Category Archives: Classroom Activities

Consumer Electronics Show 2022 Tackles the Future of Tech

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest and most influential showcases in the world for introducing innovative technology products from around the globe. Even during the ongoing pandemic, the Las Vegas-based show brought in nearly 45,000 attendees to the show floor. Plenty of people also ‘attended’ online with companies showing both concepts and real-life products. Attendees arrived from 119 countries to engage with emerging technologies and products across 11 different indoor and outdoor venues.

A diverse group of 2,300 companies (including 800 start-ups from 19 countries) showcased the latest innovations in the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrency, sustainability, wellness, transportation, entertainment, robotics, automotive, consumer goods, and more. And while the metaverse may be mostly just a concept today, CES illustrated how the building blocks it needs are already around, including blockchain, cloud, AR, VR, 5G, and more.

The show also provided looks at products in the marketplace as well as products-yet-to-be-launched in categories including:

  • Wellness and beauty
  • Smart devices for the home
  • Content creation
  • NFTs and crypto
  • Healthcare
  • Shopping and ecommerce
  • Artificial intelligence
  • eSports and sports tech
  • FinTech
  • Food tech
  • Pet tech
  • Workplaces
  • And of course – robots!

One of my personal favorites – BMW’s color-changing car!

What’s your favorite innovation from CES?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:  

  1. Discuss the purpose of CES show and how innovation fits into it.
  2. Also discuss the use of trade shows and exhibits as part of a marketing plan.
  3. Show a summary video about COVID-19 products at CES from the Wall Street Journal – CES in photos: https://www.wsj.com/story/ces-2022-in-photos-a-strange-time-for-the-worlds-biggest-tech-show-a247b630?mod=djemfoe
  4. Additional summary videos can be found on YouTube, such as: https://youtu.be/GAzygeV_AsM
  5. View the CES Web site: https://www.ces.tech/
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product featured at CES.
  7. Instruct students to research the products online, and define a target market for the product?
  8. Which ones do they think will be winners in the marketplace? What products miss the mark?

Source:  C/NET; TechRadar; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Top Ads Watched on YouTube in 2021

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 and evaluate the elements that made them interesting enough that people searched for them on online.

The year 2021 was another challenging year and it 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.

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 2021.

  1. Amazon – Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Alexa’s Body
  2. T-Mobile – Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski Big Game Ad
  3. HBO Max – Zack Snyder’s Justice League Trailer
  4. Netflix – The Mitchells vs. The Machines
  5. Apple – Privacy on iPhone
  6. Peloton – Beyonce’ Classes
  7. Uber Eats – Wayne’s World & Cardi B’s Shameless Manipulation
  8. Toyota – “The Pitch”
  9. State Farm Insurance – Drake from State JFarm
  10. Nintendo – Nintendo Switch OLED Model

Remember, these are the ads that people seek and choose to watch – a marketer’s dream! (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 2021?

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. Ads are available at: https://www.youtube.com/intl/en_us/ads/news-and-inspiration/ads-leaderboard/youtube-ads-leaderboard-2021-year-end-wrap-up/
  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. Ads Leaderboard: 2021 year-end-wrap-up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Google’s Year of Search for 2021

Marketers need to constantly be scanning the environment, particularly how consumers behavior; their wants, needs, and habits are critical to effective marketing. Consumer insights give marketers information such as product reviews, recommendations, complaints, competition, and many more valuable data points.

Even a year-in-review gives us insights and information about behavior. One great source is, of course, Google. Google processes two-out-of-three Internet queries made each day for an average of 3.5 billion search queries per day. These queries give marketers a snapshot of trends around the world and the 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 2021? In 2021 we searched about “how to heal.”

Trend categories:

  1. Together again.
  2. Entertainment, evolved.
  3. Powering Potential.
  4. Big moves.
  5. Life calculus.
  6. Sustainable living.
  7. Redefining normal.

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 2021 included doomscrolling, COVID-19, affirmations, sea shanties, mittens (remember Bernie Sanders at the inauguration?), body positivity, poet, vaccination, juneteenth, and much more.

What did you search for in 2021? And, what will you search for this year?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Before showing the Google results, poll students as to what they think the top searches were in 2021. Why those topics? Is this the same for different countries?
  2. Next, show the Google site and video of the top searches:  https://about.google/stories/year-in-search/
  3. Monthly list of top searches is fascinating:  https://about.google/stories/year-in-search-2021/
  4. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different topic. What are the trends from that topic?
  6. How can these trends be used to develop new products and services?
  7. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source:  Think with Google. Year in search 2021.

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities