Monthly Archives: November 2015

Uncle Drew – Chapter 4


After a two-year hiatus, Uncle Drew is back and it’s about time! The fourth installment for Pepsi Max shows Uncle Drew and his teammates taking over local basketball courts in Miami where a game of H-O-R-S-E determines the winner. But, when asked if he could spell “horse,” Uncle Drew replied that he’s never had to ”go beyond H.”

Reprising his role as Uncle Drew is Cleveland Cavalier’s star Kyrie Irving and this time he includes new players Ray Allen, Caron Davis, and J.B. Smoove in his adventures. Set in Miami, the video once again shows that things are not always as they seem. Although the old guys start off slowly, they are soon showing the youngsters how basketball is really supposed to be played. As the stars say – “it’s all about the buckets.”

The videos are a big hit for Pepsi Max and illustrate the product’s tag line of “a zero-calorie cola in disguise.” As a product in the mature stage of its product life cycle, Pepsi brings an “A-game” to the courts. A lesson to marketers: things are not always what they first appear to be.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a discussion about product life cycle.
  2. Have students identify products that fit into each of the product life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
  3. Discuss how products can maintain market share in the maturity stage. What tactics work best? What happens in the competitive space?
  4. Then show the latest Pepsi Uncle Drew video:
  5. The videos are also being used to promote the PepsiPass app:
  6. How do these videos fit the techniques needed for products in a mature industry?
  7. Divide students into groups: Similar to the Uncle Drew videos, have each group develop a tactic that could be used for a product in each of the product life cycle stages.

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China’s Singles Day Sales Tops $14.3B


It was another record-shattering shopping day in China on 11.11 when sales on Singles Day in China topped $14.3 billion.  What appears to be the Super Bowl of shopping, Singles Day holiday growth is credited to ecommerce giant Alibaba who had more than 10,000 international brands registered to participate this year. This is a huge increase; in 2009, there were only 27 merchants participating. While there were numerous global brands participating (i.e., Uniqlo, Adidas, Nike, Costco, Walmart, Amazon), the biggest winners were undoubtedly the Chinese brands.

New this year was a 3-1/2 hour television variety show that kept shoppers glued to their chairs and involved home shoppers even more deeply in the event. Seen as a combination of the Grammys, Oscars, game shows, home shopping network, and New Year’s Eve, sales reached $5.5 billion in the first 90 minutes, and surpassed $9.3 billion at the 12-hour mark.

Singles Day began decades ago as Bachelors Day, a Chinese holiday where single men shopped and partied to hold their blues at bay. In 2009, Alibaba put its might behind the day and turned it into a manufactured shopping holiday in China, going so far as to trademark the 11/11 name.

The next step – delivering 310 million packages!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the growing importance of Singles Day in China. Discuss the implications for U.S. companies.
  2. Show videos about Singles Day and Alibaba:

  1. Also, show Alibaba, Taobao, and Tmall Web sites. (There are translators for the sites.)
  2. Discuss the growth of mobile devices for shopping. What are the implications for companies?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an ecommerce site and develop and outline for how the site can be effective on mobile devices.

Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, CNBC., Ad Age Daily, other news sources

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Viral Videos Include Facebook – November 2015


We never know what will strike people’s fancy and earn a ‘viral video’ notation. This month, it’s all about feel-good stories and cute animals as a koala from Australia and a computer-generated cat from the U.K. take top awards. Imogen the koala lives in Symbio Wildlife Park and her cuteness has propelled her to fame in a series of videos from the park. And, while not a real cat, the CG cat video brings a children’s book character, Mog the cat, to life as she accidently wrecks her owner’s home, but saves the day by calling for firefighters on Christmas morning.

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. It might be YouTube, and more often now, it’s on Facebook and other social media. 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. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an ad on the top video chart and analyze the ad.
  3. What is unusual?
  4. Who will it interest?
  5. What is the key message?
  6. How effective is the ad at getting the company’s brand and message across to viewers?
  7. 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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