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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July 23, 2020

Since thousands of concert venues around the world remain closed due to coronavirus, many artists have taken to social media to stream live performances. These innovative concerts draw in huge online audiences but are no replacement for the revenue generated by live shows. This video looks at how the music industry is hoping to earn cash from unorthodox venues, such as drive-in concerts and video game tie-ins. 

Questions:

  1. Do you think virtual events in video games like Fortnite could Continue reading
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November 19, 2019

Thanks to the popularity of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, some lucky musicians can go viral and attract large fan bases very quickly. In the past, artists often had to tour across the country for years playing small clubs before they got noticed by major record labels. That’s not the case these days, though. For instance, the teenage singer-songwriter Billie Eilish released her debut album less than a year ago and has already sold out a stretch of Continue reading

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October 8, 2019

When Apple launched the iTunes store in 2003, the music industry was not in a good state. Rampant online piracy sent CD sales plummeting and caused many to wonder whether record companies could compete against the freedom of the Internet. Fortunately for the industry, the iTunes strategy of selling individual songs for just 99 cents made buying digital music mainstream and limited the reach of piracy. The app also drove sales of the iPod, which was Apple’s signature product at Continue reading

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March 7, 2019

On March 1 the Backstreet Boys began a residency at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in Las Vegas that will run for 80 nights through the end of April. Although the legendary boy band are certainly playing plenty of shows, getting a ticket for one doesn’t come cheap. For instance, it costs up to $250 for a spot in the general admission area in front of the stage. For concertgoers who want to quickly find a good place to stand, though, Continue reading

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