Movies and Music for Cats and Dogs

Worried that your pet doesn’t get enough stimulation when you are gone during the day? Does your cat or dog just sleep the day away, seem bored or anxious? Then pet TV and music might be just what Spot and Kitty need.

Yes, there are now movies and special music playlists, plus audio books, just for the pets in our lives. Even pet owners seem transfixed by the new services; both humans and pets seem to find it meditative and calming.

Some of the offerings include:

  • Amazon Prime has a number of streaming videos that feature birds, squirrels, and other creatures in their outdoor habitats. The sounds and motion make it seem that it is all happening just outside our windows.
  • Audible collaborated with famed “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan to highlight books for dog listening.
  • Spotify has playlists created just for dogs, cats, and owners, as well as My Dog’s Favourite Podcast. Spotify also offers music for iguana, hamsters, and birds.
  • DogTV offers a subscription streaming service developed specifically for a dog’s sight (color) and hearing (no startling sounds).
  • And, don’t forget about YouTube which hosts thousands of videos that may appeal to pets.

By all accounts, the pet products industry is growing by leaps and bounds, accounting for an estimated $70+ billion in purchases of toys, food, and supplies last year in the U.S.

Rock on!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has pets? Do these pets watch TV or listen to music?
  2. Divide students into teams – include pet owners in each team. List the items that are purchased for pets during the year.
  3. Show pet video/music sites:
  1. Assign each team one of the above sites to examine.
  2. How should these be marketed to pet owners?

Source: Advertising Age; New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Fresh Food Vending Machines

Consider the humble vending machines. They are virtually everywhere, and we do mean everywhere! We see them in stores, hallways, offices, subway stations, laundry mats, gas stations, and more. Not only are the vending machines convenient, but they are easy to use, can take cash or cards, and consumers do not have to interact with a cashier or sales person. Easy. Fast. Convenient. And, usually not very good eating.

Yes, the common vending machines as just that – common. They have been around so long that they no longer excite consumers. There is nothing particularly interesting, and virtually little food that is healthy for us. When was the last time you looked forward to eating a meal or snack dispensed by a vending machine?

That may be about to change with the advent of new machines that dispense fresh, healthy food in high density locations. Instead of soda, candy bars, and chips, today’s machines carry salads, yogurt parfaits, pudding, specialty coffee drinks, and much more satisfying fare. Not only are the foods better, the service is faster than stopping at a fast-food joint and waiting in long lines. And, as an added bonus, some of the machines will even recycle the packaging to reduce waste.

Here are few of the new alternatives:

  • Farmer’s Fridge – 400+ machines in office buildings and food courts in six states
  • Fresh Bowl – Seven locations in New York
  • Chowbotics – 100 salad robots that build orders from touchscreens
  • Le Bread Xpress – Five bake machines that cook croissants, pizza, and quiche
  • Briggo – High-end coffee cars that make 100 custom drinks per hour

Hungry and in a rush? Let’s meet at the vending machine.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where are vending machines? What do they buy form vending machines? Why do they buy from vending machines?
  2. Divide students into groups. Have each group take an existing vending machine and work out an update for today’s consumers.
  3. Alternative: Show Web sites of new vending machines dispensing fresh food and have a team of students analyze each vending machine and company.
  4. For each company, determine the target market, where it should be located, and the messaging.

Source: Black, J. (13 February 2020). The machine that lets you skip the salad bar. Wall Street Journal.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Turn Bags into Eye-Catching Branding

Have you noticed that some businesses are getting rid of plastic bags? Or maybe you haven’t noticed because you are too busy figuring out how to store or get rid of your own growing plastic bag collection! The average family gains 60 plastic bags in four trips to the grocery store.

Make no mistake – plastic bags are indeed a problem for the environment. According to the EPA, more than 380 billion plastic bags and sacks are used annually in the U.S. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumers go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually, at an estimated $4 billion cost to retailers.  It’s not just the cost that raises eyebrows – plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris found most often in coastal cleanups.

However, only eight states ban single-use plastic bags; 14 other states have laws that protect the bags. Why so few bans? A combination of factors including deep-pockets of the chemical industry and the political influence of retailers and restaurants account for plastic bag sales of roughly $1.4 billion in the U.S. alone.

As a result of the widespread proliferation of bags, lawmakers across the U.S. are banning or considering banning single-use plastic bags. Replacements include reusable bags which can also provide retailers with a great opportunity to expand their brand awareness as well as lessen negative environmental impacts. This, of course, present marketers with a place to make an impact for the environment and the store brand.

What’s your favorite bag to carry?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Name stores that use their own bags instead of non-branded plastic bags.
  2. Plastic bag facts: https://conservingnow.com/plastic-bag-consumption-facts/
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a store that currently uses non-reusable plastic bags.
  4. Each team should next design a reusable shopping bag for these stores.
  5. Have each team present their design in class.
  6. Vote on the winners.

Source:  Ad Week; Conserving Now; Politico

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities