Tag Archives: target market

Product Placements used to Increase Brand Awareness

Product placements are not unique to today’s times of streaming services. This has been going on for years as companies seek brand recognition and association with influencing characters. The first documented example of product placement was attributed to the Lumiere brothers in 1896 when they featured soap in a film “Washing day in Switzerland.” And in the 1930s Proctor & Gamble began sponsoring daytime dramas featuring its products.

From that humble beginning, today’s product placement has generated an industry worth an estimated $23 billion today.

Why product placement? As marketers know, consumers don’t like to watch commercials. Recent research indicates that 74% of online adults in the U.S. often skip ads. This makes it critical for marketers to get their product in front of consumers in a realistic and organic way. As consumers stream more content, product placements are up and advertising spending is trending down.

The best product placements fit the scene and reflect well on the characters and the brand. No one wants to see their product blow up in the hero’s face on TV! The product doesn’t even have to be show; characters who mention the brand are still effective (verbal product placement). Viewers also respond stronger to brands place earlier in the show rather than later. (Kind of like how Super Bowl ads are more expensive in the first quarter of the game than at the end.)

Core Hydration Water seems to be in a lot of places lately. It’s distinctive bottle shape and color are in various shows on several streaming services and networks: “He’s all that,” Riverdale,” “Nancy Drew,” “Love in the time of coronoa,” “Below Deck,” and “How I met your father.”

Dell Computers tries to be in as many places as possible to highlight its products: “Succession,” The sex lives of college girls,” and “And just like that.” Zillow, the real estate site, also uses product placements and product mentions: “Dead to me,” “Grace and Frankie,” and “Never have I ever.”

What have you noticed?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Hollywood Branded Website for examples of product placement: https://hollywoodbranded.com/
  2. Ask students to name three TV shows or movies that they recently viewed.
  3. Next, ask them to name at least three products that they can recall seeing in the show. Were those products there by accident?
  4. Show a video clip of one of the TV shows or movies. The clips can usually be found on www.hulu.com, www.youtube.com, and other sites.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team choose two products they would like to have placed in a TV show.
  6. How would these products be incorporated? What is the show/movie? What is the desired result?

Sources:  Haigney, S. (24 June 2022). Anatomy of a product placement. New York Times.; Fossen, B. (14 September 2021). Product placement is a $23 billion business and growing. Here’s why brands keep betting on it. Fast Company.

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Meet Pixy – Snap’s Flying Camera

It’s spring! Birds are flying! So are drones! What?!

Well, if you look up and see a flying yellow saucer-type of thing hovering nearby, don’t worry. It’s not an invasion by aliens. It’s only a friendly flying camera-drone from camera company Snap named “Pixy.” No more of that “who has the longest arms?” awkward stretching to get everyone in the frame. Now, just launch the bright yellow flying puck from your hand to take lots of photos and videos.

Pixy is now available for purchase online from Snap for $230. Unlike the larger drones, Pixy is small and light, and works without a controller. Take it on a picnic and carry it in your pocket. Immortalize the day by selecting one of its four pre-programmed flight modes and launch away.

Pixy even sounds friendly with its quiet propellers. A full battery charge should give five to eight short flights (10-20 seconds). Extra batteries are $20 and a portable dual-battery-charger sells for $50.

And if you like to take a LOT of photos, Pixy shoots up to 100 videos or 1,000 photos stored on a 16GB drive. The photos may not be high quality, but it is a fun way to capture moments. Images are synced to Memories in Snapchat.

(It may be small, but it is still classified as a drone under FAA regulations and operators are required to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (.)

One caution ~ be careful in the wind! (And by trees, too.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Pixy website: https://pixy.com/
  2. Also show a WSJ video on how it works: https://on.wsj.com/3LvdIGS
  3. Poll students: Who would be interested in buying a Pixy? How much would they spend?
  4. Competitor Air Neo: https://airselfiecamera.com/
  5. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  6. For Pixy, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  7. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  8. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.
  9. Optional: FAA Drone Pilot Certificate site: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/

Sources:  Heath, A. (28 April 2022). Snapchat’s flying camera. The Verge.; Stern, J. (28 April 2022). Snap Pixy review: A mini-drone to take selfies for you. Wall Street Journal.; other news sources.

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A New Sport Takes the Stage – Pickleball!

Quick question: What is one of the fastest growing sports in America?

Answer: Pickleball!

Surprised by the answer? Does pickleball conjure up images of old fogies slowly meandering around a small tennis court? Well, pickleball might have been first adopted by an older crowd, but it quickly made inroads into a younger people.

What is pickleball? Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Three dads on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle, Wash.) are credited with inventing the sport in 1965 to have fun with their family members. Creating a court and improvising equipment and rules, the first permanent pickleball court was built in 1967. In 1972 a corporation was formed to protect the new sport and by 1976 the first known pickleball tournament was held in Washington state. By 1990 pickleball was being played in all 50 states.

The popularity of the new sport grew quickly. By 2021, the USA Pickleball Association estimated that more than 4.8 million people played pickleball.  Community organizations, tennis clubs, and athletic gear companies have all gotten in on the new sport. Professional pickleball players abound – many are former pro tennis players – and tournaments can found around the nation.

What are you waiting for? Get in on the action!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are favorite sports? Which sports do the students play?
  2. Who has played pickleball? Describe their experiences.
  3. Show USA Pickleball website: https://usapickleball.org/
  4. Have students research pickleball gear: https://www.pickleballcentral.com/
  5. Show videos of Pickleball on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4vHhZ03O0PI
  6. Have students search for “pickleball” on social media.
  7. How does the cost of pickleball compare to other sports?
  8. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotion plan for pickleball.

Source:  Plummer, T. (Feb. 18, 2022). Pickleball is ready for Prime Time. New York Times.

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