July 28, 2023

Last weekend, the highly anticipated summer movie Barbie opened in theaters to rave reviews and huge ticket sales, earning $162 million in just a few days. Of course, Barbie wasn’t the only film to make a splash at the box office: the 3-hour long drama Oppenheimer also enjoyed a big weekend with domestic receipts totaling $82.5 million. The success of these two films follows months of viral marketing that made light of the stark differences between sunny and bright Barbie Continue reading

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February 14, 2023

When it comes to Super Bowl ads, there are two factors that usually help companies stand out from the rest of the pack: making people laugh, or failing that, being such a big brand that people cannot help but think of your ad after the game. This year, though, the spot that took first place in USA Today’s annual Ad Meter poll did not try for comedy, nor did it come from a major company that routinely tops the list. Continue reading

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February 8, 2023

In 1989, Anheuser-Busch signed an agreement with the NFL giving the brewer exclusive rights to advertise alcohol nationally during the Super Bowl. After 33 years of having a monopoly over big game beer ads, however, AB InBev decided not to renew their license this year. And as the video below shows, the field is now wide open for companies like MillerCoors to reach a big national audience that has previously been unavailable to them.


  1. Do you think it was Continue reading
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December 2, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup moves into the knockout stages this weekend, a nerve-wracking time when teams can be eliminated with a single loss. While the tournament’s soccer stars will experience a dramatic increase of tension on the field, the host country Qatar has already faced plenty of global pressure since FIFA awarded them the event in 2010. The Middle East nation has long been accused of using corruption to land the World Cup, leading to a 2015 indictment from Continue reading

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November 9, 2022

Tesla owner Elon Musk has never been shy about seeking the spotlight, and for years he could always find an easy audience by talking to his Twitter following of more than 100 million people. Even that level of attention wasn’t enough for the world’s richest man, however, who purchased the social network outright at the end of October for a whopping $44 billion. That gargantuan price tag now ranks as history’s largest leveraged buyout of a tech firm, although it Continue reading

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November 4, 2022

2022 has been a tough year for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. In February we examined how the social media giant lost $230 billion in market value in a single day. Then in September, we looked at the company’s premier platform Instagram and how it angered many users by trying to emulate the short-video format of TikTok. Many of Meta’s woes stem from recent changes to Apple’s terms of service that prevent digital advertisers from collecting data Continue reading

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September 23, 2022

When Airbnb launched in 2008, the short-term rental company marketed itself as an easy alternative to hotels that had supposedly become too restrictive for the modern traveler. 14 years after its founding, however, many guests are heading back to hotels because of extensive cleaning requirements from Airbnb hosts. For example, teacher Christina Marie recently booked a short-term rental house on Lake Tahoe with her family of six. She spent the last day of her vacation cleaning and ensuring that her Continue reading

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September 20, 2022

Over the years, Instagram has attracted hundreds of millions of daily users by providing a platform for people to share pictures and videos of their family and friends. Starting in 2020, though, the social network launched Instagram Reels, a short-video feature made to rival TikTok. Although Instagram’s parent company Meta has staked much of its future on Reels, internal company documents show that the feature is not very popular with users both large and small. 

For example, Instagram users Continue reading

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August 3, 2022

Last year, the movie studio Warner Bros. announced that it was working on a slate of films created specifically for the streaming service HBO Max. Among these titles was Batgirl, whose budget ballooned to more than $90 million after completing most of the film. But rather than release this star-studded adaptation of a DC Comics character, Warner said yesterday that the movie would never stream online nor would it ever appear in theaters. 

Along with ditching Batgirl, Continue reading

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February 15, 2022

For 34 years, USA Today has tracked consumer appreciation of Super Bowl commercials in its annual Ad Meter poll. This year’s top spot went to a light-hearted ad featuring Anna Kendrick picking out Barbie’s dream house for Rocket Mortgage, which also won last year with a funny celebrity cameo commercial. Amazon similarly scored big with a self-deprecating spot featuring Scarlett Johnansen and Colin Jost while Doritos landed in the top five thanks to a song from Megan Thee Stallion Continue reading

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