In January 1990, McDonald’s made history when the company opened its first location in Moscow, creating a symbol of unity between the U.S. and Russia after decades of tension. “In the history of McDonald’s, it was one of our proudest and most exciting milestones,” said CEO Chris Kempczinski. “After nearly half a century of Cold War animosity, the image of the Golden Arches shining above Pushkin Square heralded for many, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, the beginning of Continue reading

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The Covid-19 pandemic took an enormous toll on people’s mental health. The World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent during 2020. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one-third of Americans have recently reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Some patients struggle to book appointments with therapists, however, either because their insurance doesn’t cover their specific needs or because demand for mental health services has skyrocketed. 

“Since Covid, Continue reading

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iPhone with downward sloping stock graphShare prices plummeted across all three major stock indexes last Friday, wrapping up a terrible month that brought markets to their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. On that single day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 939 points while the S&P 500 dropped 155 points, amounting to respective contractions of 2.8 percent and 3.6 percent. Worst of all was the Nasdaq, which shrank by 4.2 percent after dropping 536 points. 

The numbers look even worse when Continue reading

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April 28, 2022

While Crocs have had their fans since launching in 2002, the clog brand really took off during the pandemic as housebound Americans searched for comfortable indoor shoes. This video looks at how Crocs won over a doubting public thanks to its unique design, customization, and exclusive partnerships with brands and celebrities. 

Questions:

  1. Why did Crocs close its retail stores and move to a distribution model that focused on online sales? How did it benefit from this switch? 
  2. How Continue reading
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April 26, 2022

Netflix revolutionized the entertainment industry after the company launched its streaming service in 2007, creating an on-demand platform that was soon imitated by many competitors. Although Netflix still has the largest audience in the industry with 220 million subscribers, the company faces strong competition from services like Disney+, HBO Max, and many others. No longer the only game in town, over the years Netflix has spent big on original television series and movies in order to stand out from this Continue reading

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April 19, 2022

As companies continue to face climbing costs, many businesses are responding by either raising prices themselves or reducing the size of their product offerings. But there’s at least one company who hasn’t surrendered to the effects of inflation: 23-ounce cans of AriZona iced tea remain 99 cents, the same price as when they hit the market 30 years ago. So is AriZona somehow immune to recent price increases? Not in the least, considering that the cost of aluminum has Continue reading

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April 15, 2022

As businesses across the globe contend with rising inflation, many companies are cutting costs by reducing the size of consumer goods and hoping buyers don’t notice. This video looks at this growing trend of “shrinkflation” and the risks that companies take when they downsize snacks. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies responding to rising costs with “shrinkflation?” 
  2. What risks do companies take when they alter the packaging or size of consumer goods like snacks?
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March 31, 2022

Sales of houseplants skyrocketed during the onset of the pandemic, and ever since growers around the world have struggled to keep up with ever-increasing demand. Not only are they reaching production capacity, but growers are also in a race against time to get their plants to market before they die on store shelves. This video takes a detailed look at the advanced growing techniques used on modern houseplant farms as well as the flood of TikTok-driven demand that growers must Continue reading

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March 22, 2022

In 2003 McDonald’s held a contest among 14 international ad agencies to see who could produce the best jingle for the fast food chain. The winner turned out to be a small firm in Germany that came up with a catchy tune along with the tagline “ich liebe es,” which translates to “I’m lovin’ it.” With this guaranteed hit on their hands, McDonald’s developed a billion-dollar marketing campaign to unveil the slogan, which included a version of “I’m Lovin’ It” Continue reading

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March 15, 2022

The Swedish company Oatly began making oat milk in the early 1990s and steadily grew a dedicated following among health conscious European consumers. But the beverage really took off in the late 2010s when Americans got in on the craze, sending Oatly’s sales soaring and attracting interest from high-level investors. To enable the brand to grab market share while it was available, Oatly received major investments from companies like Blackstone Group as well as celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z. Continue reading

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