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 Apr 26, 2019


 Feb 2, 2019

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 Jan 17, 2019
there's so much interesting information

Description

Surprising stories about how the biggest, household name brands affect our lives and culture — for better or worse. Host Charlie Herman finds tales of tragedy, love, strange histories, unintended consequences, and accidental success.

More information at www.businessinsider.com/household-name


Episode Date
39: Scoot Over?
00:36:04

About two years ago, companies like Bird and Lime deposited thousands of dockless electric scooters in San Diego. Some people loved them… and some people hated them. While city officials considered what to do, two guys decided they’d had enough and took matters into their own hands. What followed were lawsuits, a physical alteration, and a growing new business. Plus, in a new segment, we learn what a beloved brand of chocolate has to do with inflation in the U.K.

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Nov 13, 2019
38: The Coed Scouts of America
00:39:09

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) caused a stir when it reversed its “no girls allowed” rule for the Boy Scouts last year. But it turns out, this isn’t the first time the BSA has gone coed. We take a closer look at what happened, and one Sea Scout reflects on how gender affected her experience in the Scouts.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode made reference to new Boy Scout (now known as Scout BSA) troops including girls and boys. While there are now all-girl and all-boy Scout BSA troops which sometimes participate in activities and events together, there are not currently coed troops.

Nov 06, 2019
37: Battle of the Brands: Leo Fender vs Les Paul
00:33:09

When Leo Fender and Les Paul met, they didn’t have much in common — one was an introverted tinkerer, the other a rising star. But their electric guitars defined the sound of rock ‘n’ roll. Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix brought Fender and Paul’s rivalry alive onstage in a “battle of the brands” that spanned decades.

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Oct 30, 2019
Trailer: Household Name becomes Brought To You By...
00:01:56

Meet our new host, Charlie Herman, and hear what’s in store next week, when we return with a brand new episode of Brought To You By… Coming up this season: a decades-long guitar battle, the first time the Boy Scouts of America went coed, and an electric scooter uprising in San Diego.

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Oct 23, 2019
Introducing: Lost at the Smithsonian
00:07:00

Household Name will be back with brand new episodes soon! But in the meantime, check out "Lost at the Smithsonian," a new podcast from Stitcher. Comedian and pop culture fanatic Aasif Mandvi gets up close and personal with the most iconic artifacts at the National Museum of American History.

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Subscribe to "Lost at the Smithsonian" in Apple Podcasts


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode misstated the name of Jim Henson, the creator of "The Muppets."

Sep 26, 2019
36: A town called DISH
00:46:16

When a small town in Texas changed its name to DISH, the satellite TV company gave its residents free TV for a decade. What DISH Network didn’t know was that the name change was a way for one local politician to get revenge on another. PLUS: we take to the phones and answer your questions on our Customer Service line.

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Jun 12, 2019
35: You've got Enron mail!
00:41:39

Enron collapsed nearly 20 years ago, but chances are something you use today was affected by emails sent by 150 of the company’s top employees. These emails — about meetings and energy markets but also affairs, divorces, and fraud — have helped create new technologies, fight terrorism, and added to our understanding of how we communicate. But should these emails have been released in the first place? PLUS: “Uncut” reveals Enron’s former CFO’s second act.

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Jun 05, 2019
34: The Legend of the Atari Burial
00:34:44

Was Atari’s E.T. video game the worst of all time? Did it sink the entire video game industry in the early 1980s? Did Atari really bury thousands of copies in a New Mexico desert to cover it up? We dig into the old legend and uncover some answers.

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May 29, 2019
33: Muzak listening, and Alexa eavesdropping
00:37:06

We have two stories this week: first, the surprising history "elevator music." Turns out, Muzak was a real company. And then we reveal how much Amazon's Alexa and other smart speakers are really listening — and remembering what we do and say.

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May 22, 2019
32: Who owns the Oakland A's?
00:37:37

In the 1970s, the Oakland A’s were the most bonkers team in baseball. They had bright yellow and green uniforms, iconic handlebar mustaches, and a live donkey for a mascot. It was an eccentric owner's way of getting attention. But those gimmicks didn't win fans in Oakland. Instead, they started a generation of fights between fans and owners, until both sides learned that success in Oakland means embracing Oakland. 

