March 1, 2024

While high-profile AI platforms like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Image Creator may grab lots of headlines, millions of people already interact with AI on a regular basis in ways they may not expect. This video looks at how machine-learning techniques are built into everything from email to Spotify and why it’s important for consumers to stay aware of the growing ubiquity of AI in their everyday lives.

Questions:

1. Why do you think many consumers are unaware of the prominence of Continue reading

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February 28, 2024

Public companies use earnings calls to share information about their recent performance with shareholders and the media. News from these announcements rarely leaves the confines of the business press, but that was not the case yesterday when social media users heard an earnings call comment about the fast food chain Wendy’s. CEO Kirk Tanner mentioned that the company was planning to test “more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and day-part offerings along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

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February 21, 2024

Fast food companies pour billions of dollars into marketing every year, and a big portion of those costs come from expensive video shoots for commercials. This video takes a detailed look at the extraordinary skill that goes into seemingly simple fast food ads, from hand-painting burger patties to moving items precisely with the help of robot technology.

Questions:

1. Why do fast food companies spend so much money to make their menu items appear realistic on camera?
2. How does Continue reading

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February 13, 2024

More than 113 million people tuned into Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, a staggering audience that is increasingly rare these days. “In this era of fragmentation, the Super Bowl is what television used to be,” said media analyst Brad Adgate. Of course, these viewers are a potential goldmine for advertisers, who must pay a small fortune for the chance to grab the public’s attention on this massive stage. The going rate for a 30-second spot on this year’s broadcast was Continue reading

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January 31, 2024

Founded in 1913, the Stanley company has sold steel-insulated mugs for more than a century, operating for much of that time as a niche brand with a small but loyal customer base. Over the last few years, however, Stanley tumblers have become ubiquitous products thanks to the company’s canny use of social media. Their brightest moment in the spotlight happened last November when a TikTok user posted a video showing how her Stanley mug survived a car fire with the Continue reading

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July 28, 2023

Last weekend, the highly anticipated summer movie Barbie opened in theaters to rave reviews and huge ticket sales, earning $162 million in just a few days. Of course, Barbie wasn’t the only film to make a splash at the box office: the 3-hour long drama Oppenheimer also enjoyed a big weekend with domestic receipts totaling $82.5 million. The success of these two films follows months of viral marketing that made light of the stark differences between sunny and bright Barbie Continue reading

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November 9, 2022

Tesla owner Elon Musk has never been shy about seeking the spotlight, and for years he could always find an easy audience by talking to his Twitter following of more than 100 million people. Even that level of attention wasn’t enough for the world’s richest man, however, who purchased the social network outright at the end of October for a whopping $44 billion. That gargantuan price tag now ranks as history’s largest leveraged buyout of a tech firm, although it Continue reading

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November 4, 2022

2022 has been a tough year for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. In February we examined how the social media giant lost $230 billion in market value in a single day. Then in September, we looked at the company’s premier platform Instagram and how it angered many users by trying to emulate the short-video format of TikTok. Many of Meta’s woes stem from recent changes to Apple’s terms of service that prevent digital advertisers from collecting data 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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September 23, 2022

When Airbnb launched in 2008, the short-term rental company marketed itself as an easy alternative to hotels that had supposedly become too restrictive for the modern traveler. 14 years after its founding, however, many guests are heading back to hotels because of extensive cleaning requirements from Airbnb hosts. For example, teacher Christina Marie recently booked a short-term rental house on Lake Tahoe with her family of six. She spent the last day of her vacation cleaning and ensuring that her Continue reading

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