Business

Why Taylor Swift’s Spat With Spotify Is a Massive Marketing Mistake

Taylor Swift
Everybody is talking about 1989. The stars seemed to be aligned for Taylor Swift, but maybe all this success has been going to her head. It was huge news when she decided to pull all her music from Spotify, and the reactions were pretty divided. Some people praised her for really taking charge of her career to earn as much as she can from album sales, while others argued that it wasn’t the wisest decision. And from a marketing perspective, I have to agree with the latter. (more…)

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‘Toy Story 4’: Why Pixar’s Perfection Can Actually Hurt Them

Toy Story 4
The gang’s coming back! After plenty of rumors (with those rumors being consistently dismissed by Pixar execs) we now for sure are getting a fourth installment of Toy Story in 2017–that’s 22 years after the first movie was released. If the timeline stays consistent, Andy will be three years out of college and roughly 25 years old (just like a lot of us who will undoubtedly be skipping to the theater like 10-year-olds come 2017). But with the big announcement came plenty of controversy, with people on both sides of the fence—is yet another sequel really a good idea? Or is Pixar losing the magic? (more…)

Why the Chicago Cubs are an Incredible Business Model

Cubs
Ahhh, baseball season. There’s nothing that quite defines summer as well as sitting in the sun eating a hotdog at the ballpark, watching your favorite team win. Unless you’re watching the Cubs, in which case you may only get two out of those three. Despite their lack of World Series appearances, the Chicago Cubs are a national phenomenon. Everybody–baseball fans or otherwise–has probably heard stories about the Cubs’ fiercely loyal fans, and many wonder why these people keep supporting a team that loses more often than it wins. “Maybe next year” has become their mantra, and they have grown accustomed to being the butt of all kinds of jokes (as a St. Louis fan, I’ll try to keep those jokes to a minimum). Nonetheless, the fans stay strong and keep rooting for their Cubbies, which I think makes the team one of the best businesses out there.

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Pop Secret Has Just Proven that Advertisers Don’t Understand Millennials

Pop Secret Ad
I’m not really sure where Pop Secret was going with this ad, to be honest. Their target market was apparently millennials (so being within that generation I should have understood this, right?) but that’s about all I understood. The gist of the 60-second commercial is that popcorn kernels like to party. They wait in line to get into the microwave/nightclub and then get all sweaty/buttery popping it up to weird electronic dance music. The ad itself is a bit strange, but the fact that they’re obviously trying to get the attention of young people is even stranger, because I think it definitely fell flat. (more…)

Get Paid to Watch Netflix? I Need to Be Signed Up Yesterday

Netflix
Talk about a job that dreams are made of. Netflix is hiring one “tagger” from the UK or Ireland to watch films and TV shows, analyze them, and then determine appropriate tags to help Netflix make better recommendations for viewers. In the past Netflix relied on the star rating system to find recommended titles, but many viewers either forgot to rate movies and shows or just didn’t bother with it. So that’s why to get a better feel for what users want to watch, Netflix has hired about 40 taggers around the world. (more…)

How Yahoo Saved ‘Community’ (and ‘Community’ Saved Yahoo)

Photo Credit: Adweek

Photo Credit: Adweek

Apparently Yahoo likes to live on the edge. Right as Community was on the chopping block about to be axed by NBC with contracts left to expire (we’re talking within hours), Yahoo Screen swooped in picked it up, transforming the show into an online series which will begin this fall with 13 episodes. It’s no secret that Community has been struggling for years (after all, NBC had to know that it couldn’t compete with CBS’s Big Bang Theory), but its cult-like fans have kept it alive for five. And now the #SixSeasonsAndAMovie hashtag-ers have a reason to celebrate—although the jury’s still out on the movie. (more…)

And This, Friends, is Why Proofreaders Exist. John Frieda Flubs Grammar

John Frieda
Although it can be disappointing at times, I’ve come to accept that people often make grammar mistakes that are usually easily avoidable. Whether it’s a misused “your/you’re” issue or a simple typo, mistakes happen. I understand. However, I hold large companies with professional marketing and advertising teams to a much higher level. These people are paid (I’m guessing) hefty salaries to write the ads and double, triple, and quadruple check them to make sure they’re accurate before sending them off to the TV world to show everybody. Apparently the team at John Frieda was so concerned about how sleek and shiny their hair was that they didn’t notice that they used the wrong form of “its.” (more…)

Honey Maid Gives Us All a Lesson on How to Properly Handle Controversy


We’ve all seen controversial ads, some more blatant than others. Most of them don’t make it on air and find their way to the banned ad section of YouTube. One of the more recent controversies is advertisers’ use of gay and/or interracial couples in their commercials, where they are met with unscrupulous criticism. What I love about these controversial ads, though, is the way the companies bounce back from the wrath of the “haters.” First there was JC Penney with their use of a lesbian couple in their Mother’s Day catalogue. The anti-gay groups protested, so what was JCP’s response? A gay couple for Father’s Day. Then there was Cheerios with their adorable biracial little girl. After the criticism erupted, they not only made another similar ad, they turned it into a SUPERBOWL ad. And now there’s Honey Maid, taking a similar approach with their all-inclusive commercial. (more…)

Disney’s Unique Marketing Approach for ‘Frozen’–And Why It Worked

Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

It’s official: Frozen won’t be thawing out anytime soon. It’s no secret that it has been smashing records and winning awards and creating a massive fan following since it was released in theaters in November, and it seems as if it hasn’t been slowing down at all since then. While a lot of its success rests on the movie itself, I also think the way Disney marketed the movie was part of its overall achievement.

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Walmart’s Latest Ad is Truly Uplifting (Say What?)

Walmart
How often can you say “Walmart” and “uplifting” in the same sentence without an “is anything but” in the middle? Judging by the abundance of Walmart-hate across the internet: very rarely. Over the last several years the store has consistently won the oh-so-prestigious award of “Best Place to See Questionably-Dressed People, Spoiled Food on the Floor, and Long Lines Rivaled Only By Disney World.” And of course there are always the ongoing debates over how they treat their employees and the topic of outsourcing to think about. Regardless of what you think about the store, though, it’s tough to ignore their latest commercial about overcoming obstacles (See it below)

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