December 14, 2022

The members of the K-pop group BTS are more than just entertainers: they’re financial juggernauts who have contributed billions of dollars to the South Korean economy. The video below looks at how BTS leverages their massive global audience to develop lucrative brand partnerships with everyone from McDonald’s to Louis Vuitton. This bonanza of cash might not go on forever, though, with the group announcing they were taking a brief hiatus that could potentially blunt their branding power. 

Questions:

  1. What Continue reading
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November 18, 2022

Last month Taylor Swift released her 10th album Midnights, which shocked the recording industry by selling the equivalent of 1,578,000 copies. Songs from the album also occupied every slot of Billboard’s Top 10 singles chart, the first time in history that an artist has achieved this feat. Needless to say, anticipation for Swift’s upcoming tour grew to massive proportions on the eve of a pre-sale event planned for earlier this week. Ticketmaster established a Verified Fan program to keep Continue reading

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October 26, 2022

A few weeks ago, we looked at the sprawling global sneaker industry and how companies like Adidas earn billions annually thanks in large part to their unique brand partnerships. The German sneaker giant’s most profitable celebrity connection over the years has been with Kanye West (now known as Ye), with whom Adidas has collaborated on the Yeezy line of shoes and clothing for nearly a decade. This partnership has been hugely profitable: one data research firm estimates that Yeezy is Continue reading

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October 7, 2022

This fascinating video takes a close look at the painstaking process for making oboes, a woodwind that stands out as one of the most expensive instruments in any orchestra. The artisans depicted below must contend with costly and dwindling supplies as well as limited demand from a small and selective market, factors that make this specialty business even more complicated.

Questions:

  1. Why are the material costs for oboes so high compared to other instruments like flutes and clarinets?
  2. How does Continue reading
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August 19, 2022

Since 1994, Rap Snacks has sold chips, popcorn, and even instant noodles featuring hip hop stars like Snoop Dogg, Migos, and Lil Baby on the packaging. The most recent addition to this lineup of talent is Nicki Minaj, who launched her “Barbie-Que Honey Truffle” potato chips earlier this summer. While Rap Snacks hoped this high-profile partnership would make a big splash on social media, the brand instead attracted the attention of an entirely different audience: the notoriously litigious toy company 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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December 7, 2021

This video takes an extensive look at Noble & Cooley, an American drum company founded in 1854 that has been going strong for more than 160 years. What began as a toy drum seller evolved over the years into an artisanal manufacturer of high-quality instruments that are sought after by professional musicians around the world. Business Insider examines this progression as well as Noble & Cooley’s commitment to quality that has set it apart from the competition for decades.  Continue reading

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June 15, 2021

In fall 2020 McDonald’s launched the Travis Scott meal, a branded partnership that significantly boosted sales at the fast food chain and earned more than $20 million for the rapper himself. The success of this promotion led to more collaborations with recording artists, including McDonald’s latest branded venture with the South Korean pop group BTS. According to observers, U.S. sales of the BTS meal are currently outpacing last year’s Travis Scott promotion, with restaurant visits up 12 percent from the 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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August 31, 2020

For decades, ice cream trucks carrying Good Humor products have traveled through American neighborhoods with the folk song “Turkey in the Straw” playing at full blast. Unfortunately, though, this more than two-century old tune has a sinister history outside of its long association with frozen treats. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, “Turkey in the Straw” was a standard number in minstrel shows that relied heavily on racist caricatures. 

“While these associations of ‘Turkey in the Straw’ are Continue reading

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