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A Picnic with Antz and Bugs

0422 Marketing Principles


Promotion Mix and Function


  • Explain the role of promotion as a marketing function (Activity #1 & 2)

  • Explain the types of promotion (Activity #1 & 2)

  • Identify the elements of the promotional mix (Activity #2)

  • Describe the use of technology in the promotion function (Activity #1 & 2)

  • Explain types of advertising media (Activity #1 & 2)

  • Describe word of mouth channels used to communicate with targeted audiences (Activity #2)

  • Explain the nature of direct marketing channels (Discussion)

  • Identify communications channels used in sales promotion (Activity #2)


Today we are going on a picnic. You get to choose your food or drink, but first we have to deal with the Ants and the Bugs. Do you remember the movies, Ants and A Bugs life? They both hit the box office at the same time and their success became a marketing war.


How is the success of a product dependent upon promotion?


To complete this project, students will use basic terms and concepts, to complete the following academic, technology, and entrepreneurship activities:

  1. Academic activities – textbook review, critical thinking and writing skills;

  2. Technology activities –website search, use of MOS Word

  3. Entrepreneurship activities – Like business owners must do, choosing a product to analyze its promotion mix and communication strategies and channels


Students will get to choose a business to analyze for its motional mix and it’s communication channels


  • Discuss why certain business use certain communication strategies 45 min

  • Discuss how different forms of advertisement impacts different groups 20 min

  • Analyze promotions of Antz and A Bugs Life Activity 1 60 min

  • Introduce Promotional Mix, review text, and go over Promotional Mix Table 20 min

  • Examine different elements of the promotional mix of a product Activity 2a 45 min

  • Review text on lines of communication 20 min

  • Examine different communication channels of a product Activity 2b 40 min



Armstrong, Gary, and Kotler,Philip, “Marketing, An Introduction” Prentice Hall 2000


Computers, Websites as listed above, Word software, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint software.


#1 - Activity 1-a –Evaluate & explain marketing in writing activity 20 pts

#2 - Activity 1-b –Design a communication strategy 25 pts

#3 - Activity 2 a&b – Venn Diagram & Flow Chart activities 30 pts

Total points for these activities Total 75 pts

Authentic assessments will be evaluated with the rubrics that are located on each activity


Block scheduling-4 days, periods-8 days. This includes time for lecture, textbook readings, and discussions. Depending on student’s ability, extended time may be needed on some projects.

Day 1 Discuss why certain business use certain communication strategies 40 min

Discuss how different forms of advertisement impacts different groups 40 min

Introduce Assignment for Antz and A Bug’s Life 10 min

Day 2 Analyze promotions of Antz and A Bugs Life Activity One 60 min

Introduce Promotional Mix, review text, and go over Promotional Mix Table 20 min

Give examples of products’ promotional mix, allow students to take part 10 min

Day 3 Examine different elements of the promotional mix of a product Activity 2 45 min

Review text on lines of communication 30 min

Give different examples of how the communication channels 15 min

Day 4 Examine different communication channels of a product Activity 3 40 min

Go over Essay from the movies and discuss different positions 20 min

Have students discuss how promotion mix activity and channel activity relate 30 min


Using animated features and a familiar brand or product, students will understand how the success of a brand, a product, or a movie, depends on it’s promotion

Promoting Movies

One of the best examples of competitive integrated marketing communications warfare occurred in the fall of 1998 when DreamWorks Antz went head to head against Disney’s/Pixar’s A Bugs Life. These were not just superbly animated features designed to capture consumer dollars at the box office. They were all-out marketing efforts between two industry giants. “Thou shalt not under market” became the battle cry. Both companies developed massive media blitzes, merchandise licensing, (everything from toothbrushes and toys to bed sheets), public relations and sales promotion efforts directed at influential media (always with an eye toward Oscar nominations) and tie-ins of every imaginable descriptions (such as McDonald’s and beanie babies). The Initial promotion budgets of the competitors were estimated at $75 and $100 million dollars each. And these initial expenditures were only the opening salvo in a longer term battles between the studios. Their head to head competitive projects were expected through the year 2000.

