Blue Apron (Chapter 8)

Blue Apron has launched an aggressive integrated marketing campaign with digital media being the central component. This article and podcast should generate a good discussion about digital marketing and its impact on consumer purchase behavior.

Discussion Questions:

  1. The central theme of Blue Apron’s promotion is that it is “more than a meal in a box.” Do you think this is a good positioning strategy? Why or why not?
  2. Watch the podcast. What is your impression? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using podcasts to promote the brand?
  3. After reading the article, do you think digital marketing is the best approach for Blue Apron? Why or why not?

Brands that Care (Chapter 2)

A study by Wunderman found that to win consumers, it will require demonstrating they care. Wunderman called the concept “wantedness.” It is an interesting concept to discuss for Chapter 2 on branding.

Video produced by Wunderman

Discussion Questions:

  1. Would you agree with the basic premise of the study that to succeed brands must demonstrate they care? Why or why not?
  2. For you personally, how does a brand demonstrate it cares?
  3. What does it take for you to be loyal to a brand?
  4. If you were the marketing manager for a brand, how would you utilize the information in this video?

Gen Z and Advertising (Chapter 1)

Generation Z has been defines as individuals 16-19. This study by Kantar Millward Brown found that Gen Z, overall, is more negative towards advertising than any other demographic generation. This article and study findings would be a great way to introduce advertising, and Chapter 1.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think Gen Z is the most difficult generation for marketers to reach? Why or why not?
  2. The study found Gen Z is more positive about traditional advertising formats than digital formats? How would you explain this finding?
  3. Based on this study, what are the best ways to reach Gen Z?

Impact of Political Ads on Brands (Chapter 13)

I found this article in Ad Age fascinating. A recent online study found that ads following a presidential political ad was less effective and created a negative feeling towards the brand. This article could generate a good discussion for Chapter 13.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What was your initial reaction to the article?
  2. Why do you think brand ads following political ads create negative emotions even if the political ad was positive?
  3. How long do you think the “hangover effect” on brand advertising will last after a political ad is viewed? Why?
  4. Do you think there will be a long term impact on brands that advertise after a political ad, or is it just temporary? Why?


Steak ‘n Shake Campaign (Chapter 5)

Steak ‘n Shake has launched a new advertising campaign. The campaign has two old friends talking about the good old days, 1934 specifically, when Steak ‘n Shake was founded.


Discussion Questions:

  1. In terms of hierarchy of effects, which stage(s) do these ads target? Explain why.
  2. Look through the advertising goals presented in Chapter 6. Which goal do you think was targeted with this campaign? Explain why.
  3. Who is the target audience for this ad? Explain why.
  4. Which of the three ads did you like the best? Why?
  5. Do you think this new campaign will boost sales for Steak ‘n Shake? Why or why not?

Bissell and Pets (Chapter 13)

Bissell is a good brand to illustrate the concepts in Chapter 13. The company is an advocate for pets and the owners have established the Bissell Pet Foundation.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Look at Bissell’s website. Do you think the brand’s support of the Bissell Pet Foundation is a good cause to support? Why or why not?
  2. Watch the Operations Spring Break video. What are your thoughts about Bissell posting this video on the brand’s YouTube channel?
  3. Watch the Bissell TV ad? What are your thoughts about the ad?
  4. Do you believe Bissell’s involvement with pets, and having its own foundation, impacts sales of Bissell vacuum cleaners? Why or why not?

Duress Purchase (Chapter 8)

I learned a new marketing term today – duress purchase. Sears has launched a new campaign based on the idea that consumers wait until an appliance breaks to buy a new one, then the purchase is made under duress. From consumer data, Sears also learned that 70% to 80% of duress purchases begin with an Internet search.


Discussion Questions:

  1. After reading the article, do you agree that most appliance purchases are made under duress? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think consumers make poorer purchase decisions under duress? Why or why not?
  3. When you make a duress purchase, does it start with an Internet search? Why or why not?
  4. Watch the two television ads. What are your thoughts about this campaign?
  5. Name two other goods or services that tend to be purchased under duress. Explain why?

Post-It Ad (Chapter 6)

One of my students submitted this Post-It ad for an assignment. After watching it, I thought it would be a good video to show with Chapter 6.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you like the ad? Why or why not?
  2. Which message strategy, appeal, and execution is used in the ad? Justify your choices.
  3. Which type of spokesperson is used in the ad?
  4. Do you think this is an effective ad for Post-It? Why or why not?

Wordless Logos (Chapter 2)

I though this article in The Atlantic was interesting. It discusses the move to using logos without words. The rationale is that consumers are jaded about advertising, so removing the words from the logo makes it look less like advertising.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your thoughts about companies moving to a wordless logo?
  2. Do you think wordless logos are more effective in brand recall? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think debranding through wordless logos is more effective in reaching consumers? Why or why not?

Arby’s Hunting Campaign (Chapter 4)

According to this Advertising Age article, Arby’s is launching a new campaign aimed at hunters, which is 20 million consumers.

Discussion Questions:

  1. After reading the article, what are your thoughts about the new campaign?
  2. Which of the market segmentation strategies discussed in Chapter 4 is Arby’s using? Justify your choice.
  3. After watching the new TV ads, what do you think about them? Will they be effective? Why or why not?
  4. What are your thoughts about the print ads?