BA301 - Winter Semester 2000

Class Presentations

Chapter 2 – Perceptions

Visit two different types of restaurants and make a note of how each establishment appeals to the five senses. How are they the same? How are they different?

Find two ad that are rich in symbolism and perform a semiotic analysis of it (see Figure 1-2, page 17). Identify each type of sign used in the ad and the product qualities being communicated by it. Then comment on the effectiveness of the signs that are used to communicate the intended message.

Many studies have shown that our sensory detection abilities decline, as we grow older. Discuss the implication of the absolute threshold for marketers attempting to appeal to the elderly. What strategies could be used in product design, packaging, and advertising.

Chapter 3 – Learning and Memory

Identify some important characteristics for a product with a well-known brand name. Based on these attributes, generate a list of possible brand extension or licensing opportunities, as well as some others that would most likely not be accepted by consumers.

Find three advertisements—one each based on (1) cognitive learning, (2) classical conditioning, and (3) instrumental conditioning. Then discuss the nature of each advertisement and how it utilizes a specific type of learning.

Search for pictures of products that have high nostalgia value for people in their age group. Show these pictures to your peers and ask them to reminisce. Analyze these memories and prepare a print ad (or video) that would incorporate what you learned in your research.

 Chapter 4 – Motivation

Construct a hypothetical means-end chain model (see Figure 4-4, page 122) for the purchase of a any product or service. How might the manufacturer or service provider use this approach to construct a promotional strategy?

Find print ads that appeal to each level of Maslow’s hierarchy. Explain why your ad appeals to this level. Why do you think the firm selected this particular appeal?

 Assume that you are marketing director for a major credit-card company. You are interested in sending more targeted promotions to your customers and have been able to analyze your best customers in more depth.. On the surface, it appears that a comparison of customer groups reveals a number of similarities in terms of several demographic variables such as age, gender, and income (e.g., 40-year-old male plumber and a 40-year-old male lawyer, each making $80,000 per year). However upon careful analysis, you discover that their spending patterns and choice of goods and services vary greatly. Based on our discussion, what differences might exist for the lawyer and plumber segments with respect to motivation and value orientation and what spending and consumption might result from these differences. (Suggestion: construct a table or chart to highlight segment differences)

A man’s level of involvement with his car can affect how he is influenced by different marketing stimuli. How might you design a strategy for a line of car batteries for a segment of low-involvement consumers, and how would this strategy differ from your attempts to reach a segment of men who are very involved in working on their cars? Specifically, your assignment is to create copy (tag line, headline, body copy, [no illustration necessary]) of an print ad targeted to the low-involvement consumer.

Chapter 6- Personality and Lifestyle

Find three ads for the same basic type of product (e.g., pens, clothes, cars, watches, restaurants, etc.) which use "lifestyle" segmentation in their advertising to differentiate each product. How do the companies achieve differentiation? Are the products really different?

Construct separate advertising executions for a cosmetic product targeted to the fulfilled, achiever, and experiencer VALS types. How would the basic appeal differ for each group?

Construct a consumption constellation for the social role of college students. What set of products, activities, and interests tend to appear in advertising depicting "typical" college students? How realistic is this constellation?

Construct a brand personality inventory for three different brands within a product category. Ask a small number of consumers to rate each brand on about 10 different personality dimensions. What differences can you locate? Do these "personalities" relate to the advertising and packaging strategies used to differentiate these products? (Suggestion: you might prepare a short questionnaire and hand it out in class a couple of weeks before your presentation)

Chapter 7 – Attitudes

Design a product positioning map for a weight-loss product. Perhaps you could use types of diets, exercise, emphasis in changing habits, and use of nutritional supplements in designing a map, or perhaps you might like to include the degree to which social pressure is brought to bear in the process. Then address the various niches in the weight loss industry, identifying some of the more successful ones and giving reasons why this is so.

Construct a multi-attribute model for similar restaurants (e.g., fast food, coffee shop). Ask a few friends or family members to complete a short questionnaire. Based on your findings, suggest how restaurant managers can improve their establishment’s images via the strategies described in the chapter.

