Tag Archives: marketing mix

Meta launches ‘Threads’

X (previously known as Twitter) is under attack from Meta’s new app called ‘Threads.’ In less than a week after its launch in July, Threads signed up more than 100 million users. (It’s even a trending topic on X/Twitter.) While this level of new users is good news for Meta, the key will be getting people to use Threads long-term.   What is Threads? Threads is a social media app and microblogging tool. While it isn’t taking advertising placement – yet – it has access to all Facebook’s users plus Instagram and WhatsApp users. Threads allows users to log in using their Instagram or Facebook accounts, making the sign up process fast and easy. So easy that it signed up 30 million users in the first 24-hours of launch.   As a direct competitor to X, X’s lawyers immediately alleged that Meta hired X employees to help build Threads. X is used to controversy and, with recent limits on posts viewed daily and content moderation, no stranger to users ire at it. The biggest problem though is X’s loss of advertisers.   Threads is similar to X in many areas, including posts up to 500 text characters, reposting others’ threads, and posting photos and videos up to five minutes long. Threads is also free compared to users paying $8.00 per month for a X Blue subscription. Another allure of Threads is its quick connection to all your friends on Instagram. However, Threads does not have direct messaging yet, which keeps all posts in the public domain.   Time will tell how the marketplace, and eventually advertisers, bonds with Threads.   What do you think?      Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has used Threads? Why? What is the experience?
  2. Show information about Threads: https://about.fb.com/news/2023/07/introducing-threads-new-app-text-sharing/
  3. View video about Threads: https://youtu.be/hbMJSn5GyOE  (there are many other videos also).
  4. What will move users to Threads from X/Twitter? What will move advertisers?
  5. Who are the competitors for Threads? (ex: BlueSky and Mastodon)
  6. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  7. How should Threads position itself to beat out competitors?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for Threads.

 Source: Chen, B., and Issac, M. (12 July 2023). Threads review: How Meta’s new app stacks up against Twitter. New York Times; Jackson, K., and Aguilar, N. (14 July 2023). Threads keeps growing, and new updates have arrived: What you need to know. CNET; Rodriguez, S., and Haggin, P. (6 July 2023). Meta’s Threads app see early success, drawing advertiser interest and Twitter’s ire. Wall Street Journal; Rodriguez, S. (6 July 2023). Day after Threads launches, Twitter accuses Meta of using its trade secrets. Wall Street Journal; other news sources.

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The Wienermobile of Love – Oscar Mayer’s mobile Wedding Chapel

We love it when brands come up with unique and fun ways to market products. A recent example that comes to mind is the Cheeto Duster product – a device that turns Cheetos into ground up dust.  

And we can’t forget Taco Bell with its pop-up hotel – matched by Oscar Mayer with its Wienermobile Hotel for rent on Airbnb.

Another big success for Taco Bell is its wedding chapel in Las Vegas. Now Oscar Mayer is matching that with its own ‘Wienermobile of Love.’

Yes, folks, the Wienermobile of Love held two-days of hot-dog weddings in Las Vegas in early April. The happy couples shared a live Wiener Whistle Quartet, wedding cake (in wiener shape of course) and a ceremony performed by the company’s Hotdoggers. All expenses were paid by the company and slots quickly snatched up.

We love the concept of ‘The Wienermobile of Love ‘ – it makes a lot of sense as a promotional tactic. The Wienermobile is a celebrity on its own; the company gets thousands of requests each year to have the Wienermobile appear at proposals and weddings. It’s a three-dimensional brand ambassador that travels the country staffed by a crew of Hotdoggers. It’s big. It gets noticed. Having it become part of couples’ love stories not only brings smiles, it generates a lot of positive feelings for the brand and keeps fans loyal.

Shall we get a hot dog and tie the knot?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss using unique promotion tactics for short time periods. 
  2. Show the Wienermobile of Love link: https://www.oscarmayer.com/elopewithus
  3. Video link: https://youtu.be/SYUeGs9kInQ
  4. Taco Bell Wedding Chapel link: https://www.tacobellwedding.com/
  5. Poll students: Would they consider a wedding at the Wienermobile? Or Las Vegas Taco Bell?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a brand that has a visible icon similar to the Wienermobile. (Example – Planters’ Nutmobile.)
  7. Have the teams develop a marketing plan to bring that icon to life in a new way. The plan should include setting SMART objectives, along with description of event and timeline.

Source:  Century, S. (13 April 2023). Oscar Mayer ‘Wienermobile of Love’ becomes the wedding venue of superfans’ dreams. Advertising Age.

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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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