Are fresh fish better than canned fish?

I love canned sardines. Whenever I visit different cities, I buy a dozen of canned fish on the way back home. I was excited to find Annam Gourmet at Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam because it has a wide variety of canned fish, along with fresh fish.

Canned fish are fish which have been processed, sealed in an airtight container such as a sealed tin can, and subjected to heat. Canning is a method of preserving food, and provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years.

Some say I am obsessed with canned fish. Others suggest me to avoid them. I have long wondered whether canned fish are bad for my health and whether over-consuming canned fish harm my health. Recently, I met an article released from Consumer Reports that canned fish are as healthy for us as fresh fish, particularly for sardines and salmon. For canned tuna, however, we should be cautious about mercury.

Thankfully, my love for canned sardines survives. However, it is difficult to correct a belief that canned fish are dangerous. Updating our belief system is truly challenging.

Amir, O., & Ariely, D. (2007). Decisions by Rules: The Case of Unwillingness to Pay for Beneficial Delays. Journal of Marketing Research, 44(1), 142–152.

Since the emergence of neoclassical economics, individual decision making has been viewed largely from an outcome-maximizing perspective. Building on previous work, the authors suggest that when people make payment decisions, they consider not only their preferences for different alternatives but also guiding principles and behavioral rules. The authors describe and test two characteristics pertaining to one specific rule that dictates that consumers should not pay for delays, even if they are beneficial: rule invocation and rule override. The results show that money can function as the invoking cue for this rule, that the reliance on this rule can undermine utility maximization, and that this rule may be used as a first response to the decision problem but can be overridden. The article concludes with a discussion of more general applications of such rules, which may explain some of the seemingly systematic inconsistencies in the ways consumers behave.

If people avoid meeting with others, do marketers sell products online only?

Nowadays people avoid meeting others. We could buy products through mobile phones and order food at screens inside restaurants. A recent virus outbreak even encourages us to stop shaking hands with strangers.

Ironically, the more we avoid meeting others, I believe, the easier others sell their products to us. When I visited Prezzemolo & Vitale, a local grocery store in Notting Hill in London, an employee brought a lump of meat on a board, cut it into thin slices, and passed them over to passers by. Interestingly, most of those who tried samples bought several pieces of different types of meat. I was not exception.

When he looked at me with a slice of meat, I inferred, he made an effort to approach me. This inference is rarely made when I stand in front of machines such as mobile phones or kiosks. I conclude that when we meet people and machines, we may have different inference: people make effort to come close to us whereas machines do not. This inferred effort may play a critical role in determining our next behavior such as buying a product.

Morales, A. C. (2005). Giving Firms an “E” for Effort: Consumer Responses to High‐Effort Firms. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(4), 806–812.

This research shows that consumers reward firms for extra effort. More specifically, a series of three laboratory experiments shows that when firms exert extra effort in making or displaying their products, consumers reward them by increasing their willingness to pay, store choice, and overall evaluations, even if the actual quality of the products is not improved. This rewarding process is defined broadly as general reciprocity. Consistent with attribution theory, the rewarding of generally directed effort is mediated by feelings of gratitude. When consumers infer that effort is motivated by persuasion, however, they no longer feel gratitude and do not reward high-effort firms.

Effort not only dictates our behavior. It helps us enjoy what we do.

Norton, M. I., Mochon, D., & Ariely, D. (2012). The “IKEA Effect”: When Labor Leads to Love. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22(3), 453–460.

In four studies in which consumers assembled IKEA boxes, folded origami, and built sets of Legos, we demonstrate and investigate boundary conditions for the IKEA effect-the increase in valuation of self-made products. Participants saw their amateurish creations as similar in value to experts’ creations, and expected others to share their opinions. We show that labor leads to love only when labor results in successful completion of tasks; when participants built and then destroyed their creations, or failed to complete them, the IKEA effect dissipated. Finally, we show that labor increases valuation for both “do-it-yourselfers” and novices.

Why does the amount of Coke differ across bottles?

