Tag Archives: public service announcements

Net Neutrality and the Whopper

In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed the net neutrality rules that guided businesses providing Internet access. The revised ruling potentially allows Internet Service Providers (ISP) to charge different rates for different Internet speeds and services. In essence, ISPs can charge customers more to get faster Internet speeds. And, customers who pay less would receive slower Internet speeds.

Unfortunately, net neutrality can be complicated to explain and is not always fully understood by many consumers. Enter: Burger King, using a Whopper to help explain how net neutrality works.

Whoppers? Those aren’t very technical. No, but they are a product that consumers expect to receive quickly (no matter what the price is). What would happen if a customer had to pay more to get a Whopper quickly? Or, as Burger King explains, what is the mpbs* for the service, and how much is a customer willing to pay for it (*Making Burgers per Second)?

Burger King set up a hidden camera at a restaurant location and watched how real customers reacted to having to wait longer for their burgers as employees deliberately slowed down their services. Customers could choose from slow mbps ($4.99/Whopper), fast mbps ($12.99), or hyper-fast mbps ($25.99). The results were hysterical, and revealing.

How much are you willing to pay for your Whopper (and Internet access)? The video clearly hit home with customers and went viral, racking up nearly 16 million views in less than a week!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by asking students to define net neutrality.
  2. Ask them about the recent FCC decision on net neutrality?
  3. What are student opinions about it? For or against, and why?
  4. Show the Burger King video:

https://youtu.be/ltzy5vRmN8Q

  1. After viewing the video, did anyone change their opinion?
  2. In teams, have students determine other topics that are difficult to explain and comprehend. (Ex: tariffs, quotas, etc.)
  3. Have each team develop an explanation using metaphors (such as Burger King did) to help consumers understand the implications of these complicated topics.

Source:  Nudd, T. (24 Jan., 2018). Burger King deviously explains net neutrality by making people wait longer for their Whoppers. Ad Week.

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Marketing of Nonprofits

Many organizations often have complicated marketing messages. They need to state the need they meet, how the public and government can help, and build relationships with donors. This is especially true with nonprofit organizations where the messages can be replete with complex jargon and hard-to-understand programs.

Nonprofit organizations need to provide clear explanation of goals and convince people to support its causes. Many nonprofit organizations have a difficult time competing – after all, there are no bad causes, only causes that either resonate – or not – with prospective donors.

The Colon Cancer Alliance is one of these types of organizations, and they eventually turned to marketing professionals for help in recrafting messages and marketing programs. One of the campaigns that they used during Shark Week called out the fact that while sharks attack only 16 people per year, more than 130,000 people each year are diagnosed with colon cancer!

Even words such as “disabled” or “disability” or “disease” can cause confusion and concern. These are broad phrases that can be applied to virtually any illness. Be specific in the messages, audiences, and treatments. After all, even nonprofits have competitors.

What causes motivate you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into teams.
  2. Have each team select a different nonprofit organization to examine.
  3. Review and revise the message and vision of the nonprofit.
  4. Develop a marketing program for it that is creative and catchy.
  5. Have students vote on the most effective campaign.
  6. How should it be deployed?

Source:  New York Times

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Texting and Driving – NO!

Text

We hear it every day – don’t text while you drive. Yet, a billboard in Toronto, Ontario seemed to encourage people to text AND drive. What??

The message on the billboard reads “Text and Drive” with the name “Wathan Funeral Home” at the bottom of the sign. That’s rough – but it wasn’t real. The billboard was sponsored by an agency as an effort to discourage texting and driving. When viewers brought up the Wathan Funeral Home Web site, they were greeted with a message about getting Canadians to stop texting while driving.

Why the billboard? Simple, we tend to ignore the routine message, or think it applies to someone else. But the shock value of the sign, combined with the presumed advertiser of a funeral home, made drivers stop and think. According to site statistics, drivers who text are 23 more times likely to be involved in an accident.

Text and drive? Nope.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their habits texting and driving.
  2. Show the Web site: http://wathanfuneral.com/
  3. Make sure to click on the icons on the right-hand side for more information.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for an issue about which they are passionate.
  5. Have each team post its PSA on the board and discuss what makes an effective PSA.

Source: Canadian New Service

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