Tag Archives: Product placement

“Stranger Things” Hoodie and the Science Museum of Minnesota

What do you think is the most popular wearable on the market right now? If you guessed some sort of high tech fitness tracking, you would be…. wrong! The most popular wearable lately is the decidedly low-tech sweatshirt worn by Dustin, one of the nerdy middle-school students on the Netflix blockbuster series, “Stranger Things.”

With an average viewership of more than 8.8 million people per episode for season two, Dustin wore a vintage Science Museum of Minnesota hoodie (featuring a drawing of a brontosaurus skeleton). It sent the Internet rocking and social media went crazy. The Science Museum was deluged with requests from fans to buy the hoodie. The only problem was that it no longer existed. The vintage art work used on the shirt was from the 1980s and found online by the show’s costume designer.

The Museum quickly commissioned new apparel to match the show and started selling it online and in the Museum’s store on Nov. 7th. What happened next was amazing. The website traffic was so heavy that it crashed the server! And, when it was operating, fans faced a checkout wait time of 20 minutes. In addition, hundreds of fans waited in line on a cold Minnesota November day. By the end of the day, the shirts had all sold out, totaling $400,000 in sales for the Museum in support of its mission to “inspire learning, inform policy and improve lives.” (Don’t worry – more are being reordered.)

Product placement works (even it’s for an old product)!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss product placement and its role in promotion.
  2. Poll students: Who has watched, or heard of, “Stranger Things”?
  3. Consider showing a trailer for students who are not familiar with the series: https://youtu.be/vgS2L7WPIO4
  4. Show the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Web site: https://www.smm.org/strangerthings
  5. Poll students: What product placements can they recall seeing in the past month in TV shows or movies?
  6. What makes an effective product placement?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a popular show that they have watched. What products or services would be a good fit? Why?

Source:  Harlow, T. (2017, Nov. 7). Sales of ‘Stranger Things’ hoodie overwhelms Science Museum of Minnesota website. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

 

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The Danger of Celebrity Endorsements

Brands and marketers love to use celebrities to help endorse companies and products. Consumers think that if a product is good enough for someone famous, then it’s good enough for us as well. Using a celebrity’s image in advertising campaigns helps to promote products and raise its awareness. Marketers hope that the positive response to a celebrity will be passed on to the products or brands.

There are advantages to this approach. Celebrity endorsements help consumers remember advertisements and makes a brand more memorable than a brand that lacks a celebrity. But it doesn’t always work; it can backfire on both the brand and the celebrity when things go astray. Since by their very nature, celebrities are often in the news, and are monitored constantly, a celebrity who takes an unpopular stand risks damaging his or her image, as well as the brand. Scandals can immediately provoke a negative consumer perception and harm the brand.

Recently, Cam Newton (quarterback for Carolina Panthers) offended sponsor Dannon with his off-hand remark to a female sportswriter that “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” in reference to his football play. Newton was quickly censored by several groups who viewed the remarks as disrespectful to women, and Dannon ended its relationship with him to promote its Oikos Greek yogurt. (Newton has since apologized for the remark.)

How difficult is it to use celebrity endorsements?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance that celebrities play in brand endorsements.
  2. Have students list all of the celebrities-brands links they can remember.
  3. What makes these pairings successful?
  4. View Cam Newton’s remarks: https://youtu.be/HYVa0wuEjjk
  5. Poll students as to their opinion.
  6. Divide students into team. Have each team select a product or brand and then find a celebrity who could successfully endorse the brand.
  7. Debrief: Poll students about their opinions about the suggested pairings. Why were the celebrities selected?

Source:  New York Times, other news sources

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NBA Uniforms Take Sponsors

People love sports. We watch sports on TV, listen on the radio, read about victories and defeats in the news, and emulate those athletes who represent our ideals. We buy tennis racquets used by Serena Williams, golf clubs hit by Tiger Woods, and basketball gear worn by LeBron James. Sports and athletes are a common component in many companies’ marketing campaigns.

Thus, it seems only natural that the NBA, one of the largest sports franchises, is now going to allow companies to sponsor teams and have their logos emblazoned on team jerseys. Starting next season, new logo patches will be added to jerseys, with brands paying premium price for the NBA exposure.

So far, only six teams have signed sponsors:

  • Philadelphia 76ers have a three-year deal worth $5 million per year with StubHub.
  • Sacramento Kings signed with Blue Diamond Growers for a $5 million per year, three-year trial run.
  • Boston Celtics have an $8 million per year, three-year agreement with GE.
  • Brooklyn Nets also have a deal worth $8 million/year for three years with Infor.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers have a multi-year sponsorship with Goodyear that includes a $1 million donation to Cleveland and Akron public schools.
  • Utah Jazz has a $4 million sponsorship deal with Qualtrics, but will not use the company logo. Instead, it will use a logo for “5 For The Fight” campaign promoting cancer research.

Which companies do you want to see on your home team jerseys?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of branding and sponsorship of sports.
  2. Ask the students their opinions about the NBA jersey branding.
  3. Show the video of Goodyear sponsoring the Cavaliers:

https://youtu.be/dz0WRL3ttlY

  1. Divide students into team. Have each team select a company and brand to represent. Using company information about values and mission, have each student team select a sports team to sponsor.
  2. Explain how the company and team fit.
  3. Set metrics to measure the effectiveness of the sponsorship.

Source: Forbes, Brandchannel.com  

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