When I had a lunch at Buenos Aires, Argentina, I ordered four bottles of Coca Cola. Interestingly, bottle sizes differed and the amount of soda in each bottle looked different. I simply thought this was due to the Quality Control failure of the Coca Cola in Argentina.

After coming back from Buenos Aires to Seoul, I met an interesting case about Corona Beer. When this competitive Mexican beer was initially introduced to US in 1980s, American beer companies were concerned about the disruptive competitor. Budweiser soon noticed that, however, the amount of beer differed across bottles. Corona claimed that this reflected the Mexican spirit of leisure. Similar to what Corona did, Coca Cola may want to express its Argentinian spirit of leisure.

One of the most well-known reframing strategies in marketing is PAD (Pennies-a-day) strategy, the temporal reframing of a transaction from an aggregate expense to a series of small daily or ongoing expenses. According to Gourville (1998), it fosters the retrieval and consideration of small ongoing expenses as the standard of comparison, whereas an aggregate framing of that same transaction is shown to foster the retrieval and consideration of large infrequent expenses. This difference in retrieval influences subsequent transaction evaluation and compliance.

Gourville, J. T. (1998). Pennies-a-day: The effect of temporal reframing on transaction evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research24(4), 395-408.

To increase transaction compliance, marketers sometimes temporally reframe the cost of a product from an aggregate one-time expense to a series of small ongoing expenses, often in spite of the fact that the physical payments remain aggregated. This temporal reframing is identified in this article as the “pennies-a-day” (PAD) strategy. A two-step consumer decision-making process of (1) comparison retrieval and (2) transaction evaluation is posited to explain the effectiveness of this strategy. In a series of laboratory studies, general support for PAD effectiveness across a range of product categories and specific support for the proposed two-step model was found. The PAD framing of a target transaction is shown to systematically foster the retrieval and consideration of small ongoing expenses as the standard of comparison, whereas an aggregate framing of that same transaction is shown to foster the retrieval and consideration of large infrequent expenses. This difference in retrieval is shown to significantly influence subsequent transaction evaluation and compliance.

Commercial Renewal Project: Apple AirPods (2019): “Share your magic”

“Stroll” as the commercial’s name might hint, portrays an Airpods user aloof in his own music, strolling along the street with rhythmic movements. This particular ad’s visual style is captured in a beautiful manner that gives off the impression of a film like quality.

Although it may seem questionable to as why we chose this specific commercial, but underneath all the fancy visual style it displays, we realized that it lacks two major aspects. One that it didn’t give full sight on the main product, the Airpods, and second that in the ad itself it failed to persuade the viewers to the purchasing level.

Throughout most of the commercial, even though it uses a colorless scheme to emphasize the white earphones, the attention of the viewers is quickly taken away due to the dancing and ironically more on the white shoes of the Airpods user. Hence confusing the viewers on what the main item is for the ad. Also along with the confusion, it lacks the persuasion for the consumer to the point where they actually buy the product. It is so by not elaborating on the ‘wireless’ aspect (the innovative part of the product) and not making it relevant for the consumer to identify the product within their lives.

Taking account these factors we focused the objective of increasing market share by using a more effective strategy and tactic through our commercial. Since this is a relatively new industry, in order to increase the market share of this sector we concluded that taking a hold of the regular earphone users and having them flow into Airpods’ market share would be the best strategy. To do so we focused our tactic on persuading the regular earphone users by demonstrating how the wireless feature of this product is relevant for them to have an ease when doing things in their everyday lives. 

We focused on showing a slice of life aspect in our commercial through the demonstration of using the product. This is to persuade the viewers that this product is truly something that they need up front and first hand. We did so by using down to earth situations and show them that they could be applied to them as well. Also by using a split screen throughout the commercial we wanted to show a direct comparison of using Airpods and not. We thought that this would be a good way to straightly point out the differences of these two.

