Pedagogical Product Placement

As the COVID pandemic continues to impact our daily routines, including accessing only the essentials when we go grocery shopping, stores have had to find creative ways to ensure that customers do not aimlessly wander into those “out of bounds” non-essential spots.  Today, as I completed my weekly shopping and made my way towards the check-out, I found myself wondering about the number of purchases of chips and whether they have increased, as this store’s solution to keeping us out of bounds was to create aisles upon aisles of Lays, Miss Vickie’s, Doritos, Cheetos, etc. as their barriers.  How many customers, who had already passed the regular chips aisle, decided to place a bag in their carts as they wove their way to the front of the store, or as they stood in line waiting to be directed to the next available cashier?

This is indeed product placement at it’s best. According to the The Psychology Behind Retail Product Placement post,  there are four factors which lead to effective product placement:

  • Essentials at the back
  • Luxury items at the front
  • Eye level is buy level
  • Complementary products side by side
  • Give space

In reflecting on our current online learning model and the significant appeal of Google Classroom banners, I couldn’t help but wonder about the similarities between the two.   It’s not hard to draw the connections between online learning and consumer fulfilment.  Educators are working extremely hard to gain the attention of their consumer (the students) against several competing factors (home circumstances, spring weather, online gaming etc.) ~ much like our choices in the store.

As educators design these virtual invitations to their online classrooms, what would it look like to have the essentials at the back.  Does that mean that students would need to work their way through other material in order to get to the sites/activities that are the most necessary? What are the entry level luxury items that we might use to entice a student away from Fortnite and to our Google Classroom?

Once we return to our beloved world of in-person learning, what role could product placement play in our classrooms?   Would we rethink our classroom libraries?  Our math manipulative placement? The visuals on our walls?

As a side note… It worked! Mr. Bruyns was treated to a bag of his favourite Miss Vickie’s chips, even though they weren’t on the grocery list.

Come right with me….

One thought on “Pedagogical Product Placement

  1. What a tremendous connection. I am currently preparing a Choice Board (as requested by my students) and setting up a weekly schedule.
    “Eye Level is Buy Level” for sure.
    I am looking forward to what they “choose” from my “online academic shelves” this week. I am always gobsmacked by their passion and creativity…and terrific sense of humour.
    Thanks for sharing. I am not sure if I can write every day in May – but I can certainly try to read and comment on your posts!

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