Tag Archives: design

Trash Cans with a Distinctive – and Sexy! – Voice

It’s not always easy to get people to act in a responsible way. We can cajole, threaten, use logic, emotion, get mad, but it doesn’t seem to work. People are hard to motivate – even when it is in their own best interest. For example, consider litter and trash. Even when it’s easy to dispose of litter, some people still seem to not keep it clean. Garbage gets thrown on the ground, not into cans.

But Malmo, a city in Sweden, has come up with a novel way to encourage people to clean up trash. It incentivizes folks to use the trash can by, well, talking a little bit dirty in a suggestive, female seductive voice.

Yes, you heard that right. By having a trash can talk dirty, people deposit more trash. What type of dirty talk and encouragement? “Oh, right there. Yes!” or let’s try “Come back soon and we’ll do it again!”

It’s a little more for adults, but it appears to be effective. The campaign gets people talking about littering in a fun way.

The city originally had 18 talking trash cans in 2017, but has only two now placed on a busy pedestrian bridge. Put trash in the can. Get positive reinforcement immediately! During the pandemic, the trash cans thanked people for social distancing. Now the cans have been repurposed to reduce trash. What else could they do?

One question though: where are the sexy talking male trash cans?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of public service announcements to influence behavior.
  2. Poll students: What types of public behavior would they like to see modified?
  3. Show a clip of the trash cans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq-1HXmRgwE
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a public service campaign.
  5. Have students develop an interactive way to influence people’s behavior about their public service campaign.
  6. What should it look like? Sound like? Accomplish?

Sources:  Bantock, J. (10 June 2022). Sexy trash cans? This Swedish city is taking a risqué approach to garbage. CNN Travel.

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“Stranger Things” Branding

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has become something of a cultural phenomenon. Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the mid-80s, it echoes the trends and styles of small town America. It’s also a marketing phenom with dozens of product placements and tie-ins.

You can order a Domino’s pizza on the Stranger Things Dominos app extension. Or maybe you would rather eat Eggos, or 3D Doritos out of a Stranger Things-themed bag. Get dressed to go out wearing Nike and Adidas shoes. Drive a Cadillac or Chevrolet. And eat at Burger King or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Season 4 continues the marketing momentum. The marketing tie-ins for 100 brands of cars, drinks, food, and more equaled more than $15 million in advertising value. It’s not just the time on the screen that brands value. Billions of media impressions also deliver billions of dollars in media value for featured products.

Netflix claims that none of the brands and products are paid-for placements – they are part of the story and fit into the 1980s lifestyle. Some brands – such as Nike, Levi’s, and Coca-Cola – also re-released throwback products in conjunction with the show to maintain their authenticity.

And let’s not forget about the official Stranger Things official store (open for a limited time only)!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What have they observed in their purchases? Are the sizes or prices the same?
  2. View video about product placement on Netflix: https://youtu.be/UIKs0SCTxA4
  3. Outside classroom activity: Watch an episode or two of Stranger Things and list all the product placements.
  4. Show website for Concave brand tracking: https://concavebt.com/
  5. There are several good videos here on brand tracking and product placement.
  6. What is the difference between product placement and advertising?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a product placement strategy for a product of their choosing.
  8. Finally, check out the store: https://strangerthings-store.com/

Sources:  How Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ brand partnerships can turn its fortunes upside down. (27 April 2022). Fast Company.

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Meet Pixy – Snap’s Flying Camera

It’s spring! Birds are flying! So are drones! What?!

Well, if you look up and see a flying yellow saucer-type of thing hovering nearby, don’t worry. It’s not an invasion by aliens. It’s only a friendly flying camera-drone from camera company Snap named “Pixy.” No more of that “who has the longest arms?” awkward stretching to get everyone in the frame. Now, just launch the bright yellow flying puck from your hand to take lots of photos and videos.

Pixy is now available for purchase online from Snap for $230. Unlike the larger drones, Pixy is small and light, and works without a controller. Take it on a picnic and carry it in your pocket. Immortalize the day by selecting one of its four pre-programmed flight modes and launch away.

Pixy even sounds friendly with its quiet propellers. A full battery charge should give five to eight short flights (10-20 seconds). Extra batteries are $20 and a portable dual-battery-charger sells for $50.

And if you like to take a LOT of photos, Pixy shoots up to 100 videos or 1,000 photos stored on a 16GB drive. The photos may not be high quality, but it is a fun way to capture moments. Images are synced to Memories in Snapchat.

(It may be small, but it is still classified as a drone under FAA regulations and operators are required to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (.)

One caution ~ be careful in the wind! (And by trees, too.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Pixy website: https://pixy.com/
  2. Also show a WSJ video on how it works: https://on.wsj.com/3LvdIGS
  3. Poll students: Who would be interested in buying a Pixy? How much would they spend?
  4. Competitor Air Neo: https://airselfiecamera.com/
  5. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  6. For Pixy, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  7. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  8. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.
  9. Optional: FAA Drone Pilot Certificate site: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/

Sources:  Heath, A. (28 April 2022). Snapchat’s flying camera. The Verge.; Stern, J. (28 April 2022). Snap Pixy review: A mini-drone to take selfies for you. Wall Street Journal.; other news sources.

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