As for the slogan, we pondered about what would grasp the essence of what we know as Apple which is simple but has a significant meaning. So coming from the original slogan “Practically Magic” that sparked our inspiration, we came up with the slogan “Share your magic”. We thought that the whole wireless experience is somewhat of a magic that fits in with the last scene of our film and it implies to our viewers to share on this experience as well.

Written by Hyunkyung Kim, Jina Shim, Jieun Kwon, Hohyun Shin, and Seungbin Baek | Marketing Communication 2019 Fall | College of Business Administration, Kookmin University

There are behind-the-scenes of the renewed commercial.

Commercial Renewal Project: Heinz Ketchup (2019): “To me, Heinz makes everything perfect”

Heinz Ketchup released a new commercial in June 2019, staring British sing-a-song writer star Edward Sheeran. Heinz Ketchup explains on their YouTube clip that he came up to them with his personal experience based on his infamous love for ketchup, so the company decided to make an ad based on his story. The ad starts by showing Ed Sheeran being the main protagonist in the clip and the narrator, explaining that he had an idea for an Heinz Ketchup commercial based on his experience when he visited a ‘super posh restaurant’, where there were fancy forks, tables and classic music playing on. The waiter serves him ‘posh vegetables’ with ‘fancy sauce’. When he is served his food, he monologues that everything seems fine, but states that he feels something is missing. He then reaches towards his bag and pulls out the thing that will complete his meal, ketchup. After that moment, everybody in the restaurant starts putting on a shocked face due to his decision. And then, every time Sheeran knocks his ketchup bottle, the screen captures all kinds of shocked and disgusted reactions from the waiter and guests at the restaurant. The ad ends as Ed Sheeran satisfactorily starts cutting his meal, which is now sprayed with ketchup.

  • Our thoughts and what we wanted to change

After watching this ad, our team did not like the way how ketchup was portrayed. Sure, nobody thinks of ketchup as a ‘posh’ adding, but we did not think it was wise to portray ketchup as a dressing that is rejected from the rich. Also, most of our team did not know who Ed Sheeran was, or about his infamous love for ketchup. And the most decisive reason to why we wanted to change this ad was for ketchup to be portrayed as a sauce that was enjoyed by only a particular social class.

  • How we portrayed our commercial

We wanted to show that ketchup can be enjoyed in all kinds of different food. There were many suggestions in how to portray that, like an interview with various people or showing popping food shaped paper every time ketchup was added. Our main mission was to show the audience a clear message that ketchup can go with all kinds of food, in a fun, attractive and effective way. During one of our conferences, somebody got up with an idea based on the movie “Love Actually”, where there is a scene in which a man confesses his feelings to a woman by using a sketchbook. So, we decided to imitate the scene and give our message through sketchbooks. Our ad would be about all different types of foods confessing their love toward ketchup. We chose rich steak, healthy salad, obvious French fries and befitting hotdog as foods that will well represent various backgrounds to prove ketchup is enjoyed by everybody.

In the beginning of our ad, Heinz ketchup receives a visit from 4 types of foods. They all show through their sketchbooks that they believe ketchup completes them and try to cheer Heinz up. But Heinz hesitates and was not sure what to do and turns the visitors down. However, after a moment of thought, Heinz opens the door again, rushes toward the foods, and finally they are happily reunited. Through this commercial, we wanted to show that ketchup can be enjoyed on all kinds of food regardless of social class.

Written by Sunkyung Kim, Woosong Sun, Doeun Kim, Dahae Park, and Hongkuk Lee | Marketing Communication 2019 Fall | College of Business Administration, Kookmin University

Commercial Renewal Project: Samsung Galaxy Gear (2019): “Gear is here. Gear easier”

In the original advertisement, Samsung showed the features of the Galaxy Gear through the sequences that could happen in a ski resort. Rather than clearly explaining the features of the product, however, it made the Galaxy Gear an unlikeable product. We found 4 reasons why the original commercial has problems.

First, it shows the person who does not wear the gear as fool. Although such description was to show how a person with a Gear looks smart, it is not persuasive since the person without the Gear acting clumsy does not seem to be the problem of having the Gear or not. It looks like he is just a person who often makes mistakes.

