Tag Archives: promotion

Stories from a Vending Machine

 

There are many crazy vending machines that can be found around the world. Recently, we wrote about the world’s largest vending machine hosted by Alibaba and Ford in China – it dispenses Ford cars! And of course there are the more common vending machines that provide beverages, foods, supplies, electronics, and many more choices. But, here is one that is very unusual – a vending machine that dispenses short stories. Yes, short stories are available from vending machines that offers a selection of timed literature in increments of one, three, or five minute stories to be read and shared.

The story began in 2016 in Grenoble, France, with a company called Short Edition, a French publisher of short-form literature; to date, they have installed more than 150 vending machines around the world. And, now, the vending machines are available in more than 30 locations around the U.S. at restaurants, schools, universities, libraries, transportation hubs, and government offices.

The vending machines dole out literature and expose more people to the creative and stress-reducing power of the written word. Push a button and a story unfurls on a long strip of paper (kind of like a register receipt). More than 100,000 original submissions are stored on a computer catalog, and genres include children’s stories, romance, holidays, and more. Short Edition procures the stories by holding writing contests, often under specific themes such as “new beginnings.”

If you want one for your school, the dispensers cost $9,200 plus $190 per month for content and software. Most stories are shared and read by multiple people.  And the best part – the stories are free of charge to print and read!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students. Have them list all the different types of vending machines that they have encountered.
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/1Rq0eDc52g0
  3. Short Edition Web site (in English and French): https://short-edition.com/en/
  4. Note that stories are available online from the Web site also. Select one in class to have students read and comment on.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team come up with a promotional tactic that could be used to promote the vending machine and gain readers.

Source: Holson, L. (16 April 2018). The vending machine that spits out short stories. New York Times.

 

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Consumers’ Favorite Brands

Brand reputation is critical to organizations. And, while brand value and reputation can be measured in various ways, The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) has evaluated the public’s perception of companies’ reputations since 1999. The study starts by surveying the consumers’ top of mind awareness of companies that have excelled, or failed. Then, the most visible companies are evaluated on six dimensions of attributes to determine a ranking. The six dimensions of corporate ranking are:

  1. Social responsibility
  2. Product and services
  3. Vision and leadership
  4. Emotional appeal
  5. Financial performance
  6. Workplace environment

The annual study began with a nomination phase where 4,244 U.S. adults were asked:

  1. Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO – in your opinion – stand out as having the BEST reputations overall?
  2. Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO – in your opinion – stand out as having the WORST reputations overall?

In the ratings phase, an online survey asked 25,800 U.S. adults to rate two of the companies with which they were “very” or “somewhat” familiar. Approximately 300 ratings were collected per company.

The results are interesting.

Top 10 – BEST Bottom 10 – WORST
1.      Amazon

2.      Wegmans

3.      Tesla Motors

4.      Chick-fil-A

5.      Walt Disney Company

6.      HEB Grocery

7.      UPS

8.      Publix Super Markets

9.      Patagonia

10.  Aldi

90. United Airlines

91. Halliburton

92. Goldman Sachs

93. Experian

94. BP

95. Monsanto

96. The Trump Organization

97. Wells Fargo & Company

98. Weinstein Company

100. Takata

What is your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding.
  2. Poll students with the same two questions that Harris used: What two companies have the BEST reputation, and what two companies have the WORST reputation.
  3. Tally the results on the board and ask students to rate the top best and worst on the six attributes, using just their opinions and current knowledge.
  4. What are the results?
  5. Show the Harris Poll report: https://theharrispoll.com/reputation-quotient/#rq
  6. A video is available: https://tdameritradenetwork.com/video/77694950-7dfc-4ae3-bd25-86ab04d63406

Source:  The Harris Poll, USA Today, other news sources

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Outdoor Ads and Serena Williams

Serena Williams is one of the world’s greatest tennis players of all time. And, as a new mother, her husband and baby girl have proclaimed that she is also the “greatest momma of all time!” (G.M.O.A.T) They made the announcement in a very public way, too – giant billboards!

Using a series of four billboards outside Palm Springs, Calif., the billboards coincided with William’s return to competitive tennis as she competes in her first professional match since giving birth. While the billboards were charming and included photos of baby Olympia, the billboards also lend weight to one of Alexis Ohanian’s (William’s husband) business holdings. Ohanian used an outdoor advertising company named AdQuick to design and place the ads; he has a financial stake in the company.

It’s a lovely, and clever, play as AdQuick brings online tools to outdoor advertising to make the process of buying and measuring easier and more transparent. The company aims to solve two problems with outdoor advertising – getting billboards designed is usually a slow, low-tech process and it can be difficult to measure the impact of billboard campaigns.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  2. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  3. Discuss the use of billboards and other outdoor advertising.
  4. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  5. For a product of their choosing, have each team develop a creative billboard. Make sure they define the target market, key message, and billboard location.
  6. Note: Look up creative billboards online and show several in class to spark ideas. Many ideas can be found by doing a Google image search for “creative billboards.”

Source:  Nudd, T. (27 February, 2018). Those cute ads with Serena Williams and her baby are also ads for the billboard company. Ad Week.

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