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May 15, 2019
31: Bill Nye the GMO Guy
00:37:21

Back in 2014, Bill Nye The Science Guy was skeptical of genetically modified foods, or GMOs. It raised some eyebrows when he abruptly changed his mind after visiting Monsanto - the huge biochemical agriculture company that was acquired by Bayer. What changed his mind on the trip? Are GMOs good or bad? Plus: in our Customer Service segment, how Vicks VapoRub became a much-loved "cure-all."

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May 01, 2019
30: What does a brand sound like?
00:34:30

Companies spend a lot of time and effort perfecting the look of their brands. But now what a brand sounds like matters just as much. We trace the history from songs to jingles to what's called sonic branding, following the creative process that led to AT&T’s iconic four-note sound logo. And we'll explore what comes next: multi-sensory marketing. Can sound change how beer tastes?

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Apr 24, 2019
29: LaCroix, Canada Goose, and Carhartt are cool. Why?
00:37:11

Some brands aren’t cool no matter how hard they try. Others start out cool, but lose their cachet over time. Then there are the brands that somehow, surprisingly turn cool. Without really changing their products, LaCroix, Canada Goose, and Carhartt became the hottest things around. How did that happen?

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Apr 17, 2019
28: Victoria's Secret is Out
00:36:49

For decades, two men at Victoria's Secret have had immense power. One built the chain into a powerhouse. The other ran the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, handpicking the models called "angels." Then many started to question its standards of beauty. So what happens when the company won't change? PLUS: Why is there a company called Big Ass Fans?

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Apr 10, 2019
27: Harley-Davidson Rides to Live
00:36:31

Harley-Davidson spent more than a century branding its motorcycles as the bikes for rebels and macho cowboys. They’re made in America, for Americans. But Harley’s core customers are aging and before long will die out. Younger generations aren't stepping up to take their place. If it wants to keep selling motorcycles, Harley-Davidson is going to have to look outside the U.S. for new buyers, and become a little less American in the process. But that isn't sitting well with its customer base. PLUS: One listener tells us about the Honda Civic that brought her and her husband together.

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Apr 03, 2019
26: The Best a Woman Can Gillette
00:35:42

Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin always figured razor companies convinced women to start shaving. But when they looked into it, they discovered the question of why women shave is much more complicated than they thought. The answer involves painted on nylons, some deadly rat poison, and a war that changed everything.

Feb 27, 2019
25: The VW Beetle's Dark Past
00:37:43

The Volkswagen Beetle is a symbol of peace, love, and harmony. It’s also a product of Nazi Germany. The story of how the Beetle transformed from Hitler’s car to the Love Bug involves a British army major and a surprising team of advertisers.

Feb 20, 2019
24: An International Amazon Mystery
00:36:02

Danielle wanted a copy of "Pride and Prejudice," so she clicked the top result on Amazon. The book that came in the mail was too big with type that was too small. The introduction was laughable. The story of how this book came to be took us halfway around the world.

Feb 13, 2019
23: Apple 1984
00:37:42

In the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, Apple ran a commercial that changed the Super Bowl and Apple forever. But it almost never aired. Featuring original interviews with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former CEO John Sculley, and the ad's creators, this is the story of Steve Jobs vs the board, a scary casting call involving actual skinheads and a highly skilled discus thrower, plus a legacy that defined Apple and its users for decades.

Read more at www.businessinsider.com/1984

Feb 06, 2019
22: Martha Stewart in the Middle
00:35:52

Less than a decade after Martha Stewart left prison, she was in court again. It was a three-way fight between Martha, Macy's, and JCPenney that could have played out in a middle school cafeteria. And the fight raised an intriguing question: What exactly is a store? PLUS: One listener tells us why Scrubbing Bubbles was banned from her home.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode misstated the current owner of bathroom cleaner Scrubbing Bubbles. It is S.C. Johnson & Son, not Johnson & Johnson.