Secondly, it shows a man trying to pick up a woman using the Gear. However, this may make audience feel that the Gear is just a tool to give a good impression to the opposite gender rather than something that could be useful in everyday life. In addition, the original advertisement was criticized by LA Times and Independent UK due to advertisement’s focus on two males trying to show off to the female.

Thirdly, its background is limited to the resort. Thus, the situations of the Gear being used is also limited making consumers to perceive the product as a gadget that could be useful only in certain circumstances.

Finally, the situations shown in the commercial are not natural. He used the Gear merely to highlight the product rather than because he needed it. Thus, some viewers may think “Did he really have to use it?” or “He could have used his phones. Why did he need Gear?” Without a doubt, such awkwardness and unrealistic usage is harmful for persuading consumers and making them to think they need or want the product.

Due to the four reasons above, people may not recognize the needs of the product. Furthermore, the features of Gear are not used for his or her own purpose but used to show off that he or she is an early adopter.

In order to tell that Gear gives convenience to users, we focus on showing the features in daily life instead of showing how others act when Gear is shown to someone else. To elaborate, the scenes and situations shown in the commercial are everyday activities such as making phone calls, waking up in the morning, and checking schedules, to name a few. Furthermore, since our main target consumers are 20s to 30s we focus on the situations that target consumers often face such as taking lectures, using kiosk machines, and working out. By doing so, we believe that it will be more persuasive to the consumers and make them think they can also enjoy the convenience of having Galaxy Gear in daily life by purchasing it. In other words, unlike the original commercial, the audience may see themselves through the characters of the advertisement because the characters are doing what they do in daily life in a place that is similar to the places where they spend most of their time.

Moreover, our target consumers are 20s to 30s who are smart shoppers. They don’t usually spend their money to simply boast unless it is extremely luxurious product. They check every information of the product and think if they really need it or what they would get if they buy one. Thus, we showed that it’ll make their life easier if they have one instead of just showing how you may look cool if you are wearing one and portraying someone who don’t have the product to look like as if he or she is clumsy.

Because of the reasons above, we also changed the slogan ‘Are you Geared up?’ to ‘Gear is here. Gear easier’. We believe that the changed slogan will give the impression to ad viewers that it is new type of electronics that is a gadget they can buy since it is affordable by saying ‘Gear is here’. Also, ‘Gear easier’ brings feeling of that it is easy to use and it will make their life more convenient. Plus, the pronunciation of ‘Is here’ and ‘Easier’ is similar which gives a rhyme to the slogan and makes the slogan more memorable.

It is more of pull strategy that we used. The new advertisement makes consumers want the product and think about how they would look or how they can make use out it by their own way while the original advertisement uses push strategy by implanting ideas that they will look smart and will be popular if they wear the Gear. In conclusion, we focused on features of Galaxy Gear that actually can be often used. Also, our team put a lot of effort to show the convenience of the features itself instead of describing the features as a tool of showing off to impress others. Hence, the new advertisement will be more persuasive and attractive to our main target consumers and generate the desire of owning Galaxy Gear.

Written by Sihyuk Lee, Jiyoon Heo, Hyemi Kim, Kyuyeop Shim, and Jaehyuk Yoo| Marketing Communication 2019 Fall | College of Business Administration, Kookmin University

Commercial Renewal Project: FedEx (2019): “FedEx Tape”

In the original FedEx commercial (2019), a man walking in the woods tastes sap flowing from a maple tree and decides to make and sell syrup. The process of making syrup comes out and delivers the final product through FedEx each time. At first, it started in a shabby warehouse but at the end, he packed maple syrup in a clean factory. This commercial ends with the phrase Opportunity.

The purpose of this advertisement is to show that FedEx offers opportunities to small business in the production and supply process. With FedEx, individual business owners can sell their products without much difficulty. However, this commercial has two weaknesses.

