New “Got Milk” Ads (Chapter 4)

A generation ago, “Got Milk” ads were deemed highly successful on a number of fronts. Currently a new wave using the old theme has launched.

The original ads were based on “deprivation research” in which subjects were asked to go without milk for one week and report what happened. This led to campaigns focusing on how milk fits into daily living. Watch the CNN story and see how the thinking has changed.

CNN Story
First Got Milk Commercial

1.  What is the target market for the new Got Milk ads?

2.  How is the new Got Milk campaign different from the original?

3.  If you were in charge of creating a new campaign for milk, choose a target market and a method for reaching that market. Would you use the Got Milk format or some other? Which media would you choose?

Brand and Product Name Changes (Chapter 2)

Social upheaval in the United States and around the world revolving around issues of race has impacted many aspects of culture. Business and marketing communications are no exceptions.


  1. Do you remember the first controversy associated with the Dixie Chicks/Chicks? How does this brand name change differ from that episode in the band’s career?
  2. Can you think of other performers that have names that people might find to be offensive? Should those individuals and groups follow suit?
  3. Explain the marketing communication challenges associated with apologizing for a brand name such as Aunt Jemima and building a strong new brand in its place.
  4. As of July 4, 2020, these were the main brand name changes. The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians organizations contemplated name changes but had not done so. Both teams earn considerable amounts of money from merchandising of jerseys and other items. How would a change affect marketing communications for those teams?
  5. Several of the companies that changed brand names also made donations to organizations supporting racial equality. How will the public view such efforts, with appreciation or with suspicion? Explain your answer.

Changing World of Marketing Communication (Chapter 1)

Marketing and marketing communications programs have experienced considerable change. Advertisers have moved away from traditional media and shifted funds to digital and alternative channels. Messages have been altered to account for emerging social trends.


Decline in mail deliveries

decline in newspapers

altruistic advertising

social media advertising

retail sales decline BEFORE coronavirus

Discussion Questions

  1. What types of companies would be most affected by declines in newspaper subscriptions, where they typically advertise?
  2. Why have companies moved away from “snail mail” for advertising purposes?
  3. Can you think of examples in which a company has tied advertising to a social cause or charity? Did it create a favorable or unfavorable impression that would lead you to purchase or avoid that company?
  4. In addition to newspapers and mail, traditional radio and television channels have also experienced declines in viewership/listeners. How might this trend affect a marketing communications program?
  5. Retail sales have been in trouble for a long period of time. How can these companies respond, especially in light of current conditions? What marketing communications messages would work the best?

Facebook advertising pause (Chapter 9, 8, and 1)

In mid-2020 several major corporations including Unilever withdrew from advertising on Facebook due to some of the content displayed on the site.



Massive firms pull ads from Facebook over ‘hateful’ and ‘racist’ content


Questions for students:

  1.  Do you agree with the companies that have chosen to “pause” on Facebook advertising?
  2.  What should Facebook’s leadership do in response to these actions from advertisers?
  3.  As a company seeking to reach Facebook’s audience, where would you turn to advertise if not of Facebook?
  4.  What are the ethical arguments involved in allowing all forms of speech versus taking down offensive posts?


Evaluation and Coronavirus Ads (Chapter 15)

Students should choose 10 advertisements which they have viewed in the past month.  Then, answer the following questions:

  1.  What type of evaluation best matches the current set of “we are all in this together” and “in these challenging times” – type ads?
  2.  Which type of message do you believe best matches coronavirus response ads? Emotional, humorous, rational, etc?
  3.  Do you think there is message fatigue or wear-out effects from all of the the similar coronavirus response-type ads? Why or why not?
  4.  Going forward, what types of ads do you think will do well in the coming months? How should they be pre-tested?

Use the information present in Chapter 15 to support your answers.

Coronavirus and Buying Decision-Making Processes (Chapter 3)

Questions for Students:

  1.  Using the steps of the consumer decision-making process, how would shelter at home orders affect purchasing processes and purchasing decisions?
  2. Using the cognitive mapping model, how would the current crisis influence consumer thought processes as they consider decision alternatives?
  3. Using the evoked set model, the multiattribute model, and affect referral, how would these approaches explain the ways in which consumers make purchases within the current restrictions. Might the approach differ depending on the item to be purchased (think of groceries versus take-out orders from preferred restaurants)?
  4. Consider compulsive purchasing behaviors, impulse buys, and hoarding of items, most notably toilet paper and cleaning supplies. How are the processes the same? How are they different?

Prescription Coupon Programs (Chapter 12)

The high prices of many prescriptions drugs have led to a great deal of debate and controversy. Many drug manufacturers, along with other companies, have introduced coupon programs to make the cost more manageable.


Martin Sheen SingleCare TV

GoodRX Message

Movantik Web Site

Discussion Questions

  1. What advertising tactic does the Martin Shenn advertisement use? What is the goal of the ad?
  2. What advertising tactic does the GoodRX Message use? What is the goal of the message?
  3. How does the Movantik web site deliver coupons? What conditions apply?
  4. Similar marketing tactics were used for erectile drug prescriptions until patents for ingredients expired. How are those products now marketed?
  5. Discuss the ethical implications of charging extremely high prices for drugs yet offering major discounts for them on company websites, noting that many times the coupons are made available to individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford the items.

Coronavirus Responses (8, 7 2, 13)

The coronavirus outbreak has led to challenges to individuals, the government, and businesses of all sizes.  Media usage has changed as individuals stay sequestered at home.


Social media usage

Impact on advertising revenues

Impact on advertising tactics


  1.  Explain how the world of marketing communications has changed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  2.  Examine the impact of this crisis on social media usage. Will the trend continue long term into the future? Why or why not?
  3.  Find advertisements made during other crisis periods, such as 9-11 or the financial crisis of 2008. How are ads different now?
  4.  If asked to advertise for a company, what type of message do you believe would be the most valuable? Does your answer depend on the industry involved? Explain your response.
  5.  What types of public relations activities would assist a company during this period? What types would hurt a brand’s image?



Snickers (Chapters 2, 7, 8, 9)

For several years, Snickers has been updating and modernizing its image via traditional, digital, and social media messages.


Snickers 2020 commercial

Behind the scenes 2020

Snickers Betty White 2010

  1.  Evaluate the traditional advertisements in 2010 and 2020. Do they achieve the intended goal of updating the product’s image? Why or why not?
  2.  Does the “behind the scenes” spot enhance the effort to update the Snickers brand image? If so, how?
  3.  Locate additional Snickers commercials using this humor tactic. Is the approach wearing thin, or does it still have the desired impact? Defend your answer.
  4.  Find additional examples of traditional media ads being effectively supplemented through digital and alternative channels. Share them with the class.

Interesting Logos (Chapter 2, 8, 9)

A recent CNN story highlights interesting features about logos.


CNN Story

  1.  Do you think logo development is more or less important in today’s marketing environment? Explain your response.
  2.  Using the tips for creating or changing effective logos in Chapter 2 (Figure 2.12), do you think these creative logos will lead to greater success over time? Why or why not?
  3. In the current marketing communications environment in which digital and alternative media have become increasingly important components of a strategic IMC approach, will logos play a greater or lesser role in creating brand recognition and recall?