Tag Archives: entertainment

Pssst… Want a free TV?

Telly: “Who wants a free television?”  

Me: “Me! Oh, wait. Is it a teeny tiny screen? Must be small or a poor screen to make it free. And there must be a charge somewhere…”  

Telly: “No, it’s not teeny tiny. It’s a 55-inch 4K television! And it’s free!”  

Me: “Wow. Then me! I want a free TV!”

Telly: “Great. There’s just one catch though. You also have to install a separate second display underneath that constantly displays ads and other information. That means all the time.”  

Me: “Hmmm….I’ll think about it.”  

While the above isn’t an actual conversation, it could be. And yes, a company named Telly is giving away 500,000 units of a 55-inch 4K televisions with a second screen. The second screen is located beneath the large screen and can show advertising, sports scores, and stock quotes based on a survey of the viewer’s information and interests. Telly is also equipped with a soundbar that includes a microphone and motion-tracking camera, and voice assistant.  

Telly starts with a survey gathering personal information plus information about cellphone provider, home ownership, household income, vehicle ownership, children, pets, and more. This information is used for selecting targeted advertising to viewers.  

Telly also collects information about what you watch, search for, others in the room, plus locations, geo-positioning, and more personal data. The data-gathering is required in order to retain the TV as free. And, even if you are not watching TV it will display ads.  

More than 250,000 people across the U.S. signed up in the first week Telly was offered. The company plans to distribute 500,000 units by the end of the year.  

Do you still want that free TV?      

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show video about Telly: https://youtu.be/RsQ-RCe5YKA
  2. Show Telly website: https://www.freetelly.com/
  3. Also show Telly Terms of Service page: https://www.freetelly.com/terms-of-service
  4. Poll students: Who wants a Telly?
  5. What are the challenges Telly has to solve?
  6. Who is the target market for Telly?
  7. What is its appeal to consumers?
  8. What is its appeal to advertisers and companies?

Source: Fried, I. (17 May 2023). Telly’s free TV is latest take on ad-supported hardware. Axios.com.; Graham, M. (19 July 2023). A billboard for the living room? How Telly want advertisers to pay for your TV set. Wall Street Journal.

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The Barbie Brand Goes Big

In my modest opinion as a marketer, nobody does branding better than ‘Barbie’ from Mattel It takes toys and keeps them relevant over decades. Case in point: Barbie dolls. While Barbie has had some ups-and-downs over the years, she is still a powerful brand icon. And this summer she gets her own movie!

The iconic doll has been a staple in American kids’ lives since the 1950s and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Barbie is now 64 years old (but doesn’t look a day over 19) and she has finely honed her marketing skills over the years.

This summer’s Barbie movie has more than 100 Barbie merchandise collaborations including an Airbnb stay at the Malibu Dream House (hosted by Ken). Other merchandise includes:

  • Barbie-themed Xbox Series S
  • Barbie roller skates from Impala
  • Barbie ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery
  • Pink-colored clothing at Gap
  • Hot Wheels Barbie Corvette
  • Barbie sneakers from Superga
  • Barbie pool floats at Target and Amazon
  • And much more…

The movie is a strong play from Mattel to increase growth by making Barbie a trending, pop culture sensation. To expand the potential sales, Mattel has partnered with other companies for even more pink Barbie-0branded products. Some agreements pay Mattel a flat licensing fee; others may be giving Mattel a percentage of the sales.

Think pink!

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has played with a Barbie doll in their youth – or now?
  2. Why did Mattel want a Barbie movie?
  3. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  4. Which strategy is being used for this product? Why?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Barbie.
  6. Show the movie clip: https://www.barbie-themovie.net/
  7. View the Malibu beach house rental: https://news.airbnb.com/barbies-malibu-dreamhouse-is-back-on-airbnb-but-this-time-kens-hosting/
  8. Show Mattel’s Barbie website: https://shop.mattel.com/pages/barbie
  9. Optional: Have students search for Barbie-branded merchandise and collaborators.

Source: Lieber, C. (29 June 2023). The summer of ‘Barbie’ has only just begun. Wall Street Journal; Vega, N. (29 June 2023). ‘Barbie’ roller skates, Hot Wheels and dog toys: Brands are going all in on merch for summer’s hottest movie. CNBC.

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Apple Launches Vision Pro Headset for VR/AR

It’s finally here (well, nearly here). Apple recently launched a new AR/VR headset, the Apple Vision Pro to be available in 2024 for $3,499. The new product enters the growing AR/VR entertainment market, but also takes it a step beyond the capability of other devices.

Users navigate the device using their voice, eyes, and hands for a seamless view of digital content. Apple calls it a spatial operating system with familiar icons. The headset also allows viewers to see others in the room through its glass, and a turn of the button lets others see the wearer’s eyes too. This feature helps lessens the isolation caused by wearing the headset for long periods of time.

It also contains a 3-D camera for recording videos and photos, or to immerse yourself in a video. The headset can transform any room into a personal theater for viewing movies, shows, and games.

The physical headset has a glass front and aluminum frame on a soft headband. It has a cable that attaches to a small battery pack that can be slipped into a pocket. The company wants the headset to be used for both work and entertainment and it automatically connects to a Mac so that wearers can take over their desktop when wearing it.

It has already received great reviews, but that $3,500 price puts it out of reach for many people.

Are you interested?

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What has been their experience with VR/AR headsets to date?
  2. View a product demonstration: https://www.apple.com/apple-vision-pro/
  3. A longer introduction video is available on the same site. Have students spend some time online viewing details about the product.
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for the product. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  5. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have teams research how this headset compares to other VR headsets from Meta, Magic Leap, and Sony.

Source: Chen, B. (6 June 2023). A first try of Apple’s $3,500 Vision Pro Headset. New York Times.; Gershgorn, D. (5 June 2023). Everything Apply announced at WWDC2023: Vision Pro VR headset, new Macs, and More. New York Times.; Panzarion, M. (5 June 2023). First impressions: Yes, Apple Vision Pro works and yet, it’s good. TechCrunch.

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