The Marketing Rescue Podcast

Usually, on the Marketing Rescue podcast, we tell the stories of brands - brands who made it and brands who didn’t. But on today’s episode, we’re going to talk a bit about technologies, and how business decisions (including marketing) shape the technologies we end up using. If you’re old enough, cast your mind back to the mid-to-late 1970s when if you wanted to watch a show, you watched it when it came on. Once.  At the same time as everyone else. If you missed it… you missed it. But right at the end of the 1970s, something happened that changed all of that. In fact, changed how we watched TV And movies - fundamentally. The invention of the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)For the first time, families could set the VCR to record a favorite show, and watch it when they wanted. They could rent a movie at the local grocery store or video store, and watch it (again) when they wanted.The VCR was a huge change in the entire media landscape. It’s helpful to remember (or learn for the first time) that the way VCRs came to market, and the VHS format, in particular, was far from pre-ordained. The story of bringing video to home viewing is an instructional tale for anyone interested in bringing new products, or new technologies, to market. The story started in the 1950s, in Japan when Dr. Sawazaki developed a prototype videotape recorder. This invention started a race to see who could bring this technology to market first. In 1956, Ampex (the company known mostly for making recording media like video and audiotape) released the world’s first commercially available video recorder - the Ampex VRX-1000. At the time, there were six major firms fighting for who would get a consumer product to market that was truly successful. Of those six - the two that emerged as the leaders were the electronics giants, JVC and Sony. They were working on two different formats, or standards. JVC had their money on a standard they called “VHS” which stands for Video Home System. At the same time, engineers at Sony were working on multiple formats, one of these was called Betamax. Betamax had a great picture and sound quality - the best of the consumer-friendly models. Unfortunately, it was expensive compared to VHS and it could only record up to an hour on tape. This becomes the focal point in the battle for a consumer standard - the balance between quality, recording length, and achieving that balance at price consumers would pay.Both JVC and Sony were working on this balance: JVC had longer record time, but lower quality while Sony had higher quality, but shorter record time. These two formats: VHS and Betamax quickly emerged as the front-runners in the battle for home video, even while they were still in prototype. JVC (and eventually other companies) started making VHS machines and Sony went with the Betamax machines.  The two approaches could not have been more different.Building consensus, and making friendsHere are some of the key differences in how JVC and Sony took their tech to market: JVC worked harder with the industry to build up support. Sony didn’t. When Japan tried to make an industry standard they got Sony’s former partners like Matsushita to side with them It is possible that JVC may have ended up adopting the Betamax standard had Sony been a bit more open.Sony, on the other hand, refused the advice of others, including companies they’d previously partnered with like Matsushita. They preferred “better” licensing deals over customer-accessibility.Betamax opted for high-quality proprietary formats (ex: Minidisc, MSX, Video Game cartridges, and PlayStation).By 1980, JVC's VHS format controlled 60% of the North American videocassette market. As a result of their proprietary format - Sony got sued by motion picture companies for encouraging the recording of copyrighted material.  Sony eventually won the lawsuit but by the time it was over, and they fully entered the market in video stores,

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The Marketing Rescue podcast is a weekly show that covers the most epic brand failures and comebacks throughout history. Join hosts Nico Coetzee and Chad Childress as they talk about how some of your favorite brands came back from the brink of disaster, as well as some of the more sinister brand business you may have heard of, but don’t really know. We are here every week with the entire stories—the successes, the failures, and why they happened. You haven’t heard the stories told like this anywhere else and you won’t want to miss out. This description is from The Marketing Rescue Podcast.

Epic marketing campaigns often involve epic amounts of risk, but not every risk pays off. For every “Just Do It,” there’s a New Coke. For every “Where’s the beef?” there’s an AAirpass. Never heard of AAirpass? Exactly. We generally only hear about the success stories, and the failures are often swept under the rug. That’s where we come in. On each episode of the Marketing Rescue Podcast, hosts (and marketing pros) Nico Coetzee and Chad Childress take you behind the scenes of some of the biggest marketing failures in history, and how those brands recovered from their seismic gaffes, if they did at all. We look at the thinking behind the big ideas, the factors that led to their downfall, and the things we can all learn along the way. So buckle your seatbelts and put those tray-tables up, because this is going to be a bumpy ride. Welcome to The Marketing Rescue Podcast.

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