September 9, 2022

Every month, more than one billion people use Google Maps to find their way around the world. The video below looks at the history of this revolutionary app since its launch 17 years ago as well as the ethical issues that come with gathering location data from millions of unknowing users.

Questions:

  1. How do businesses use Google Maps as a promotional tool?
  2. Do you think Google’s system of “differential privacy” provides enough protection for users’ location data? Why or why not?
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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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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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July 27, 2022

Each year, media companies spend tens of billions of dollars for the rights to broadcast sporting events from professional leagues like the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball. In fact, by 2024 Disney, Comcast, Paramount, and Fox are expected to spend a combined total of $24.2 billion on broadcast rights for sports, almost double what they paid ten years ago. That is, unless tech conglomerates like Apple and Google splash even more cash in an effort to expand into this 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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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 2, 2022

For years the home workout company Peloton promised customers that it provided more than just a stationary bicycle–it was a way of life. But while Peloton thrived during the height of the pandemic as people stayed indoors, the video below shows how this once promising brand collapsed due to falling demand and mismanagement. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of customers did Peloton initially market its product to? How did this change over time?
  2. How did the pandemic benefit Peloton, and why 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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