1. FedEx is not highlighted – Throughout the ad, FedEx’s logo only appears four times. Also, the logo is inconspicuous except for the FedEx truck, which is used as an indirect component when loading luggage. As a result, when people first saw the advertisement, they said they thought it was a maple syrup ad.

2. FedEx is not different – The original commercial does not reveal much of the purpose of advertising. Delivering the product is a service that other carriers also offer. Therefore, FedEx does not deliver any special opportunities or value to small businesses or individual businesses that start their own businesses. The message “FedEx offers opportunities for small and medium-sized companies” is not convincing because people do not have to use FedEx unless its delivery services are differentiated from other companies.

Therefore, we renewed commercial. Storyboard was used.

1. We repeat and emphasize the FedEx logo – Unlike previous advertisements, FedEx’s logo appeared 9 times and highlighted tapes or boxes containing FedEx’s logo during design or product delivery. It also emphasized that this is FedEx’s advertising by minimizing attention to products being developed through indirect placement.

2. We present the FedEx’s Small Medium Enterprise support policy through the props – FedEx carries out various support policies, such as the Entrepreneur Advisory Board (EAB) or FedEx Small Business Grant Winner (FSBGW), to support the business activities of small and medium businesses or individual businesses. The new ads indicated that FedEx provides various support policies showing by placing letters from EAB or trophies from FSBGW. By supporting the process of ideas becoming products, FedEx has shown that it is not limited to delivery services, but offers differentiated opportunities compare to other companies.

3. We give meanings to the objects in the commercial – Each delivery starts and ends with the ‘FedEx tape’.  Through the commercial, small idea which was just a sketch, becomes the product that everyone pays attention to. Tape represents a linear delivery process through which small ideas are connected to success. Ordinary tape, which sealed the envelope that contained the initial small idea of man, later becomes the tape that is used for cutting ceremony, celebrating the success of the idea. Tape cutting ceremony means success and the bright future of entrepreneurs. FedEx tape represents the secure delivery and help from FedEx, which is the key of the success.

Written by Seungwon Lee, Jinkwan Lee, Minjung Kim, Minkyung Song, Joonyeol Hwang, and Jungyeup Kim| Marketing Communication 2019 Fall | College of Business Administration, Kookmin University

Curitiba has a sophisticated taste of design

I had a business trip to Brazil and Argentina with others. We gave lectures, ran workshops, participated in walk-in tours, and made new friends.

I was impressed by the airport in Curitiba, Brazil. When our plan touched down, I noticed a fire extinguisher and two public phones were attached on a grey wall. At first, they looked like desktop icons. Then, I found that a red-and-yellow square box was painted under the fire extinguisher and a phone was placed lower than the other.

I also found that Curitiba uses color to educate and nudge people to recycle trash. Trash cans in public spaces were divided into multiple sections with different colors. Someone in this city seemed to use color, shape, height and arrangement very carefully not for embellishment but for communication.

Crilly, N., Moultrie, J., & Clarkson, P. J. (2004). Seeing things: Consumer response to the visual domain in product design. Design Studies, 25(6), 547–577.

This paper discusses consumer response to product visual form within the context of an integrated conceptual framework. Emphasis is placed on the aesthetic, semantic and symbolic aspects of cognitive response to design. The accompanying affective and behavioural responses are also discussed and the interaction between cognitive and affective response is considered. All aspects of response are presented as the final stage in a process of communication between the design team and the consumer. The role of external visual references is examined and the effects of moderating influences at each stage in the process of communication are discussed. In particular, the personal, situational and cultural factors that moderate response are considered. In concluding the paper, implications for design practice and design research are presented.

Is survey a form of arts?

There are different forms of arts like painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography. However, survey could be a form of arts. I learned this from the exhibition of Korea Artist Prize 2019 at the MMCA (National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art, Korea).

