Category Archives: Chapter03

Price of Materialism (Chapter 3)

I found this video intriguing for Chapter 3 because one of the criticisms of marketing is it creates a materialistic attitude. This video can be used to launch a discussion about materialism and ethical issues in marketing.

The High Price of Materialism Video

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you agree with one of the video’s premises that materialism causes a higher level of unhappiness and dysfunctional behaviors such as depression? Why or why not?
  2. What impact does materialism have on pro-social values? Why?
  3. What impact does materialism have on attitudes towards the environment? Why?
  4. What changes does the video suggest for reducing materialistic attitude? Do you agree or disagree with these approaches? Why or why not?

Offensive Ads (Chapter 3)

In my advertising class, I asked students to share an ad they found offensive and explain why. These three ads were shared by one of my students.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you find these ads offensive? Why or why not?
  2. Can offensive ads still accomplish the objective of making consumers aware of a brand? Why or why not?
  3. Does it matter if an ad is offensive, as long as it makes people aware of the brand? Why or why not?
  4. What do you think is the objective of these ads? Explain your answer.

SPCA Ad (Chapter 3)

Non-profit organizations often use advertising and marketing techniques to promote their organizations. Here is a TV ad by SPCA that can be used to generate some discussion related to consumer behavior.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your initial reaction to this ad?
  2. Was the emotional appeal of the ad too strong? Why or why not?
  3. Who do you think is the target market for this ad?
  4. Discuss the concepts of selective exposure, selective distortion, and selective retention as it relates to this ad.
  5. If you were going to target a particular VALS group with this ad, which group would you target? Why?
  6. Look at the consumer decision process. Which step do you think this advertisement addresses? Justify your choice.

Chapter 3 YouTube Videos

Chapter 3 is an interesting chapter because most people have an opinion about the ethics of marketing. The larger question is does marketing influence society or does marketing reflect society?

Video Links:

When the Company’s Founder Insults the Consumer (Chapter 3)

Lululemon Athletica’s former Chairman and founder, Chip Wilson, created much controversy for the Lululemon brand of yoga and exercise wear. He stated publicly that he favored  child labor in developing countries and claimed that cigarette smoking and birth control pills lead to high divorce rates and breast cancer. To top it off, he further claimed that Lululemon doesn’t manufacture clothing for plus-size women because it requires too much material, making the product too expensive.

Crisis management suggests that companies must immediately tackle any controversy that affects the company. This  ABS News Report shows how the company’s representative handled the controversy…. not well…

You may also want to look at’s website.

Discussion Questions:

1. How do you, as a consumer, evaluate the Chairman’s apology?

2. How would you advise the company’s Board to handle such a crisis? Explain.

3. Assume that you are a Lululemon Athletica’s consumer. Would you continue to purchase the company’s products? What should the company to do make it up to its consumers, many of whom were insulted by the Chairman’s comments?