Write a paragraph answering the following questions.

  1. Evaluate the integrated marketing communications strategies used by DreamWorks and Disney/Pixar. From a competitive standpoint, which group do you believe was the winner? Explain.

  2. Explain how advertising for A Bug’s Life through tie ins(McDonalds toys and TY Beanie Babies) benefits both the movie company and the tie in partner?



Earned Points


Paragraph is free of grammatical and spelling errors.


Several marketing communication strategies are discussed.


A winner was declared with a with a competent argument.


At least three benefits for Disney/Pixar, A bug’s Life, and Any tie-ins were mention, considered, and clearly stated.


Total Points

_____ of 20 pts

In the paragraph you just wrote, you had to declare a winner in the marketing war. Pretend you are the marketing manager for the other (loser) studio.

  1. Design an integrated communications strategy that goes beyond what had already been done. Focus on other possible tie-ins, the Internet, and licenses for products. Additional ideas can be obtained for your strategy by reading news stories about the two companies.

  2. What can be learned about integrated marketing communications from this example?



Points Earned


Student focused on one studio and used clearly stated strategies to promote their movie.


5-7 tie ins were mentioned


Each tie in was well thought out and implemented, internet use and licensing was given careful consideration.


Question b is answered with careful consideration at the end of the strategy.


Total Points

____ of 25 pts

Mixing It Up
A business' total marketing communications program is called the "promotional mix" and consists of a blend of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations tools. In this revision note, we describe the four key elements of the promotional mix in more detail.

It is helpful to define the four main elements of the promotional mix before considering their strengths and limitations.

(1) Advertising

Any paid form of non-personal communication of ideas or products in the "prime media": i.e. television, newspapers, magazines, billboard posters, radio, cinema etc. Advertising is intended to persuade and to inform. The two basic aspects of advertising are the message (what you want your communication to say) and the medium (how you get your message across)

(2) Personal Selling

Oral communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to "close the sale".

(3) Sales Promotion

Providing incentives to customers or to the distribution channel to stimulate demand for a product.

(4) Publicity

The communication of a product, brand or business by placing information about it in the media without paying for the time or media space directly. otherwise known as "public relations" or PR.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Element of the Promotional Mix

Mix Element




Good for building awareness

Effective at reaching a wide audience

Repetition of main brand and product positioning helps build customer trust

Impersonal - cannot answer all a customer's questions

Not good at getting customers to make a final purchasing decision

Personal Selling

Highly interactive - lots of communication between the buyer and seller

Excellent for communicating complex / detailed product information and features

Relationships can be built up - important if closing the sale make take a long time

Costly - employing a sales force has many hidden costs in addition to wages

Not suitable if there are thousands of important buyers

Sales Promotion

Can stimulate quick increases in sales by targeting promotional incentives on particular products

Good short term tactical tool

If used over the long-term, customers may get used to the effect

Too much promotion may damage the brand image

Public Relations

Often seen as more "credible" - since the message seems to be coming from a third party (e.g. magazine, newspaper)

Cheap way of reaching many customers - if the publicity is achieved through the right media

Risk of losing control - cannot always control what other people write or say about your product

2a - Venn Diagram

Think of a food business, store, brand, etc. (Hardees, Butterball, Snickers, Sprite) and complete the diagram. Ask yourself how they implement each element of the promotional mix.

List three different ways you hear about this product.




2b – Flow Chart
How does Word of Mouth effect your decision to continue to buy this product? Think about how you first heard about this product or brand.


Complete the diagram about Marketing Communication. Consider your brand, product, etc that you previously used and complete the diagram.
Source (Company) Message Channels Receiver

What the company How you get the Target Audiences

Wants to tell you message

Feedback (what was your reaction? What did you do?)



Points Earned


Ven Diagram complete for chosen product or brand


At least 4 examples for each element of the promotion mix


Both questions answered with complete thought


Marketing Communication diagram complete


Student demonstrated understanding of promotional communication


Student shows a clear understanding of the message their company tries to convey


Students gives examples of 7 channels of distribution for their product


Students will tell three ways they offer feedback to the marketing communication.


Total Points

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