Jan 30, 2019
21: Crocs: From Punchline to Fashion Line
00:34:23

For years, Crocs were ridiculed as America’s ugliest shoes. The’ve been called “pock-faced,” “plastic hoofs,” and the “garden gnome of fashion.” But now, they're actual fashion, thanks to some help from top name designers and celebrities. Crocs are in. How did that happen? PLUS: Are Crocs edible?

Jan 23, 2019
20: Does Panera Care?
00:35:04

What happens when a restaurant chain tries a bold experiment that tests human nature? If you ask customers to pay what they want for a sandwich, will they help others in need? PLUS: Customer Service tackles "genericide.” It happened to the Elevator.

Jan 16, 2019
19: Kentucky Fried Christmas
00:43:35

How did Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken take over Christmas in Japan? PLUS: Household Name Uncut covers some Christmas decorating gone horribly wrong and the curse of the colonel.

Dec 19, 2018
18: Resting Botox Face
00:37:22

Look a little angry? Accused of having a “resting bitch face”? Now, there’s a drug for that: Botox. The early joke about Botox was that it froze faces. But increasingly, people are seeking a different effect: actually altering their expressions, and maybe even their emotions. We trace the story from the discovery that the deadliest toxin on earth could make a face look less “troubled,” to a feminist professor’s Botox investigation that turns personal.

Nov 28, 2018
17: Better Call Butterball
00:35:14

Butterball turkey experts have been answering your burning turkey questions since 1981. This week, we hear from the turkey talkers about the wildest calls and how to pull off a “perfect” Thanksgiving dinner. Then listeners call into our own Turkey Talk-Line to tell us about the surprising Thanksgivings they’ve spent at fast food restaurants.

Nov 21, 2018
16: NASA Uncut
00:41:25

We don’t think of most government agencies as brands, but NASA is different. This year is the space agency’s 60th anniversary, so we're diving into NASA’s brand history to bring you little-known stories about a meatball and a worm, some astronauts with gastrointestinal issues, and a middle schooler’s mission to send chickens into space.

Nov 14, 2018
15: The Waffle House Index
00:37:51

When a disaster hits the South, chances are the local Waffle House will be back open in no time. The 24-hour breakfast chain is so good at responding to storms that FEMA uses it to determine where to deploy disaster aid. How does Waffle House get up and running so quickly? PLUS: Customer Service takes on Heinz and the mystery of the 57 Varieties.

Nov 07, 2018
14: Sears: There Was More For Your Life
00:36:15

Before Sears filed for bankruptcy, it was run by a reclusive billionaire who'd call into meetings from his mansion on a Florida island. It was one of the unusual ways Eddie Lampert ran the department store chain. He also stopped investing in the stores. The CEO had outwitted kidnappers, and many thought he was defying skeptics on Wall Street, too. This is the story of how Sears stayed alive so long, and how it all fell apart.

Oct 31, 2018
13: Gangs? At Disneyland?
00:34:52

Once upon a time, gangs roamed Disneyland in biker vests. They swarmed rides. They got in fights. Or so we thought… The real story is kind of a classic Disney fairy tale: about a princess and her merry band of friends. But is there a happily ever after?

Oct 24, 2018
12: A Wrench in Tesla
00:37:40

This year, Tesla's image took a hit. The company fell behind on production targets, reports came out that it may be skipping safety tests and making mistakes on the production line, creating more waste. It didn't help that Elon Musk smoked weed on a podcast, attacked a diver rescuing the Thai soccer team, and got sued by the SEC. At the same time, a guy near Boston taught himself how to bring damaged Teslas back to life, and in doing so, he revealed a lot of the cars' flaws. Now the question is: will Tesla support him or stop him?

Oct 17, 2018
11: The Amway Dream
00:35:55

Amway is a multi-level marketing company: the structure is triangular, but don't call it a pyramid scheme. The Federal Trade Commission already tried and failed. Now, hundreds of MLMs like Amway are embedded in America's towns and cities, and in the highest offices in government. So how did this happen?

