Monthly Archives: July 2013

July 2013 Viral Videos


Every week Advertising Age, in conjunction with company Visible Measures, publishes a list of the week’s top performing videos. The weekly chart highlights viral video ads that appear on online video sites. Each ad measures viewership of brand-syndicated video clips as well as social video placements that are driven by viewers around the world. (A measurement called True Reach™ quantifies the total audience that has been exposed to a viral video campaign. The measurement combines data from brand-driven seeded video placements with results from community-driven viral video placements – spoofs, parodies, mashups, and more.)

There are three key factors for viral video success:

  1. Reaching the tastemakers.
  2. Building a community of participation.
  3. Creating unexpectedness in the video.

Regardless of the type of product or service, the country of origin, or the importance of the message, what matters is reaching the audience in a way the both entertains and informs.

Check out this week’s top videos and discuss what makes them “viral” –

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up Ad Age’s weekly Viral Video chart:
  2. Have students examine how the ads are measured by Visible Measures.
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an ad on the top video chart and analyze the ad.
  4. What is unusual?
  5. Who will it interest?
  6. What is the key message?
  7. How effective is the ad at getting the company’s brand and message across to viewers?
  8. In teams, have students design a viral video for a product of their choosing. What are the elements that are needed to go viral?

Source:  Advertising Age, Visible Measures – weekly update

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Changing Cellphone Billing


Cellphones are expensive! Not just the phone itself, which can be priced anywhere from $0 to $600 depending on the phone, but the monthly service charge is outrageous as well! Consumers sign up for a plan, usually requiring at least a two-year contract duration locking them in to the company and rate, and are stuck with the provider no matter how the industry changes. And if a consumer needs a new phone – watch out! We can pay hundreds of additional dollars, beyond the initial purchase price, over the length of the contract!

Why do consumers put up with this? Mostly because there are no other options – all the cellphone service providers use the same model – there are no alternatives. But this is finally starting to change.

T-Mobile has launched a new plan that eliminates the yearly contract; if a customer doesn’t like the service, cancel the contract without any penalty. The company also lets consumers buy any phone they like, and pay only for the phone, without interest or monthly fees that exceed the phone price. It’s about time!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a discussion about pricing. What are various price models that can be used for cellphone plans?
  2. Poll students about the cellphone plans they have: company, monthly price, services, phone costs, etc. Write the results on the board so that the students can clearly see the variations in service and prices.
  3. Ask students – why so many different plans for a utility service?
  4. Show the video – “60 seconds with Pogue: Cellphone billing” –
  5. How will the new pricing change the cellphone industry?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team build a table that compares the pricing offered by cellphone companies.
  7. Debrief by discussing various pricing models.

Source:  New York Times, other media sources

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Big Advertising Spenders!



Despite articles about the poor economy and lowered spending rates, the U.S. top 200 brands spent $50.2 billion on advertising in 2012!

At the top of the list is AT&T which accounted for more than one percent of the 2012 U.S. spending, including TV, radio, outdoor, print, and Internet. And, if the company’s $1.59 billion spending is too big a number to easily grasp – try looking at it this way: the company spent $5.05 for every individual in the U.S.!

AT&T was the top spender in the telecommunications industry. Other industry leaders include auto manufacturer Chevrolet, retailer Macy’s, and insurance company Geico.

The top 10 U.S. spenders include:

  1. AT&T – $1.59 billion
  2. Verizon – $1.43 billion
  3. Chevrolet – $958 million
  4. McDonald’s – $957 million
  5. Geico – $921 million
  6. Toyota – $879 million
  7. Ford – $857 million
  8. T-Mobile – $773 million
  9. Macy’s – $762 million
  10. Walmart – $690 million

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Which companies do they think spend the most on advertising? How much do they spend?
  2. Discuss the different components that make up an integrated campaign: TV, radio, print, Internet, outdoor, etc.
  3. How can companies make efficient use of media spending budgets?
  4. How can smaller companies with limited financial resources compete with these large corporations?

Source:  Ad Age Daily, 7/8/13

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