Monthly Archives: August 2015

Viral Videos – August, 2015


One of the most exciting viral videos is this month’s “Pipe Dream” video from DC Shoes. (Link: The innovative, action sport film merges surfing with motocross in a way never-before imagined.

Every week, Advertising Age 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. True Reach™ quantifies the total audience that has been exposed to a viral video campaign. 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 “go 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

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Caffeine Inhalers


Many people like a little jolt of caffeine at some time during the day. Perhaps it’s needed first-thing in the morning, or after lunch, or whenever a little extra boost of energy is needed during sports. And, there are plenty of caffeine delivery systems to help wake us up, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and more. But if one doesn’t want to ingest a drink, or doesn’t have time to pause for a latte, the newest way to achieve a caffeinated buzz is to “vape” it.

Caffeine inhalers combine e-cigarettes with caffeine, delivering a shot of caffeine quickly while people are on-the-go. The inhaler operates similarly as e-cigarettes, containing a heating element to transform the active ingredients into a vapor. Disposable inhalers cost roughly $9 and last for 500 caffeinated puffs, each puff containing two milligrams of caffeine (compared to 150 milligrams in a cup of coffee). Puff 10-20 times to get a standard serving and gain a buzz.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up Web sites to view products:

Eagle Energy Vapor:

Caffeine Vape Stix:

Vapor Stick:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. For this product, what is the target market?
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  4. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source: New York Times

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Computer that Cooks – Really, it Cooks


Question: What happened when former Apple engineers decide to reinvent the kitchen? Answer: They designed a computer that cooks (and named it June).

The June Oven is a computerized oven that recognizes food, determines how it should be cooked, and sends a text when the meal is done. It also includes a HD camera to show a live view of the oven interior so the cook can see the meal in progress. June has the guts of a smart phone, is connected to the Internet, and even includes digital recipes and meal planning.

June includes a built-in digital scale, unit conversion, kitchen timer, carbon fiber heating elements, dual-surround convention, core temperature probe, touch screen, and food id recognition camera. The product will be available in the U.S. in Spring 2016 and will cost $1,495. The kitchen will never be the same.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss competition and product positioning.
  2. Show the video of June in action:

  1. Bring up the June Oven Web site:
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify competing products and plot the competitors onto a positioning map.
  3. Debrief the exercise: determine how to market this product to the targets.

Source: Manufacturing Business Technology, CNN Money, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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