Popeye’s argues that economics can’t explain why their chicken tastes so good. The professor looks at the inverse relationship between quality and quantity, so maybe this is actually a marketing class?
This Wendy’s commercial picks fun at Soviet economics that were notorious for limiting options available to consumers in the name of efficiency, but monopolistic competition in a capital market thrives on product differentiation and the ability to cater to people’s preferences.
Thanks to Rob Szarka for the find!
This young Thai kid dreams of being an astronaut and making great scientific discoveries, but he’s got to save enough Baht (Thai currency) to be able to afford to the telescope. For reference, 2500 baht is about $75 US. The young boy is tempted by ice cream, street food, video games and toys, but he maintains his frugalness and saves up enough to buy the telescope. After enough time, he rushes to the store to buy the telescope, only to find out that the telescope now costs 3500 baht. The message is clear, inflation occurs and makes the value of money deteriorate over time. This Thai bank is encouraging savings to help combat that.
Thanks to Peach Tantihkarnchana for the clip suggestion!
Cut your cell phone expenses in half and all of a sudden you feel a bit richer, but does that mean you think you should be driving a significantly more expensive car? When incomes increase, we tend to purchase more items, but luxury goods require a pretty substantial increase.
People will go to great lengths to get “free” wifi even though they may not realize the cost associated with the decision. In this commercial for Qwest Communication, they try to offer wifi where people actually want to go.
In this commercial for the new caramel M&M’s, our grocery store employee is trying to buy back M&Ms from customers as they’re leaving the store. The employee offers $2, $3, and his watch to get the M&Ms back even though the customers could easily go through the line again and get a new bag. People tend to value items they possess at a higher rate than they actually paid for them and this action appears irrational since the transaction costs of buying another pack is already low.
Thanks to James Tierney for actually watching the commercials on Hulu:
Have a friend who brags about things they get for free? One of the common components of long-term contracts is that it includes a phone, but the price of the phone is often just built into the contract so the phone isn’t really free.
This commercial is a great opening piece to talk about the differences between equity and efficiency. While both young girls are better off that before (efficiency improvements), they are not relatively better off because one is getting an actual pony (equity issues). One of the hard portions of this concept is to think about this issue as a true tradeoffs that efficiency gains often come at the cost of decreased equity. This increase in inequality between the two girls may be a nice, short way of demonstrating that tradeoff.
One of the tough parts of buying Christmas gifts is that we don’t have perfect information regarding what the other person really wants. This issue often leads to us buying gifts for people based on what we think they’d like. This commercial from eBay points out that you can find a variety of gifts that someone would put on their list are low prices if you shop on eBay.