April 8, 2021

Movie theaters across the country closed for months last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then struggled to recover once other businesses began to reopen. After Tenet disappointed at the box office during the summer, other would-be blockbusters like Wonder Woman: 1984 and Raya and the Last Dragon were simultaneously released in theaters and on streaming services. This radical change in distribution made industry observers and uneasy theater owners wonder if moviegoers would continue to remain at home as Continue reading

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April 2, 2021

As the NCAA March Madness tournament enters its final stages, politicians and labor advocates have reignited a debate about compensating college athletes. This video takes an extensive look at the discussion as it currently stands and how possible legislation could change matters in the future.

Questions:

  1. What is the NCAA’s reasoning for not compensating student athletes?
  2. Do you think NCAA athletes should receive compensation for participating in college sports? Why or why not?
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March 23, 2021

As the pandemic forced Americans to stay at home a year ago, many people turned to indoor activities like baking, watching TV, and playing video games to pass the time. Sales of products like baking accessories and new televisions increased as a result, but video games skyrocketed in popularity to a degree never seen before. In 2020 Americans spent a record $56.9 billion on gaming, a 27 percent increase from the year before. 

Sony reported a 62 percent jump Continue reading

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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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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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February 2, 2021

Last week, GameStop stock shot through the roof as users on forums like Reddit bought up shares in droves after some hedge funds shorted the stock by as much as 240 percent. This video takes a look at how both professional and at-home options traders upended expectations for many market observers. 

Questions:

  1. Why did GameStop’s stock price skyrocket last week?
  2. Do you think stock trading apps like RobinHood should have restricted users from buying shares in GameStop? Why or why not?
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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 14, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, auto companies anticipated a drop in car sales that indeed lasted throughout spring and summer of 2020. As a result, manufacturers cut back on orders of expensive items like microchips while demand remained low. By the end of the year, though, auto sales bounced back quicker than expected, which sent car companies scrambling for supplies. But try as they might, none of the major firms could seem to secure the microchips they needed for Continue reading

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November 19, 2020

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched earlier this month and is expected to be one of the blockbuster products of the holiday season. This video looks at the evolution of the console throughout the years and how it became a central focus of Sony’s business.

Questions:

  1. How did the PlayStation help Sony transition from a consumer electronics manufacturer into a gaming company?
  2. Why did Sony decide to focus closely on the gamer market for future generations of the PlayStation, and how did they accomplish this task?
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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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