Korea Artist Prize is a prestigious art award and exhibition of Korea. This award follows the path of MMCA’s Artist of the year exhibitions, which was held from 1995 to 2010 and hence it has been reestablished to discover and sponsor artists who have ardently persisted in paving their own way to artistic success, thus providing an avenue for the advancement of Korean contemporary art.

One of the four selected artists in 2019 is Hyesoo Park. Her artwork is to visualize our unconscious perception. She often observes surroundings, gathers data by doing meticulous research, and collaborates with experts in related fields. In other words, she conducts social science research as an artist.

Park’s new work made for this exhibition starts from the question, “who is your ‘we’?” This question invites one to examine individuals’ questions and categorizations of ‘we,’ namely, their understandings of groups. Prior to the production of the work, the artist conducted a survey on one’s perceptions of ‘we’ among a representative sample, and the output of the survey is analyzed by an expert and interpreted by the artist to be reflected in this work.

One piece of artworks surprised me. This artwork is a survey report. She hung survey responses and framed statistical findings.

According to academic research, we are more likely to include unconventional artworks into the category of arts when we think abstractly. This suggests when we think concretely, we are less likely to consider survey a form of arts.

Schimmel, K., & Förster, J. (2008). How Temporal Distance Changes Novices’ Attitudes Towards Unconventional Arts. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2(1), 53–60.

The authors suggest that, just like other attitudes, attitudes toward art may be malleable, and may thus also depend on situational factors. In particular, the authors propose that thinking styles vary within the situation and that an abstract versus concrete thinking style has an influence on attitudes toward conventional (e.g., Mona Lisa by da Vinci) versus unconventional (e.g., Fat Corner by Beuys) artworks. Construal Level Theory predicts that when people think about the distant future they automatically start thinking in a more abstract way, relative to when people think about the near future, which is supposed to elicit a concrete thinking style. In an experiment, the authors asked participants to think about their lives a year from now or tomorrow. Afterward, in an allegedly unrelated task, participants were asked to evaluate conventional and unconventional artworks. Results showed that participants that had thought about distant events and presumably thought more abstractly were more likely to include unconventional artworks into the category of arts than participants that had thought about near events, and thus presumably thought in more concrete terms. Implications for applied settings are discussed.

Every city needs art and art has to be in the middle of the people

Granville Island is a tourist spot in Vancouver, Canada. It is a farmer’s market with shopping stores, food and beverage places, and art centers. In the middle of the island, gigantic factory facilities were painted like four mischievous boys. I found them artwork.

The name of these artworks are Giants. As the name suggests, these painted concretes are 70 ft (21m) tall.

The mural is part of a global series by OSGEMEOS called “Giants.” The Vancouver Mural is the first in Canada and the only one in 3D, making it unique in the world. The artists are two Brazilian identical twin brothers who have taken the Contemporary art world by storm. While primarily focused on transforming public space, they have exhibited at some of the most prestigious art institutions in the world including the Tate Modern in London and the Museum of the Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

The Brazilian artists said “every city needs art and art has to be in the middle of the people.” Marketing researchers have also paid attention to how people move through museum spaces and experience art.

Joy, A., & Sherry, J. F. J. (2003). Speaking of Art as Embodied Imagination: A Multisensory Approach to Understanding Aesthetic Experience. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(2), 259–282.

This article focuses on somatic experience–not just the process of thinking bodily but how the body informs the logic of thinking about art. We examine the links between embodiment, movement, and multisensory experience insofar as they help to elucidate the contours of art appreciation in a museum. We argue that embodiment can be identified at two levels: the phenomenological and the cognitive unconscious. At the first level, individuals are conscious of their feelings and actions while, at the second level, sensorimotor and other bodily oriented inference mechanisms inform their processes of abstract thought and reasoning. We analyze the consumption stories of 30 museum goers in order to understand how people move through museum spaces and feel, touch, hear, smell, and taste art. Further, through an analysis of metaphors and the use of conceptual blending, we tap into the participants’ unconscious minds, gleaning important embodiment processes that shape their reasoning.

Jaewoo Joo | design thinking, behavioral economics, new product development, new product adoption