A Year after Super Bowl Ad: Death Wish Coffee

In the 2016 Super Bowl, small business Death Wish Coffee beat out 15,000 other small businesses to win a 30-second Super Bowl commercial, funded by Intuit QuickBooks. Before the commercial, the company had days where it sold low amounts of coffee each day from its Web site and New York coffee shop. What would happen to the business after the Super Bowl?

Before the Super Bowl, the company’s Web site had a resting count of approximately 500 visitors. By the time the ad finished running, there were more than 147,000 unique visitors on its Web site, and almost all were from mobile devices. And, during the Super Bowl game time, Death Wish Coffee sold more than $250,000 of coffee.

Today, the company is doing great and is still growing by leaps and bounds. In 2015, Death Wish Coffee had approximately $3 million in revenue, and their estimate for 2016 was an optimistic $10 million in revenue. But of course, that was BEFORE the Super Bowl ad. By the time last year ended, Death Wish Coffee revenue had doubled its estimates to $20 million!

“Super Bowl commercials work!”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the risks and benefits of advertising at the Super Bowl.
  2. Show the Ad Age’s recent interview with the company: http://adage.com/article/special-section-super-bowl/death-coffee-s-year-long-super-bowl-high/308371/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1490741042&utm_visit=226837
  1. For backstory about how this ad was developed, show the video “Anatomy of an Ad”:  http://adage.com/videos/a-super-bowl-death-wish-part-3/493 (Note: There are three videos in total that explain the process of developing the commercial. Students will find these behind-the-scenes interesting.)
  2. View the company’s Web site: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/.
  3. Discuss why this ad and company have been so successful.

Source:  Ad Age Daily

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Fun with Transit Ads

Marketers constantly face a challenge to be both strategic and creative. It can be difficult to define the target market and then work out how to set your message apart from the thousands of competing messages. Sure, we all know how effective Super Bowl ads and social media can be, but don’t forget about the old-fashioned kinds of promotion, too.

For example, the simple bus or transit shelter makes a great place to build awareness and a lasting impression. Bus shelters are ubiquitous – they can found in almost every market in the world. Outdoor advertising delivers great visibility at a low price per impression. Transit displays don’t have to be boring – in fact, they are more creative than every thanks to the use of technology.

The displays can be three-dimensional, colorful, and interactive with the audience. And, since they are available 24/7 they cannot be turned off or ignored. No zip, zap, or mute. The large displays are seen by thousands of transit riders, pedestrians, and drivers. And, since most people take the same route to work every day, the ads are seen multiple times per person, helping to build awareness.

Look around on your next drive to stroll through town. What do you see?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of outdoor (and out-of-home) advertising.
  2. Poll students: What bus shelters do they remember seeing in the past few days?
  3. Show these bus stop ads:

http://www.adweek.com/creativity/20-clever-bus-shelter-ads-brighten-your-travels-133561/

  1. Additional, interactive bus shelters:

https://youtu.be/cRzJ1Pcj-cA

https://youtu.be/_Uj-MMAys4M

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team design a bus shelter for a product of their choice. This can either be a fast in-class project, or a longer take-home project in teams.
  2. Have each team show their bus shelter display.
  3. Additional work: Have students research the costs of transit shelter displays in various markets.

Source: Ad Week  

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Love is in the Air – and so are Tacos!

Taco Bell has been expanding its offerings the past few years as it competes with other fast food outfits. But still, how can a fast food outlet truly differentiate from the competition? What could a company do that would be first-to-market? Hmmm….

Taco Bell has an idea on an offer that is really unique – weddings! That’s right, weddings!

Beginning this summer, Taco Bell will hold weddings at its new Las Vegas Cantina restaurant. For only $600, couples can get a wedding ceremony held inside the restaurant, including an ordained minister, with as little as four hours advance notice. And that’s not all! There is also a private area in the restaurant for a reception with up to 15 of your closest family and friends. And, if you forgot to buy a gift, there is a selection of custom merchandise including sauce packet garters, bow ties, champagne flutes, and a Taco 12-pack along with Cinnabon Delights cake for dessert. Forgot the bouquet? No worries. A sauce packet bouquet is also available for brides.

Located on the Las Vegas strip, the new restaurant features two-stories, modern design and art work, VIP lounge, DJ booth, open-kitchen viewing, and serves beer and Twisted Freezes 24-hours.

Ready to tie the knot?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where was the last wedding they attended?
  2. Show the Taco Bell site: https://www.tacobell.com/loveandtacos
  3. Poll students again: Who would consider getting married there? Why or why not?
  4. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  5. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  6. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  7. For Taco Bell weddings, have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.

Source: Time magazine, Mashable, other news sources  

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