Report to the class about three experiences that led to cognitive dissonance (buyer’s remorse), i.e. buying expensive jewelry for a girl friend/boy friend, buying a car, buying expensive clothing, buying expensive electronic equipment, choosing a college or university, renting an apartment, buying a house. How could the seller help reduce dissonance for each purchase?

Despite the raging war against the tobacco industry and the general negative sentiments towards cigarette smokers, a lot of people continue to smoke. Based on the extended Fishbein model (which takes social pressure into account), evaluate various strategies (at least two) and identify the ones you would recommend for an antismoking program of action. (Suggestion: find tv or print ads to better demonstrate your conclusions)

Chapter 8 – Attitude Change

Here is a project for someone who likes to be creative. Select an existing product or service and design a couple of ads (print or video tape) which make use of the principles (e.g., humor, comparative advertising, fear appeals) discussed in this chapter. Explain why you think these particular ads would be effective.

Make a log of all the commercials shown on one network television channel over a six-hour period. Categorize each according to product category and whether they are presented as drama or argument. Describe the types of messages used (e.g., two-sided arguments), and keep track of the types of spokespeople (e.g., television actors, famous people, animated characters). What can you conclude about the dominant forms of persuasive tactics currently employed by marketers? (Suggestion: First create a coding sheet before you analyze commercials)

Negative attitudes are often difficult to change. Think of a company that has had some bad press. How has the company handled the news? Have they been successful in turning the situation around? What techniques did they employ (or are they employing)? What suggestions do you have for the company?

Create a list of ten current celebrities whom you feel typify cultural categories ("macho man," "clown," "mother figure," "hero," etc.). What specific brands do you feel each could effectively endorse? Make sure not to use any current endorsements.

 Chapter 9 – Individual Decision Making

Generate a list of several (5 or 6) different consumer products. What types of risk(s) do you associate with each of the products. Create a product/risk/strategy matrix to illustrate how marketers can overcome such risks.

Research the evolution of the "green marketing" movement. Tell the class which companies have genuinely tried to integrate this priority into product formulations and which ones seem to just be going through the motions. Find examples of ads for these companies. Does involvement in green marketing give a company a competitive advantage? Why?

Bring to class an advertisement that is designed to activate the problem-recognition process. Do you think that the ad works on the consumer’s actual state or desired state? How would you improve the problem recognition features of the ad.

Based on the three levels of product categorization described in the chapter, diagram these levels for health clubs. (Hint: health clubs might be segmented based on customer type, services offered, appeals, among other factors).

Chapter 10 –Purchase Situation

Visit two competing discount houses, supermarkets, department stores, or specialty shops in your area and describe the image you have of each store. What factors account for the image differences? For the poorest image store, design a strategy for upgrading its image.

Using Table 10-1 as a model, construct a person/situation segmentation matrix for a brand of perfume. (Note: if you can think of another product that easier to work with, then use it)

Think about exceptionally good and bad salespeople you have encountered in the past. List what qualities seem to differentiate them?

A number of court cases in recent years have attempted to prohibit special interest groups from distributing literature in shopping malls. Mall management claims that these centers are private property. On the other hand, these groups argue that the mall is the modern-day version of the town square and as such is a public forum. Find a couple of recent court cases involving this free-speech issue, and examine the arguments pro and con. What is the current status of the mall as a public forum? Do you agree with this concept? (Note: this is a challenging research topic. I would consult a recent business law text or ask a lawyer where such information can be found)

 Chapter 11 – Group Influence, Opinion Leadership, and Diffusion of Innovation

Collect five ads that attempt to incorporate word-or-mouth communications. You should comment on the credibility of the ads. Is the source used in the ad an effective influencer?

Make a list of aspirational groups that are of interest to many college students. Then bring to class a few print ads that are targeted to college students with these particular aspirations.

Discuss some of the reasons for the effectiveness of home shopping parties as a selling tool. Make sure to make reference to theories of group dynamics and conformity. What other products might be sold this way? Explain.

Consider the following products: vacation destinations, ink pens for use in class, sports shoes/sneakers, beer, underwear, textbooks, novels, photo finishing services, full-service restaurant, CDs, TVs, sports cars, bicycles, charcoal for grilling, and potato chips. Place each of the products into one of the four categories of reference group influence. (Note: you should create a diagram similar that shown in Figure 11-1, page 342)

Chapter 12 – Household Decision Making

Go to a toy store or a toy department and observe several parent and child interactions. Document how the child "made their wishes known" and how parents reacted to their children’s "needs ad wants."

