Tag Archives: innovation

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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R.I.P.: iPod Comes to the End of its Life

Nothing lasts forever, even things that we love and use. At some point in time, we give up treasured things when we realize they are worn out or obsolete. No matter what it is, eventually it comes to an end. The product gets to the decline stage and it’s time to use those resources for a new product. Time for a burial.

In recent years some of the most popular product burials have included Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer (now being reinstated), multiple Ford car product lines, Bronco (now being manufactured again), BlackBerry phones, the Volkswagen Beetle, Segway, and more.

Today, another beloved product has been added to the gone-but-not-forgotten list, and it’s a sad one. Apple has now officially stopped all production of the iPod. Yes, after stopping the Nano and Shuffle a few years ago, Apple has now ceased manufacturing all iPods and is only selling until inventory runs out.

The iPod was introduced in 2001 when it held 1,000 songs, has 5-gigabytes of storage, and cost $399. The iPod Touch followed in 2007, and the most recent (and last) iPod Touch launched in 2019. Over the two decades of its productive and prolific life, there were more than two dozen iPod models. By April of 2007 Apple had sold 100 million iPods. Today, an estimated 450 million iPods have been sold worldwide! Without the iPod, there would have been no iPhone.

In my humble opinion, the iPod was one of the most revolutionary products of all times. It ushered us into the truly portable music category; we could take any music anywhere, anytime on a small device that fit into a pocket. Revolutionary.

Nice to have known you, iPod. R.I.P.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What was the first Apple product they got? When? How many Apple products do they have now?
    1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
    1. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
    1. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.
    1. For fun, play the first iPod TV commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8

Sources:  Mickle, T. (10 May 2022). Farewell to the iPod. New York Times; Prang, A. and Stern, J. (10 May 2022). Apple is discontinuing the iPod after more than a two decade run. Wall Street Journal; other news sources.

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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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