Tag Archives: trends

Cool Tech Products from the Consumer Electronics Show

Most students are unaware of it, but the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest and most influential showcases in the United States for introducing innovative products from around the globe. This year, CES exhibited more than 4,500 companies, including manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, robotics, automotive, and more. The show is produced by the Consumer Technology Association which represents the $398 billion U.S. consumer technology industry.

This year, CES was held in Las Vegas, Nev., and hosted 182,000 attendees who viewed products in categories such as 3D printing, gaming, robotics, sports, drones, fitness, health and wellness, retailing, wearables, and a variety of other product groupings. CES regularly announces thousands of new products, including many that we all know and use, such as:

  • High Definition TV
  • Satellite Radio
  • Microsoft Xbox
  • Blu-Ray DVD
  • OCED TV and 3D HDTV
  • Tablets, notebooks
  • Virtual reality

This year’s show provided a lot of great new products and technologies, including foldable phones, scooters, roll-able TV screens, flying cars, robots, and even an elevated walking car. While not all of the products at the event will make it into full production and into our homes and garages, they are nonetheless interesting to consider and think about.

What would you like to see at CES?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the purpose of CES show and how innovation fits into it.
  2. View the CES Web site: https://www.ces.tech/
  3. Show a summary video about CES from the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-best-stuff-we-saw-at-ces-2019/E4A868A0-AEC6-4EFB-8A09-97E51993C57B.html
  4. Additional summary videos can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mHreov2zl1U
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product featured at CES.
  6. Instruct students to research the products online, and define a target market for the product.
  7. Which ones do they think will be winners in the marketplace?

Source:  Pierce, D. & Bindley, K. (8 January 2019). The craziest and coolest technologies that might even matter. Wall Street Journal.

 

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Extreme Stunts!

Everyone loves to watch an extreme event. Thrills, chills, excitement! Will it work? Will it fail? Either way – it will be spectacular!

Once rare, extreme stunts have become a valuable marketing tactic for brands to gain the public’s attention and expand a brand’s reach. Unlike a 30-second ad viewed once or twice, a stunt gains valuable viewers and exposure when videos go viral and are watched multiple times.

One of the most memorable in recent years was the Red Bull Stratos freefall jump from space. In that stunt, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner did a 4:20 minute long freefall from 128,000 feet above the Earth, traveling at 1,342 kilometers per hour. The stunt broke world records in longest freefall, highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight! The jump was watched live by 52 million people across online platforms, and has been reviewed millions of times.

Red Bull isn’t alone in using stunts to capture attention and build awareness. One recent event launched the first car into space! Tesla and SpaceX sent a Tesla Roadster (complete with dummy astronaut driver) into space using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in early February, 2018. The launch logged more than 2.3 concurrent views on YouTube.

Another high-profile of our favorite stunts featured Range Rover’s Sport Plug-In Hybrid as it drove the 99 turns and 999 steps of China’s Tianmen Mountain. The six-minute video resulted in more than three million views, 45,000 likes, and 2,000 comments globally.

Can’t wait to see the next brand’s extreme stunt!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of extreme events in marketing as a promotional tactic.
  2. Poll students: What are some of the events or stunts they can recall? Why were these memorable? Did they further the brand’s message?
  3. Show several of the many videos with extreme stunts: Red Bull Stratos: https://youtu.be/FHtvDA0W34I
  4. Tesla Starman launch: https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw
  5. Tesla Starman – Live Stream: https://www.youtube.com/embed/aBr2kKAHN6M
  6. Land Rover Dragon Challenge: https://youtu.be/EUwzWHD3Htg
  7. Nike Breaking 2: https://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running/breaking2
  8. Snapple world’s largest popsicle: https://youtu.be/QlZ_QsKYx5Y
  9. Poll students: What brands could make effective use of an extreme stunt as a tactic?
  10. Divide students into teams: Have each team develop a stunt for a selected brand.

Source: Lucken, S. (31 May, 2018). When done right, extreme stunts can catapult a brand into the public eye. Ad Week.

 

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Will You Be My Valentine?

Love is in the air. And, it is also in the aisle (store aisle that is). When true love is on the line, Americans are ready to spend. According to the National Retail Federation, spending on Valentine’s Day this year is projected to be nearly $19.6 billion! That’s an average of $143.56 for each American.

What kind of love tokens will be given? Well, roughly 19% will give (and receive) jewelry for a total of $4.7 billion, and 35% of us will go out for a romantic dinner. Sigh…

Other statistics that show how much we love:

  • 55% give candy to loved ones (especially chocolate)
  • 114 million Valentine’s cards will be given
  • 9 million marriage proposals offered

And it doesn’t stop with our beloved partners. It extends to schools, where we spend an average of $7.26 on children’s classmates and teachers, and on our pets who receive $5.50 worth of goodies. Even our co-workers get in the action with an average of $4.79 spent.

Finally, “gifts of experience” such as concert or event tickets are popular and 24% of people plan to give such a gift. Lest we forget about mobile, more than 50% plan to use their smartphones to help with decisions, and 36.9% will use smartphone to research gift giving.

What did you give and receive?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What did they give, and receive, on Valentine’s Day?
  2. Show a video on spending for Valentine’s Day: http://cnn.it/2Bsoigt
  3. Show NRF graphs on spending: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-says-consumers-will-spend-near-record-196-billion-valentines-day
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a unique promotion for a Valentine’s Day experience gift.
  5. Have students vote on the most creative idea.

Source:  National Retail Federation

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