NBA Finals Used AirDrop to Connect with Fans

Quick questions: Do you like unexpected ads and announcements on your phone? Does it entertain you, or annoy you?

These were the key questions undertaken in a creative advertising campaign from ESPN and agency R/GA during the NBA finals. The campaign objective was to drive up viewership of the NBA finals. The tool used was Apple’s AirDrop. In case you have forgotten (or not used) AirDrop, the feature enables two users, who are within 30 feet of each other, to transfer files directly between iPhones and other devices.

For the NBA campaign, personalized messages were sent to people who were NOT at the NBA game, but were instead doing other things like sitting on a bench, hanging out with friends, and more non-basketball activities. The stunt was limited in scope, done at only five locations in downtown New York where marketers sent out personalized messages. And, to make sure they didn’t miss a basket, message recipients also got access to the game on live streaming.

Make sure to check your AirDrop settings! Who knows what might show up next.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about using AirDrop to deliver unexpected advertisings?
  2. Does use of AirDrop violate privacy?
  3. Show the case study video: https://www.adweek.com/creativity/espn-freaked-out-iphone-users-by-trolling-them-with-airdrop-during-the-nba-finals/?utm_content=position_2&utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=AW_Adfreak&utm_campaign=Adfreak_Newsletter_2018061313&s_id=516e0a4d191b2a646da5e880
  4. How many students in the room currently have AirDrop enabled? Will they continue with that setting?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional campaign to use AirDrop to get attention, and sales.
  6. Debrief the exercise by having each team share its plan.

Source: Beltron, G. (12 June, 2018). ESPN freaked out iPhone users by trolling them with AirDrop during the NBA finals. Ad Week.

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Amazon’s Private Label Brands

 

Everyone wants a deal when shopping, particularly when shopping for basic products that are consumed frequently. That’s a good time to look at private label brands offered by different retailers. Unlike the big branded product (which are usually priced at a premium to consumers) store brands are sold only by that retailer and are priced lower. Private brands have a lower advertising costs; the advertising costs are minimum as the product is associated with the stronger brand name of the retailer.

Walmart, Target, Costco, Amazon, and other retailers all have popular store brands, sold exclusively by the retailer and at a lower price than national brands. One of Amazon’s big advantages though is its own data about how, and for what, its customers shop.

Amazon started into private label brands in 2009 with a number of products sold under the “AmazonBasics” brand. The company has steadily been expanded its offerings and has had good success. Case in point: The AmazonBasics battery line, priced nearly 30% lower than national big brands, now accounts for close to one-third of Amazon’s online battery sales.

Amazon has expanded its efforts and now has roughly 100 private label brands. As another incentive to shop the Amazon labels, certain of the products can only be purchased by Prime members.

A few Amazon brand examples:

  • Spotted Zebra – kids clothing
  • Good Brief – men’s underwear
  • Wag – dog food
  • Rivet – home furnishings
  • Lark & Ro – dresses
  • Goodthreads – clothing

Go ahead – do a generic product search and see what shows up. See if you prefer private brands.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding in marketing, and the expense of branding.
  2. Discuss the advantages of private, store brands.
  3. Poll students: How many store brands can they name?
  4. Have students open laptops and phones. Go to Amazon.com and type “batteries.”
  5. What are the results? (Note sponsored content and advertising.)
  6. How should the private brands be marketed?

Source: Creswell, J. (23 June, 2018). How Amazon steers shoppers to its own products. New York Times.

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Your Smile Pays for Shopping

By now, nearly everyone has heard about Amazon Go stores where shoppers can skip the check-out lanes and are automatically charged for what they purchase. But, Amazon isn’t the only company that offers stores without cashiers. The latest entry is from Alibaba at its new Futuremart store in Hangzhou, China. The store sells a wide variety of Alibaba merchandise. Customers enter the store using a facial recognition app and scan a QR code with their Taobao, Tmall, or Alipap apps so they can shop.

But wait – it doesn’t end there! The store also uses a facial recognition program – a “Happy Go” happiness meter – to measure how happy the shopper is right now. A big smile can earn discounts!

Similar to Amazon Go, at Alibaba, when leaving, facial recognition and RFID technology recognize the shopper and the items being purchased. Alibaba and Amazon may be in the forefront of the new shopping technology, but others are close behind. Panasonic is also working on an automatic checkout using a walk-through RFID solution at a store in Japan.

Go ahead and walk-through the store – but don’t forget to smile big!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Would they like to be able to shop without a cashier payment step? Why or why not?
  2. Discuss the new ways in which technology is impacting retailing, such as Amazon Go and Alibaba.
  3. Show Alibaba video: https://youtu.be/FGtRXi8eRKI
  4. Show Amazon Go video: https://youtu.be/NrmMk1Myrxc
  5. Show the Panasonic RFID video: https://youtu.be/VD_FJzio3wo
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team reimagine the shopping experience using technology. What are their findings? Will consumers accept these innovations?

Source: Brandchannel.com. Alibaba test smile-and-pay facial recognition shopping.

 

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