Monthly Archives: January 2021

Google’s Year of Search for 2020

Google processes two-out-of-three Internet queries made each day. These queries give marketers a snapshot of trends around the world. This research gives us a good idea of what people are thinking and wondering about.

People search for many things in life – we search for love, happiness, health, and search for answers to the questions of our times. We all wonder WHY.  What did the world wonder “why?” about in the year 2020? Take a look:

  • Why is it called COVID-19?
  • Why is Mars red?
  • Why are schools closed?
  • Why am I so tired?
  • Why are there so many fires?
  • Why are people protesting?
  • Why is empathy important?
  • Why do people dream?

Google tracks searches on an individual country basis as well as globally. Lists are based on search terms that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year. Globally, some of the most searched for topics in 2020 included the coronavirus, election results, Kobe Bryant, Zoom, and IPL. Top searches globally also included our questions about George Floyd, Joe Biden, lyrics to WAP, movies Parasite and Contagion, and recipes for sourdough bread and pizza.

Take a look at the list – which of these topics did you search for in 2020?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Before showing the Google results, poll students as to what they think the top searches were in 2020. Why those topics? Is this the same for different countries?
  2. Next, show the Google site of the top searches:
  3. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different Top 10 List topic. What are the trends from that topic?
  5. How can these trends be used to develop new products?
  6. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source:  Google Trends. Year in search 2020.

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Top Ads Watched on YouTube in 2020

The year 2020 was long and challenging for all of us. Sure, 2020 had a lot of down moments, but on the whole we met the challenges and made the most of it. So, we’ve all earned a little time to relax, and no better way to do that than by viewing the top advertisements of the year.

Advertising surrounds us. And while ads can be annoying, people still search online to view compelling ads. Starting a new year is a good time to examine the winning campaigns from last year.

The most compelling advertisements and videos are ones that have a strong story, humor, inspiration, and excitement. They build a bond with the audience, and inspire thoughts and action. It’s not easy to create a short video that engages audiences and inspires them to share the video and view it more than once, so it is worth examining the top advertising videos of 2020. Here are the most viral brand videos posted to YouTube in 2020:

  1. Nike: Never too far down. You can’t stop us.
  2. Google Super Bowl: Loretta
  3. Hyundai: Smaht Pahk
  4. Clash of Clans: Lost & Crowned
  5. Turbo Tax Super Bowl: All people are tax people
  6. Apple: The whole working-from-home thing
  7. NFL Super Bowl: The next 100.
  8. GEICO Insurance: Aunt Infestation
  9. Hummer EV: Horsepower
  10. Michelob Ultra Super Bowl: Jimmy works it out.

Remember, these are the ads that people seek and choose to watch – a marketer’s dream! In total, the top 10 ads generated 470 million views and 1.3 million “likes.” (Note: Ads are determined by an algorithm that factors in organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention.)

What’s your top ad from 2020?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding and brand management. How do the videos fit into branding?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team analyze one of the following videos with respect to target market, key message, type of appeal, etc.
  3. All ads are available at:
  4. When teams have completed this, have each team show the video and discuss their analysis with the rest of the class.
  5. What are the commonalities between the videos? What are the differences?
  6. What should other companies do to replicate the success?

Source:  YouTube.


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Athletes as Endorsers

Athletes as celebrity endorsers play a major role in marketing and building brand awareness around the globe. An individual celebrity who endorses a product can often be seen as an effective spokesperson and help to generate awareness and sales for products. In fact, sports sponsorship is a $60 billion industry globally and includes endorsements for sportswear, beverages, technology, and more.

According to Forbes magazine, four top athletes – Roger Federer, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant – earn more from endorsements than from their sports winnings! But, great as these athletes are, a younger generation of athletes under 25 years old are on their way up, and brands are on the lookout.

To help determine an athlete’s marketability, Nielsen Sports researches social media data to arrive at an “Athlete Influencer Score” comprised of evaluating an athlete’s relevance, reach, return, and resonance. It incorporates factors such as social following, fanbase growth, and media value. The company’s report includes this year’s 50 most marketable, young athletes.

Among the top pro contenders are:

  • Kylian Mbappe, age 20, France, soccer
  • Simone Biles, age 22, U.S., gymnast
  • Patrick Mahomes, age 23, U.S., football
  • Naomi Osaka, age 21, Japan, tennis
  • Rose LaVelle, age 24, U.S., soccer

It’s not always easy for any celebrity to become an effective brand ambassador. The celebrity’s built-in fan base usually comes with specific consumer behaviors and purchases. There are many ways for brands and their athlete partners to reach fans. In particular, social media platforms are very effective in speaking directly to fans and can provide meaningful communications.

Which athlete do you trust?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the communication process: sender, encoding, message, medium, decoding, and receiver.
  2. What role do celebrity endorsements play in the communications and marketing roles?
  3. What features make an athlete an effective spokesperson for a product or brand?
  4. Link to report from Nielsen Sport: (must register on Nielsen)
  5. More information:
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify 10 different athletes that they have seen endorse products.
  7. Are these successful, or unsuccessful, spokespeople?
  8. Finally, select a number of industries or products and have students discuss which athletes best fit the product.

Source:  Forbes; Nielsen Research

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