Bring to class three advertisements that show the changing roles of men and women. Also bring in three ads that show the traditional roles of men and women. Which ads do the class like best? Which do they find more credible? Try to analyze their responses. (Suggestion: collect data a week or so prior to your presentation and show results)

For each of the following five product categories – groceries, automobiles, vacations, furniture, and appliances – describe the way in which you believe a married couple’s choices would be affected if they had children.

Watch three hours of children’s programming on commercial television stations and evaluate the marketing techniques used in the commercials in terms of the ethical issues raised in the final section of this chapter. What strategies do marketers employ to take into account children’s limited processing ability? Do advertisers use puffery or use misleading claims in ads? To what extent to advertisers tailor their message to parents (i.e., product safety, age appropriateness)? Report your findings and conclusions.

Chapter 13 – Income and Social Class

Bring in a collection of magazines aimed at different social classes (i.e. upper class, middle class, and working class). Then comment on the products advertised, the physical appearance and layout, and the editorial content of the magazines.

Using the Status Index presented in figure 13-4, compute a social class score for people you know, including your parents if possible. Ask a couple of friends (preferably from different places) to compile similar information for people they know. Try to collect information from at least 15-20 individuals. Discuss your findings. In your opinion, how valid is the Status Index? What limitations are evident? (Note: you may need to update the income information).

Prepare a list of 15 occupations and distribute copies to the class. Ask each student to rank the occupations according to prestige. Give the list to some students and ask them to calculate averages for each occupation. After tabulating the results, discuss what factors tend to influence occupational hierarchy. (Suggestion: collect data a week or so prior to your presentation and discuss results with class)

Here’s a research challenge. Find the source for the "consumer confidence" measure discussed in this chapter. What is the research methodology used? Do you think its valid? Show graphically how US consumer confidence has varied over the past 30 years. Highlight low and high points on the graphic and what key economic events prevailed at the time.

Chapter 14 – Ethnic, Racial an Religious Subculture

Find general and targeted magazines that depict models of a particular ethnic subculture (Asian-American, African-American, or Hispanic-American). Select three advertisements shown in mainstream magazines (i.e., targeted primarily to white audiences) and three ads that are targeted to the ethnic subculture audience. Are there any other differences between the ads, such as language, model, social situation, etc.? Explain.

Born-again Christian groups have been instrumental in organizing boycotts of products advertised on shows they find objectionable, especially those that, they feel, undermine family values. Find examples of products or companies that have been boycotted. Do consumer groups have a right or a responsibility to dictate the advertising of network should carry?

Visit a toy store to observe the various types of toys that are for sale to ethnic subcultures. Report of the range of toys available and any specific appeals made on packaging or P-O-P advertising.

There are currently more than 400 "megachurches" in the U.S. Identify one of these megachurches and describe its marketing strategy (i.e., what services it offers, nature of advertising). If possible find examples of its advertising and how it positions itself in the marketplace. Are large religious organizations really any different than other marketers? (Suggestion: use website info, brochures, and/or news articles as sources of information).

Chapter 15 – Age Subcultures

Find three examples of advertising targeted toward "mature" consumers. To what extent do these ads stereotype the elderly? Do you think that the elderly would like or resent the implications? Are there any elements in these ads that make them effective in reaching and persuading the elderly? Explain.

Visit two large department stores and determine how they appeal to the teen market. How does the design of the teen department differ from departments targeted at other age groups? Do salespeople differ? Does promotion seem to differ? (Suggestion: if the store will allow it, it would be nice to video tape various departments to show class the differences.

When is nostalgia an effective way to appeal to consumers? Can this technique backfire? Find at least three ads that use nostalgia appeal, and critique their likely effectiveness.

Most studies suggest that, as a group, Generation Xers tend to use the Internet more than older consumers. With this in mind, find two consumer product websites that are effective in targeting Xers. Make sure to highlight specific appeals made that are unique to this generation.


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