Monthly Archives: September 2016

Viral Videos for September 2016


Apple got a lot of attention lately about its newest version of the iPhone and the Apple Watch. Not only did millions of people view the announcements by CEO Tim Cook and friends, Apple’s “Don’t Blink” video garnered tens of millions of views. The brief, 107-second video is probably one of the most widely viewed video within the shortest amount of time. Also taking center stage (center court) during the U.S. Open tennis tournament was Lavazza’s new ad featuring tennis great Andre Agassi. It has been a big September!

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. How effective is each video at getting the company’s brand and message across to viewers?
  3. 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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Pizza Boxes Do Double-Duty


Everyone likes pizza. But let’s face it, the pizza boxes are a hassle and take up space in the trash and on the kitchen counter. Wouldn’t it be nice if pizza boxes had usefulness beyond just delivering a hot meal?

Pizza Hut agrees and has had several clever iterations of their boxes in different markets – all of which extend the usefulness of the box itself. For example, there is a pizza box that turns into a movie projector, another that is a playable DJ box, and yet another that turns into a game box for flick football. That’s great news for extending the life of the box, and making the party livelier.

But, did you also realize that pizza boxes are not generally recyclable? While cardboard can certainly be recycled, most pizza boxes are contaminated with grease and food, rendering them unsuitable for recycling. It’s not an easy problem to solve, but given the mountains of boxes piling up in college dorms, there should be a solution.

So, next time you order a pizza, consider how the packaging could be more useful.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their pizza habits. What happens to the boxes? How many boxes are used in an average week?
  2. Next, show some of the creative uses of pizza boxes:
  3. View a video on recycling pizza boxes:
  4. Bring up the Web site for Green Box pizza boxes:
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team research pizza boxes and design new uses for the boxes. Have students focus on reuse, recycle, and sustainability.

Source: Ad Age Daily, CNN, Fortune, other news sources

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We Love Candy!


Americans have a sweet tooth. No matter how much we try to eat healthy foods, invariably a time comes when we reach for a sugary snack to give us a quick boost of energy and flavor. Even as health-consciousness grows, candy is a top treat that is still gaining. Today, U.S. consumers spend roughly $21.5 billion on candy, and this number has grown 2% – 4% over the past five years.

The group that buys the most candy shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone – it’s families with small children. The highest volume of purchasers are parents with children under 18 years old. While parents of 3-7 year olds account for 63% of sales, as children reach teen years candy sales lower to 54%. And what types of candy are purchased the most? Chocolate! Purchases of chocolate account for $11.2 billion, while non-chocolate accounts for $6.7 billion. Candy is also in the top 10 branded categories of foods that have gained sales in the past few years.

As it gets into fall, and Halloween approaches, be ready for a top candy season. While Easter leads the way, followed by Christmas and Valentine’s Day, Halloween candy sales easily top $500 million.

Want a candy bar now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss candy eating habits with students. What candy do they buy, how often, etc.?
  2. Bring up several candy company Web sites to show the different brands and products:,,,
  3. Discuss the importance of correctly identifying a target market. Although parents with children are the majority buyers of candy, there are other target markets who buy certain types of candies.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a different target market.
  5. Next, have each team design and name a new candy and determine the elements of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion.
  6. Debrief the exercise by having the teams present their candy to the class. Quiz them on what would change if the target market were to change.

Source:   Nielsen Company  


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