Tag Archives: marketing mix

Smash Rooms!


Have you ever wanted to smash something? I mean, really, really smash something to bits with a sledgehammer or bat and feel the tension and anger flow out of your body. If you’ve felt that, you’re not alone, and in places in Dallas, Toronto, Houston, Niagara Falls, and Australia there are companies that specialize in letting you smash items to smithereens.

One company, Anger Room in Dallas, started in the owner’s garage where friends smashed objects for $5 while music played. Word quickly spread about the new stress-relief option and the owner got so many calls that a four-month wait list developed. Eventually, a location was rented in downtown Dallas and the business took off.

For $25, customers get five minutes to smash furniture, computers, printers, alarm clocks, glasses, and other breakables. Custom set-ups are also available for $500. One notable example – a fake retail store including clothing, racks, and all.

Customers are outfitted with safety gear and get to choose their weapon of destruction. Once a sound track is selected, let the hammers fly!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a new business.
  2. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  3. Show the Anger Room Web site: http://www.angerroom.com/
  4. Another company is The Rage Room: http://www.battlesports.ca/rage-room/
  5. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  6. For Anger Room, have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  7. Debrief by putting together the entire suggested lists on the white board. As a final step, have the entire class vote on the top three tactics to use.

Source: New York Times

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Farewell to the VCR!


We know the latest and greatest technologies – new product announcements are trumpeted from the hill tops. But what about old stalwarts? Do we even realize when a faithful product line is put out to pasture?

We can now add the loyal video cassette recorder (VCR) to the list of gone, but not-forgotten products. This fall, Funai Corp. of Japan announced that it would stop production of VCRs due to difficultly acquiring needed parts. Funai was the world’s last remaining manufacturer of the VCR. According to the company, only 750,000 units were sold worldwide in 2015, making it uneconomical to continue to source and produce the product.

VCRs were first introduced in the 1950s. The technology wowed the scientific and technology communities, even though it took decades for VCRs to make it into consumer households. The product was so stunning that when it was first launched in the late 1950s, units sold for $50,000 each, and more than 100 orders were placed the week the VCR debuted! Just think of that in today’s dollars, and without any Internet to hype the product!

VCRs started making it to into homes in the 1960, and in the 1970s competition from Sony and JVC propelled it to wide availability. In the 1980s, VCRs cost between $600 and $1,200. By 1982, there were five million units in homes, and that number tripled to 15 million by 1984.

Alas, all products eventually must eventually come to an end. The killer product taking out VCRs was the DVD player. DVD players were released in 1997 and by 2002 DVD sales surpassed video cassettes.

R.I.P. to the VCR. Gone, but not forgotten.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the VCR and show the video of the first public tape recorder demonstration: https://youtu.be/uNgLs6xjVIs
  4. Another video showing a TV advertisement for the VCR: https://youtu.be/MkzA9mCtJz8 (note to students – no remote control yet!)
  5. 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.

Source:  New York Times

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Viral Videos for October


We are used to seeing Samsung’s marketing and advertising on the Viral Video Chart. The company has had some of the top viewed videos on a consistent basis. But, right now, Samsung appears in the news only in relation to its Galaxy 7 problems and recalls. Taking that a step further, the company’s washing machines (also with popular videos) are under review as well.

But, no fear of a void on the viral charts: Shell, Walmart, Google, T-Mobile, and Kleenex are happy to take over the top five spots.

There are three key factors for viral video success:

  1. Reaching the tastemakers.
  2. Building a community of participation.
  3. Creating unexpectedness in the video.

Regardless of the type of product or service, the country of origin, or the importance of the message, what matters is reaching the audience in a way the both entertains and informs. It might be YouTube, and more often now, it’s on Facebook and other social media. Check out this week’s top videos and discuss what makes them “go viral.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up Ad Age’s weekly Viral Video chart: http://adage.com/article/the-viral-video-chart/samsung-goes-dark-viral-video/306251/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1477093970?utm_visit=226837
  2. How effective is each video at getting the company’s brand and message across to viewers?
  3. In teams, have students design a viral video for a product of their choosing.
  4. What are the elements that are needed to go viral?

Source:  Advertising Age, Visible Measures

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