Tag Archives: celebrity endorsements

Smokin’ Billboards Get Attention

Billboards are probably one of the more overlooked advertising tactics by students, who often view the media as being boring and static. But, they can be extremely effective – especially when the fog machine gets rolling!

This fall, billboards designed for Associated Bank’s Green Bay Packers checking program showed photos of popular players Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. However, the billboards also were outfitted with an additional eye-catching special effect – fog machines. The design is similar to the look of the Green Bay players when they exit the tunnel onto their home turf, Lambeau Field. Definitely eye-catching!

The problem was that the billboards were a little bit too eye-catching at first. Dozens of local motorists called 9-1-1 and local police to erroneously report what they thought were burning billboards! (The billboards did comply with local ordinances and laws.)

Here are a few guidelines for a good billboard campaign:

  1. Use six words or less.
  2. Get noticed.
  3. Be smart.
  4. Don’t just say it – show it.
  5. Keep it simple.
  6. Have a story.
  7. Be bold and colorful.

These billboards scored extra points for creativity.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss out-of-home advertising and the various forms it can take.
  2. Also discuss key elements to designing billboards in order to capture the drivers’ attention.
  3. Poll students: What billboards can they recall seeing in the past few days?
  4. Show the video of the Green Bay Packers billboard results: http://fox11online.com/news/local/fog-mistaken-for-smoke-on-billboards-leads-to-911-calls
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team design a billboard for a local company or service.

Source:  Nudd, T. (2017, Oct. 31). These Wisconsin billboards are so hot, drivers think they’re on fire. Ad Week.   

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The Danger of Celebrity Endorsements

Brands and marketers love to use celebrities to help endorse companies and products. Consumers think that if a product is good enough for someone famous, then it’s good enough for us as well. Using a celebrity’s image in advertising campaigns helps to promote products and raise its awareness. Marketers hope that the positive response to a celebrity will be passed on to the products or brands.

There are advantages to this approach. Celebrity endorsements help consumers remember advertisements and makes a brand more memorable than a brand that lacks a celebrity. But it doesn’t always work; it can backfire on both the brand and the celebrity when things go astray. Since by their very nature, celebrities are often in the news, and are monitored constantly, a celebrity who takes an unpopular stand risks damaging his or her image, as well as the brand. Scandals can immediately provoke a negative consumer perception and harm the brand.

Recently, Cam Newton (quarterback for Carolina Panthers) offended sponsor Dannon with his off-hand remark to a female sportswriter that “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” in reference to his football play. Newton was quickly censored by several groups who viewed the remarks as disrespectful to women, and Dannon ended its relationship with him to promote its Oikos Greek yogurt. (Newton has since apologized for the remark.)

How difficult is it to use celebrity endorsements?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance that celebrities play in brand endorsements.
  2. Have students list all of the celebrities-brands links they can remember.
  3. What makes these pairings successful?
  4. View Cam Newton’s remarks: https://youtu.be/HYVa0wuEjjk
  5. Poll students as to their opinion.
  6. Divide students into team. Have each team select a product or brand and then find a celebrity who could successfully endorse the brand.
  7. Debrief: Poll students about their opinions about the suggested pairings. Why were the celebrities selected?

Source:  New York Times, other news sources

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Fender Teaches Guitar Online

While not everyone is a musician, many other people have longed to learn a musical instrument. Some people do learn, but many others stop learning and playing way too soon. According to research from Fender Guitars, 45% of guitar sales are generated by people who have never used one before – but 95% of people who try guitar give it up in the first year. That dramatically lowers overall industry sales, and gives Fender an opportunity.

Fender Guitar has a new plan to help people learn how to play classics such as The Star Spangled Banner and  other songs. The key is to get future guitarists engaged quickly. The Fender Play web site has a guided curriculum so that students can pick the style of music they want to learn, and then immediately get instruction on songs from that genre. Fender Play includes:

  • A guided learning path for your musical style
  • Hundreds of lessons
  • High quality, close-up videos
  • New songs and lessons added regularly
  • Artists such as Foo Fighters, Elvis, U2, The Lumineers, and more

The service starts with a free 30-day trial period, followed by a  fee of $19.99 per month. Fender Play is not limited to its own guitar players. Any guitar student can learn to play on their own instrument (but, of course Fender hopes to create future good will towards its company).

What are you waiting for? Pick up that six-string and go!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who plays guitar? Who used to play guitar? Who wants to play guitar? What keeps them from playing guitar?
  2. Show FenderPlay site: https://www.fender.com/play
  3. Optional: Additional videos to show:





  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Which strategy is Fender using for this product? Why?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Fender guitars.
  4. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.

Source:  Brandchannel.com

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