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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March 31, 2020

With movie theaters closed across the country due to coronavirus containment, millions of Americans are streaming video in order to stay entertained. According to analysts, the time spent watching streaming video has steadily increased every week since stay-at-home orders went in place earlier in the month. During a seven-day period in mid-March, viewing sessions on Vizio’s smart TV platform rose by a whopping 40 percent over the previous week. “We’re not just seeing more time spent with streaming and TV, Continue reading

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February 14, 2020

The consumer goods giant Unilever is known for its huge portfolio of major brands like Dove, Lipton, Axe, and many others. The conglomerate also owns several big names in the ice cream aisle such as Breyers, Klondike, Good Humor, Ben & Jerry’s, and more. But while these brands are well-known to many consumers, they’re about to become a lot less familiar to kids. That’s because Unilever recently announced that by the end of the year it would stop airing TV Continue reading

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February 7, 2020

Targeted advertising has become the economic engine of the Internet for big companies like Facebook and Google that collect all sorts of data about their users. This video details how tech giants track people online in order to gather information for advertisers, a widespread practice that is nevertheless hugely controversial. 

Questions:

  1. How has the use of cookies changed from the early days of the Internet to today?
  2. Do you think legislators should regulate how companies track people online for Continue reading
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December 17, 2019

During December, the Hallmark Channel’s schedule is chock full of Christmas movies to keep the holiday spirit strong throughout the month. But last week the usually jolly TV network behaved more like Ebenezer Scrooge in the eyes of many fans and users on social media. The controversy began when Hallmark received a complaint from an advocacy group whose stated mission is to “fight against indecency.” The organization complained about four ads that featured same-sex couples from a wedding planning company Continue reading

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September 26, 2019

In the lucrative world of data analytics, few companies are more prominent than Comscore. The Virginia-based tech firm analyzes much of the country’s web traffic which then serves as a key reference for pricing online ads. Similar to the television ratings tracker Nielsen, Comscore measures how many people visit a website, the amount of time they spend on it, and other important metrics that can determine its popularity. As a result, the company’s data is vital for media companies and Continue reading

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