Tag Archives: advertising

Outdoor Ads and Serena Williams

Serena Williams is one of the world’s greatest tennis players of all time. And, as a new mother, her husband and baby girl have proclaimed that she is also the “greatest momma of all time!” (G.M.O.A.T) They made the announcement in a very public way, too – giant billboards!

Using a series of four billboards outside Palm Springs, Calif., the billboards coincided with William’s return to competitive tennis as she competes in her first professional match since giving birth. While the billboards were charming and included photos of baby Olympia, the billboards also lend weight to one of Alexis Ohanian’s (William’s husband) business holdings. Ohanian used an outdoor advertising company named AdQuick to design and place the ads; he has a financial stake in the company.

It’s a lovely, and clever, play as AdQuick brings online tools to outdoor advertising to make the process of buying and measuring easier and more transparent. The company aims to solve two problems with outdoor advertising – getting billboards designed is usually a slow, low-tech process and it can be difficult to measure the impact of billboard campaigns.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  2. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  3. Discuss the use of billboards and other outdoor advertising.
  4. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  5. For a product of their choosing, have each team develop a creative billboard. Make sure they define the target market, key message, and billboard location.
  6. Note: Look up creative billboards online and show several in class to spark ideas. Many ideas can be found by doing a Google image search for “creative billboards.”

Source:  Nudd, T. (27 February, 2018). Those cute ads with Serena Williams and her baby are also ads for the billboard company. Ad Week.

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Where’s the Chicken?

In what might arguably be one of the most ironic situations faced by a restaurant, KFC ran out of chicken and had to close more than half of its 900 restaurants in the UK. Yes, you read that right – Kentucky Fried Chicken ran out of chicken (which I guess makes it KF instead of KFC).

The supply chain issue that closed the 562 outlets was blamed on switching KFC’s delivery contract from South African-owned distribution group Bidvest Logistics to DHL. DHL blamed “operational issues” for the snafu. Some of the outlets were able to remain open, but with a limited menu.

Indeed, one can understand that it is a complex task to get fresh chicken to 900 restaurants across the country. According to news reports, the GMB union warned KFC that switching suppliers was a mistake. It certainly appears that they were right.

(Update: As of Feb. 28, 97% of KFC stores were open, but according to Reuters the company is now reporting facing another shortage… this time it’s gravy!)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. In order to be successful, companies must be able to physically get a product into the hands of the customers. Discuss how a distribution channel works.
  2. Show the video of the KFC issue: https://youtu.be/jM53cQJACCg
  3. For KFC, what distribution channels are used now?
  4. How can the channel be expanded? What approach could be used?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a flow chart for the distribution of the product.

Source:   BBC (19 February, 2018). Chicken chaos as KFC closes outlets.

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Top Marketable Athletes of 2017

Athletes and sports events play a major role in marketing. An individual celebrity who endorses a product can often be seen as an effective spokesperson.  But not always… Think back on athletes who have been dropped as spokespeople after a fall from grace such as Tiger Wood, Lance Armstrong, Michael Vick, etc.

What does it take to make the public view an athlete as a positive role-model, and when do companies employ these people? According to Nielsen Research’s N-Score Talent Tracker, in order for a celebrity to be marketable she or he needs to be likeable, influential, and stylish, savvy on social media, and have a strong public following. Not an easy feat to achieve when the athlete does not always have a home court advantage.

The following is the list of the top marketable athletes in the U.S. in 2017, topped by two strong female athletes:

  1. Serena Williams (N-Score 83) – for winning the Australian Open while pregnant. Her N-Score of 83 topped all pro athletes, even after taking maternity leave and not competing for the remainder of 2017.
  2. Venus Williams (N-Score 79) – landed the number two position thanks to a great comeback tennis season with top results at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
  3. LeBron James (N-Score 76) – not a stranger to the top list as he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their third straight NBA Final.
  4. Eli Manning (N-Score 76) – for his two-time Super Bowl MVP.
  5. Tom Brady (N-Score 75) – a four-time Super Bowl MVP.

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.

Who is your preferred athlete to be a brand spokesperson?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the Nielsen rating article: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2017/tops-of-2017-pro-athlete-marketability.html
  2. Discuss the communication process: sender, encoding, message, medium, decoding, and receiver.
  3. What role do celebrity endorsements play in the communications and marketing roles?
  4. What features make an athlete an effective spokesperson for a product or brand?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify 10 different athletes that they have seen endorse products.
  6. Are these successful, or unsuccessful, spokespeople?
  7. Finally, select a number of industries or products and have students discuss which athletes best fit the product.

Source:  Nielsen Research

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