November 23, 2021

The 2020 edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was unlike any in the event’s 97-year history: limited to just one block, no marching bands, and no crowds of cheering spectators. This Thursday, though, the big balloons and bands will largely be back as Macy’s continues one of the longest running promotional efforts in business. The brief video below from 2019 looks at the history of the parade and the various ways it has both evolved and stayed the same Continue reading

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October 26, 2021

In April, the tech giant Apple made a change to its privacy policy that prohibits advertisers from tracking users without their consent. Analysts predicted that this decision would lead to major changes in the $100 billion mobile ad market led by social networks like Facebook and Snapchat. These fears were confirmed for the latter last week when Snapchat announced that the policy prevented it from measuring the reach of its mobile ads, sending its stock price tumbling by 25 percent. Continue reading

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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.

Back then, 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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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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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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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 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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