Tag Archives: Apple

Best Product Placement – “Modern Family”


Consumers have gotten somewhat used to seeing products placed in movies and TV shows. We realize that this is part of marketing, and that companies will pay to get products and logos seen in a realistic setting. We see cars, food, beverages, clothing, electronics, stores, and more on a regular basis inserted into entertainment. But, in what might be a first for primetime TV, an entire episode of the ABC comedy, “Modern Family,” was filmed and produced entirely on Apple devices. Talk about extreme product placement!

In the episode, mom (Claire) is stuck at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and uses FaceTime to talk with the entire family and track down daughter (Haley), with whom she fought before leaving town. The episode is shown entirely on Claire’s Apple laptop with family members using laptops, tablets, and iPhones to interact with each other and Claire.

How will Samsung compete with this?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What products can they recall seeing recently in TV and movies?
  2. Show videos:



  1. Discuss product placement as a tactic in marketing.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product and then storyboard a TV episode into which the product can be placed in a realistic setting.

Source: USA Today, Brandchannel.com, CNN, ABC, other news sources

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BlackBerry Has a Brand New Phone


Apple isn’t the only company with a new phone. BlackBerry released its new Passport phone this month as well. Competing directly with Apple and Samsung, the new phone has a square screen and a physical keyboard that doubles as a touch-sensitive swipe pad. But while Apple and Samsung phones are geared towards the personal market and video content, the new Passport phone is focused on work productivity.

BlackBerry’s target users appear to be the “power professionals” – people who are well-educated, well-paid, and employed in industries such as health care and finance which require more secure communications. The new phone is also being offered at a price lower than iPhone 6; Passport retails for $599 without a mobile plan compared to $649 for iPhone 6.

The question is whether BlackBerry can gain market share against its entrenched rivals.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show BlackBerry’s Web site and products: http://us.blackberry.com/
  3. For BlackBerry’s Passport phone, what is the target market? How does this compare to the target market of Apple and Samsung?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Passport. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  5. What are the key differences in marketing to companies vs. individual consumers?
  6. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?

Source: Bloomberg News, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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Can you buy an iPhone for $199?

iphone1 iphone2

Apple’s iPhone 6 has been a bit hit, selling roughly 10 million units in the first few weeks after launch. But do you really think the new iPhone 6 can be bought for $199? Really?

If you have been watching the new iPhone ads, the $199 does sound encouraging – after all, Apple stated the price was “from $199.” However, that’s not quite the total price; the base price for the new product is actually $649 or more. But stating it that way doesn’t really encourage consumers to go out and buy a new phone.

In reality, upgrading an iPhone every two years using the 24-month service contract will not cost $199. The $199 is a down payment on an iPhone 6 with 16 GB of storage. The down payment rises to $299 for the 64 GB model, and $399 for the 128 GB phone.

The real price ranges from $650 – $920 (depending on carrier) for the 16 GB model, and up to $1,030 for the 128 GB model. Why? Every carrier offers the option to buy or finance by dividing the full price into installments over a two-year period, adding at least $25 to the monthly fee, and sometimes more. To find out, an educated consumer needs to read the fine print and then decide on the value based on the real cost over time.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by showing the new iPhone on apple.com. Make sure to show the price options and ask students their impression of the pricing strategy.
  2. Divide students into groups. Have each group research how much the phone would cost when buying both (1) outright, and (2) on a monthly payment plan.
  3. Do this for each of the iPhone carriers: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
  4. What other additional charges are there?
  5. Write the prices on the board and debrief the exercise.
  6. Pricing chart can be found at http://www.zdnet.com/how-much-does-an-iphone-6-really-cost-hint-its-way-more-than-199-7000033801/

Source: New York Times, ZDNet, Wall Street Journal, other news sources


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