Tag Archives: entertainment

A Modern Potato Head Family

When is the last time you played with Mr. Potato Head toys? Well, it is still around but Hasbro is officially renaming the toy line “Potato Head” without the Mr. and Mrs. labels. The intent of the rebranding is to allow kids to show the many different faces of family, gender, and inclusion – and of course all in its beloved potato format!

Hasbro is not actually getting rid of Mr. Potato Head, who along with Mrs. Potato Head will retain their honorary family titles. However, the company will repackage the toys into a “Create Your Potato Head Family” set with two large and one small potato bodies, along with 42 different accessories in new colors and more inclusive messaging. The change is viewed as part of a larger movement towards greater diversity and inclusion for children and families.

Hasbro is far from alone in revising its toy lines. In 2019, Mattel launched customizable, gender-neutral dolls called “Creatable World” to allow kids to create their own characters. Mattel also has new more diverse Barbie dolls as well, reflecting the changes in society and women’s roles. And, American Girl dolls now has an American Boy to round out its collection.

Let’s play!

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into groups. Have each group 10 of their all-time favorite toys.
  2. Build the list of toys on the board and challenge students to examine the list.
  3. Are these toys gender-neutral, or are they directed at boys or girls only?
  4. Show the Potato Head site and video: https://corporate.hasbro.com/en-us/articles/create_your_potato_head_family_launching_this_fall
  5. Discuss with students how toys can reflect society and cultures.
  6. Show American Girl dolls: https://www.americangirl.com/shop/c/boy-dolls
  7. Show Barbie dolls: https://barbie.mattel.com/shop/en-us/ba/barbie-dolls
  8. What other toys could use this approach?

Sources: AdWeek; New York Times; other news sources

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Netflix in Africa

Netflix seems to be in a stage of constant product development, as well as market development. While it originally started as a U.S.-based service, the company has moved aggressively into new geographies and now streams its programs in 190 countries and territories. The company now serves more than 100 million subscribers outside of the U. S.

ix has a complex business model in that it must secure content agreements by region and country. Regulatory restrictions also limit what content can be made available. Also, many international viewers are not fluent in English and prefer local-language programming. Such is the case in sub-Saharan Africa where Netflix is producing original content. The region has 1.1 billion citizens and is a largely untapped market. Streaming in Africa is estimated to grow from 3.9 million subscribers in 2020 to 13 million in 2025.

While Netflix is investing in African programming, it faces challenges in piracy, expensive mobile data, slow Internet speed, and a high rate of poverty. There is also plenty of competition in the market from both local and global providers. Pricing and sales requiring U.S. currency are issues as well. Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription at $4.03 per month (59 South African rand).

Ready to watch?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Which strategy is Netflix using? Why?
  3. Show video on Netflix global expansion: https://youtu.be/JdtnX_P-4Qc
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Netflix.
  5. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?

Source:  Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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2021: Super Bowl 55 Advertisements

Winter is cold, but the Super Bowl always pumps up the heat! The Super Bowl has become one of the premier venues for marketers. The thrills, the chills, the excitement and surprises – and that’s just the advertisements! At a cost of $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time, the Super Bowl is also the most expensive advertising placement of any event or show. Add to the air time the costs of designing and producing ads, plus the integration into other marketing tactics, and a company can easily spend upwards of $6 million on a single day.

Love them or hate them, Super Bowl advertisements have become a talking point before, during, and after the game. It’s a big stage, and can also be a big risk. This year, a Jeep advertisement featuring Bruce Springsteen backfired when news surfaced that Springsteen had received a DWI citation in November. Other criticism was about the lack of inclusion and diversity. Of the 67 public figures who appeared in the ads, only 18 were Black, 14 were women, one was Indian American, one was Asian American, and five were of multiple ethnicities.

This year an audience of 92 million adults in the U.S. tuned in to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominate the Kansas City Chiefs. The game had a 38.2 U.S. household rating and was viewed in an average of 46.2 million homes, far lower than previous years. Roughly 68% of U.S. homes in use were tuned to the Super Bowl.

The average amount spent per person was $74.55, a decrease from last year’s $88.65. Most is spent on food and drinks at 77%. As to who watches the big game, only 35% of Gen Z watch, compared to 54% of Millennials, 51% of Gen X, and 52% of Baby Boomers.

Which ad is your favorite?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the Nielsen data: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-releases/2021/super-bowl-lv-draws-nearly-92-million-tv-viewers/?utm_campaign=Corporate%20Marketing&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=SFMC&utm_content=Newswire%20Newsletter&utm_id=02_10_2021
  2. Bring up one of the Web sites that have all the Super Bowl ads: https://www.ispot.tv/events/2021-super-bowl-commercials
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a Super Bowl ad to analyze and present in class.
  4. What is the target market, key message, and offer from the ad?
  5. How does the ad integrate with a company’s other advertisements?
  6. Are the messages integrated with a company’s Web site and social media?
  7. As a class, after each commercial have students assign one to five stars for the advertisements. Which advertisement won the class vote?

Source:  Ad Week; CBS; iSpot.tv; Nielsen Research; other news sources

 

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