Oct 03, 2018
10: The Macy's Home Department
00:36:50

The Macy's at Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Virginia closed its doors for good a year ago. Then, the whole mall shut down. The empty department store become a homeless shelter. And a woman who once worked there, found herself sleeping there.


Sep 26, 2018
9: The Mattress Firm Conspiracy Theory
00:37:09

We go on a mission to find out why there are so many Mattress Firm stores. How do they end up next door and across the street from each other? Are the mattresses full of money? Reddit users started a conspiracy theory, so we teamed up with WBUR and Reddit’s Endless Thread podcast to put these questions to bed.

If you like Household Name, please take a moment to leave a rating and review of Household Name on Apple Podcasts. It really helps people find the show. And if you have feedback, send it to householdname@businessinsider.com.

Sep 19, 2018
8: The Jell-O Curse
00:39:22

Allie Rowbottom's life is built on a Jell-O fortune, just like it was for the lives of her mother and her grandmother. But along with the wealth from America's most famous dessert, there came a curse. Now the most recent heir to the Jell-O fortune, Allie tries to make sense of her family history, and all the strange ways Jell-O showed up in their lives. In the process, she learns what the curse means to her.

PLUS: Household Name Uncut on all the weird things we used to put in Jell-O molds.

Allie Rowbottom is the author of The Jell-O Girls, A family history, which you can find here, or at your favorite bookstore.

Sep 12, 2018
7: The Bodies at the Brooks Brothers
00:36:16

There's a Brooks Brothers store across the street from the World Trade Center in New York. Shortly after the attacks on September 11, a young doctor named Sandeep Jauhar headed to ground zero to help. He ended up at the store, which was transformed into a makeshift morgue. Suddenly, he’s put in charge, which was the last thing he wanted. This is a story of ties and white collared shirts, and how heroism is often improvised.

Sep 05, 2018
6: Basically Starbucks
00:37:32

A Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is the perfect accessory for the "basic bitch." But why? We dive into the PSL's origin story, and trace Starbucks’ route from elitist to basic. PLUS: Product Misplacement with Jean Edelstein.

Aug 29, 2018
5: The Coca-Cola President
00:37:00

Not many Presidents can say they got their start driving soda trucks around their country. Mexico’s former President Vicente Fox can, though. We find out what role Coca-Cola played in his rise to power, and investigate Coke’s unprecedented domination in Mexico. PLUS: Customer Service takes on Ikea.

Aug 22, 2018
4: Trader Joe's No-Buck Chuck
00:34:48

Trader Joe’s "Two-Buck Chuck" is the wine that got many of us through college. But when we found out that “Chuck” – or Charles Shaw – is a real guy, we had to know more. Turns out the real Charles Shaw has a wild winemaking past full of gambles, heartbreak, and cruel ironies. PLUS: Product Misplacement with Mindy Eskow.

Aug 15, 2018
3: The Last Blockbuster
00:35:45

How has Blockbuster Video survived against the odds so long in Alaska, and what will its decline mean? Before the world’s last Blockbuster stores disappear forever, we pay them a visit on the last frontier to find out.

Aug 08, 2018
2: Donald and Ivana's Affair (with Pizza Hut)
00:41:27

When Pizza Hut can’t get anyone to buy their new Stuffed Crust Pizza, help comes from an unlikely pair: Donald and Ivana Trump. We hear the behind the scenes making of this ad, and in turn, the making of a president. PLUS: Our first installment of Uncut with Household Name's producers.

Aug 01, 2018
1: TGI Fridays: The Tinder of the 1960s
00:36:00

You wouldn’t know it from the tired decor at TGI Fridays today, but this family restaurant has a sexy past. It was once a game-changing singles bar, which arrived on the cusp of the sexual revolution. We go back to the 60s and 70s to experience the original Fridays, and find out how it has changed the way we meet, date and marry.

Jul 25, 2018
Household Name Trailer
00:01:46

Business Insider is teaming up with Stitcher to bring you surprising stories behind the brands we all know, whether we love them or loathe them. Host Dan Bobkoff will change the way you think about Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, and dozens of other household name brands.

Household Name premiers July 25. Subscribe now!

Jul 17, 2018