were forced to shut down or drastically alter their operations. Although golf courses and tennis courts initially closed in March and April 2020, they soon reopened and welcomed all sorts of new players looking for socially distanced outdoor activities. From June to December 2020, rounds of golf in the U.S. grew by 75 million compared to the same period in 2019, representing a Continue reading

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March 9, 2021

As dining rooms closed across the country in 2020 because of the pandemic, restaurants started focusing their efforts on takeout and drive-thru orders. Many companies added new technology and logistical plans for their takeaway operations that will likely remain in place after the pandemic is over. For instance, Starbucks sent employees with hand-held devices through lines of cars to gather orders quickly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. New Chipotle locations will feature “Chipotelanes” where customers Continue reading

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March 5, 2021

The wholesaler Costco is one of the most successful retailers in the country due in large part to its unique approach to doing business. This video looks at the strategies that Costco uses to keep prices low while still offering many items in bulk.

Questions:

  1. How does Costco’s membership plan drive its business? 
  2. Why are items at Costco kept on pallets rather than laid out neatly on shelves like in supermarkets?
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March 4, 2021

In recent years, tech giants like Google have faced increasing scrutiny from international legislators and privacy advocates for tracking users across the Internet. Companies take this information and use it to personalize advertising based on someone’s previous browser history. Faced with building opposition to these potentially invasive practices, Google announced this week that it would stop using and investing in tracking technologies. 

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how Continue reading

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February 9, 2021

Despite the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, this year’s Super Bowl managed to hit some familiar notes as Tom Brady lifted the trophy for a seventh time and companies once again spent big on high-profile ads. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, the night’s big winner was Rocket Mortgage, whose two commercials featuring comedian Tracy Morgan took the top spots in the annual poll. Amazon and M&M’s humorous ads took third and fourth while Toyota’s uplifting spot featuring Paralympian Jessica Long Continue reading

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January 26, 2021

For more than 30 years, the Budweiser clydesdales have marched across millions of American television screens during the annual Super Bowl broadcast. This year, though, the horses will stay in the stable as Budweiser instead donates a portion of its marketing budget to a public service campaign. The Anheuser-Busch company has joined a $50 million effort by the Ad Council to combat misconceptions about Covid-19 vaccination. 

Other major brands like Coca-Cola, Audi, and Hyundai are also choosing not to Continue reading

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January 5, 2021

More than one third of American households have a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Nest that can be activated by thousands of different voice commands. But in order to hear what we say, these devices also need to listen. This video looks at what big tech companies do with recorded smart speaker commands and how customers can opt out of sharing their data. 

Questions:

  1. Why does Amazon collect recordings of voice commands made by customers to Continue reading
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December 3, 2020

Black Friday began years ago as a one-day event where retailers across the country slashed prices to attract holiday shoppers into stores. Then the deals began to stretch into the weekend, then into Thanksgiving itself, and finally this year holiday sales spilled online into more than a weeklong extravaganza. With many retailers either remaining closed for indoor customers or open at limited capacity, experts expect that e-commerce will drive sales for many companies this holiday season.

Although foot traffic at Continue reading

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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 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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