**Engaging in authentic marketing activities** based on real products, companies and advertisements gives marketing students an edge as they experience first-hand the nuances of marketing. While many students may think of commercials or billboards when they think of marketing, participating in a variety of activities that encompass the broader spectrum of marketing -- such as market research -- gives students a more comprehensive understanding.
Designing a Car Advertisement
Designing an advertisement for a new car lets students study innovations in the automotive industry and choose how to best convey the value this new technology brings to consumers. Students begin by studying new cars, looking for innovative uses of green technology like hybrid or high fuel-efficiency vehicles. After selecting a car to advertise, students create an advertisement informing viewers about the features of the vehicle and conveying how this feature results in a benefit to the consumer. The final product should showcase the students’ knowledge of the product, their knowledge of the competition and their knowledge of the customer.
Conducting Market Research
Students get a feel for how marketing professionals cater products to consumer demand by conducting their own market research. After selecting a sampling of the school population, including a range of ages, hobbies and a balance in gender, students lead a focus group asking questions to generate opinions about what students are looking for in lunch entrees. Using the feedback, students design a proposal for a new menu item that would be popular in the cafeteria, backing their suggestion with data from their focus group findings.
Creating a Food Label
Selecting an appealing nutritional fact to highlight a healthy food, students design an appealing label to educate consumers as well as captivate their attention. Students first select a healthy food and research the nutritional benefits of the food. Then they design an attractive new label for the food, including a catchy slogan that informs consumers about an appealing nutritional benefit from the food product. In addition to the slogan, students can create graphics and choose a type of packaging that would be appropriate for the food of their choice.
Selecting a Celebrity Endorser
Students display their knowledge of brand and promotional goals by matching celebrity endorsers to various companies’ campaigns. Student groups are assigned a brand to promote, such as a fast food company, a mobile phone company or a cosmetics company. The groups analyze a list of celebrities, including a range of actors, singers, models, athletes and political figures, to select a celebrity that would be a good fit for the brand and promotional goals. Keeping in mind how well-known and respected the celebrity would be to the brands’ consumers, student teams justify why they chose their celebrity endorser and design a script for a commercial.
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