Wienermobiles Drive Across America!

Have you ever seen the Wienermobile in person? It’s like seeing a famous celebrity – everyone stops and looks, takes a selfie, and smiles at the giant hot dog mobile. It’s a great rolling billboard that gets attention and promotes products.

The Wienermobile first began 80 years ago during the Depression as a way to promote product and make people smile. It’s gone through a number of style changes, but continues today with six vehicles and 12 official “Hotdoggers” who drive it and pass out dogs and smiles around the country. (More than 1,000 people applied last year for the 12 Hotdogger spots!)

This summer, the Wienermobiles are touring the country to spread the word about the reformulated hot dogs, now without any added nitrates, nitrites, artificial preservatives, or by-products. In addition to updating the products, Oscar Mayer is also using social media to engage consumers and help determine locations for the tour. Already visited was Whittier, Alaska, population 220, accessible via a 2.5 mile tunnel and icy roads

No word on the miles per gallon though (or does it run on mustard?).

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Discuss hot dogs and where they are in the product life cycle.
  4. Show the Wienermobile Web site: http://www.oscarmayer.com/wienermobile
  5. Show a video of the Wienermobile in Alaska: https://youtu.be/3e_1Z_oxt5g
  6. Now, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Advertising Age

 

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Prosthetics for Pets

There is no doubt that the medical options for prosthetics offered to people are advancing by giant leaps. Recently, we wrote about a new amphibious prosthetic leg developed specifically for swimmers. Such innovations are not reserved only for the two-legged species; new orthotic and prosthetics are also available for pets who need new paws or legs.

While the animal prosthetic industry is very new, there have been new advances and an increase in demand for prosthetics for animals. According to industry experts, the growth has been exponential for the innovative services.

Perhaps some of this is due to the change in family/pet dynamics – pets are often viewed as important members of the family, and receive important health care. The prosthetics are custom-made and can cover knees, ankles, pays, wrists, elbows, and legs. Orthotic devices range in price from $750 – $950, while prosthetics average $1,350 – $1,750.

What would you pay for your pet’s care?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is usually a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Next, show the Web site and videos for Ortho Pets: http://orthopets.com/
  3. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  4. For this product, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  5. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  6. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source: Tribune News Service

 

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How a Sample of 1,000 People Represents the U.S.

How can a survey of a small group of people represent the entire population of the more than 325 million people who live in the United States? While it is not necessarily easy, research uses a process that accounts for the entire population.  This is critical to marketers – in order to uncover information from consumers, we need to ask them, but it has to be the correct group. (For example, don’t ask bald men about shampoo preferences!)

The research basically needs to start with a random sample of a group of people who represent the entire population. The group has to be the right group though, not just convenient people and random strangers to whom we give a survey.  A nationally representative survey must be one in which each person in the United States has the same chance at being selected. Once you have results, how do you know it fits the overall population?

We know the demographic composition of the U.S., thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau. Once we have the sample, the respondents’ demographics can be compared to those of the entire U.S. population. The weighting adjusts for differences – pair the respondent with demographics of the country such as age, gender, education, race, and region.

Of course, there can still be variations and outliers, but the results of the right sample are a strong indicator of the larger population.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by discussing the importance of research in marketing.
  2. Show the Pew video: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/methods-101-random-sampling/
  3. Using the class members as an example, have students determine the demographic composition of the class.
  4. How else might the class be broken into representative groups?
  5. Select a product and have student teams determine that the demographic makeup of the product’s target market.
  6. How could students find and reach a random sample of the target market?

Source: Pew Research

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