Goal: Help your students understand the ways in which companies use social media to market their products, and how social media advertising is different or similar to commercial and print advertising.
Activity #1: Brand and Market Research
1. Put your leftover Halloween candy to use! Bring in to class a bag filled with enough candy for each student, and have each student pick a piece of candy out of the bag.
2. Have students research the candy brand they chose, and answer the following questions in a written assignment:
a. How does this brand advertise it's products (Facebook, billboards, commercials)? List all you can find.
b. What appears to be the brand's overall message to its consumers?
c. Who do the ads seem to be targeting?
d. Who are the brand's competitors?
d. What company owns this brand? What companies own the brand's competitors?
e. If you were to take on advertising for this company, what would you do differently? What would you keep the same?
3. Have each student present their findings to the class. Discuss their results as a group.
4. Share the candy leftovers with the class!
Activity #2: Creating a Brand
1. Split students into groups of four. Have each team pick a candy brand (you may want to use the bag of candy again).
2. Inform students that their groups are advertising companies. Their clients are a new candy brand in direct competition with the candy they've picked (for instance, if a group picked "Reese's' Peanut Butter Cups," their client is trying to compete with Reese's).
3. Have students create a marketing strategy for their client. Their strategy should include a brand identity, message to convey to consumers, a proposed social media account, and a pitch for an advertising campaign (this could be a commercial, social media campaign, etc.).
4. Have students share their presentations with the class. At the end, take a vote of which team's advertising campaign would seem most effective.
5. Share the candy leftovers with the class!