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?

Viral Social Media Ad Versus Network Television (Chapter 5, 9)

A controversy arose when an advertisement for post-partum depression relief was not allowed to run on a network television program.


CNN Story

ET Commentary

Social Media Versus TV and Radio

  1.  Do you think it was wise for ABC to disallow the advertisement? Why or why not?
  2.  What advantage did the company gain by going viral versus running one ad on the Oscars?
  3.  Explain how this provides a prime example of the differences marketers must consider when developing campaigns for products that could be featured on either television, via social media, or both.  How might ads differ if NOT on network television?

Super Bowl Advertising 2020 (All Chapters)

Marketing professionals carefully watch Super Bowl ads.  They look for trends, successes, and failures.


  1. Use the TechRadar story to view ads.  Do you agree with their ratings?
  2. Study the New York Post evaluation.  Does it agree with TechRadar?
  3. Examine the CNN analysis.  What do you think of it’s list of winners and losers?
  4. Use a search engine to identify the cost of a Super Bowl ad.  Do you think the expenditure is worthwhile?  Why or why not?
  5. What types of companies stand the gain the most from effective Super Bowl advertising?  The least?

Ethics, Brand Management, and IMC Planning (Chapter 2, 4)

Ethical issues remain an important area of discussion for marketing and advertising students.  The challenges include ethical messaging as well as the impact of unethical activities on other aspects of marketing communications.


  1. Read the Chipotle story.  Which group of consumers might be most distressed by this news? Discuss the impact on the Chipotle brand.
  2. Watch the Purell story.  Discuss the ethical implications of this story in light of the recent coornavaris outbreak.  Will there be long term implications for the Purell brand? Why or why not?
  3. Watch the Ethics and Brand Management video.  Discuss the connections between ethics and marketing communications with peers, especially in light of the current world of social media and instant news messages.
  4. When a company has been accused of an ethical violation, what strategic steps should the marketing team take to protect the brand?