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?

White Rabbit and Cruises (Chapter 6)

One interesting new approach to marketing cruise line travel recently emerged.  The “Wonder Awaits” campaign launched by Celebrity Cruises features a musical appeal to the tune of “White Rabbit,” as performed by the 1960s band Jefferson Airplane.  The approach may have Baby Boomers scratching their heads.


  1. Watch the Wonder Awaits full commercial.  Read the comments that follow.  What do you think is the marketing strategy behind choosing White Rabbit as background music for a luxury cruise line?
  2. Read the full lyrics to the song.  Do you think the words might offend people who are familiar with the tune?  Explain your answer.
  3. Watch the Marketing to Baby Boomers video.  Would the Wonder Awaits commercial fit with a successful tactic for reaching Baby Boomers?  If so, why?  If not, which demographic might the commercial seek to influence?
  4. Incresingly, musical appeals are used with specific targets in mind.  Watch 5 commercials designed to reach different age groups.  Note the musical choices for each group.  Explain the importance of matching the music to the target audience in an integrated marketing communications campaign.
  5. Do you think age-specific musical campaigns run the risk of alienating or boring other potential target market groups?  Why or why not?

Flu Treatments (Chapter 5)

Winter is the height of the cold and flu season.  Several options are available to those who have the illness.  Marketers seek the best methods for convincing consumers that certain products offer the best remedy.


  1. Use the Hierarchy of Effects model described in Chapter 5 to explain how each of these marketing approaches may have been developed.
  2. Which element — cognitive, affective, or conative — is emphasized by the marketing message in each commercial or website?
  3. Explain how a Means-Ends chain approach applies to each of the products involved and the marketing message this is presented.
  4. Describe the use of visual and verbal images in each of the marketing messages.
  5. Which of the four products has the most effective marketing approach? Explain your reasoning.
  6. If you were asked to prepare a marketing campaign for a new, innovative method for treating the flu, which approach do you think would be most useful — the Hierarchy of Effects, attitude elements, a Means-Ends chain, or visual and verbal imaging? Defend your answer.

Most Patriotic Brands (Chapter 3)

The United States is currently experiencing a great deal of political turmoil, as are many other countries, such as Great Britain with the Brexit vote.

Marketers often look for attitudes and values that can be associated with company brands in order to enhance long term loyalty.



  1.  What is the top brand in the USA today story? Which top 10 brand surprised you the most? Why?
  2. The Classic Commercial was run in 2006.  Would it still be effective today? Why or why not?
  3. The most recent commercial uses the national anthem as a background. Explain why it is effective or why you believe it is not.
  4. Read the Twitter story. Explain the importance of a positive brand image in a company’s integrated marketing communications program.
  5. Given the current national environment, do you believe patriotic marketing messages will be more or less effective?  Defend your answer.