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Subscribers: 1554
Reviews: 4

 Dec 29, 2019
I liked the other host much better. He was funny, interesting, and seemed to be having fun. This new guy is kinda too stiff for me. What happened to Dan?

 Apr 26, 2019

 Feb 2, 2019

love it!
 Jan 17, 2019
there's so much interesting information


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.

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Episode Date
55: The Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement

When two employees at Polaroid discovered their company’s technology was being used by the South African government to help enforce apartheid, they protested and called for an international boycott of their employer until it withdrew from that country. It was one of the first anti-apartheid protests against a major U.S. corporation and the beginning of the broader divestment movement that followed. Polaroid’s leadership responded with steps it thought could help Black South Africans, and its efforts pose a question we still grapple with today: What responsibility do corporations have to promote social justice and human rights around the world?

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Aug 12, 2020
54: Will The Real Mr. Oreo Please Stand Up?

This week, we’re teaming up with the podcast Proof from America’s Test Kitchen to bring you an Oreo story with three delicious parts. First, the longstanding rivalry between two biscuit makers that gave birth to the world’s favorite cookie. Then, one little girl’s brave choice (risking divine punishment!) to taste the famous creme filling. And finally, a full-scale investigation into who really invented that creme filling — and how one “Mr. Oreo” got all the glory.

Read Marjorie Ingall’s essay about the Oreo:

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Aug 05, 2020
53: An Essential Oils Investigation

Young Living was one of the first major essential oils companies on the market, helping to launch an industry that is worth billions of dollars today. The company is built on the myth of its founder, whose miraculous medical recovery inspired him to devote his life to alternative medicine. But that story isn’t quite what it appears to be, and the people who believe in it sometimes pay a high price. Business Insider investigative reporter Nicole Einbinder uncovers the truth behind Young Living and its founder, Gary Young.

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Jul 29, 2020
52: The Republic of Samsung

Samsung’s founder, his son, and his grandson turned a vegetable and dried fish shop into a global superpower and a symbol of South Korean success. But their fight to keep the company in the family has also landed it at the center of some of South Korea’s biggest corruption investigations. Now, Samsung and South Korea have to figure out what comes next: Can the company continue without its founding family at the helm? And what would that mean for the country Samsung helped build? 

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Jul 22, 2020
51: Not All Fun and Board Games

The original Game of Life was about reaching happy old age, not "Millionaire Acres." And Monopoly was invented by an anti-capitalist who wanted to make a point about landowning and economic inequality. How did these games become the versions we play today? This is the story of how two iconic board games, designed to shape American culture, were instead warped by it.

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Jul 15, 2020
50: Let’s Talk About Tampax

How do you advertise a product that's taboo? When Tampax became the first commercially-produced tampon in 1933, no one wanted to talk about menstruation. So the company embraced education as advertising. It’s a strategy that grew from door-to-door sales campaigns to middle school sex ed classes across the country today. But what does it mean when corporations lead the conversation about menstruation?

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Jul 08, 2020
49: Making Nathan’s Famous

Nathan’s Famous turned the hot dog into a symbol of July 4th. But the story of how that happened says a lot more about America than just its love of a good BBQ. It’s immigrants striving for the American dream, hucksters spinning tall tales, underdogs fighting against the odds. The good, the bad, and the ugly of the US stuffed through a meat grinder, bigger and better than Nathan’s ever dreamed. 

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Jul 01, 2020
48: The Fight for the McDonald’s Franchise

In 1969, Cleveland’s Black residents boycotted McDonald’s. For weeks, the company’s leadership had been locked in a stalemate with Black activists over who should own and operate the local franchises. It was all part of a bigger movement, whose goal was to build economic power in Black communities through Black-owned businesses. But 50 years later, how are the Black franchisees at McDonald’s faring? Were the golden arches a golden ticket to economic equality?

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Jun 24, 2020
Trailer: BTYB returns on June 24

What happens when businesses try to do more than just sell you things? On June 24, we’re kicking off a new season of stories: about Polaroid confronting racism, Tampax taking on education, and The Game of Life telling you how to live your life.

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Jun 10, 2020
INTRODUCING: “Twenty Thousand Hertz” and THX

While we finish up our new season, check out this episode from Twenty Thousand Hertz. It’s a podcast that tells the stories behind the world’s most recognizable sounds. This episode is about THX, that deep, swelling effect you hear right before a movie starts. Turns out, we might never have heard that sound if it weren’t for Star Wars.

May 27, 2020
BONUS: Where is Hidden Valley Ranch?

In this bonus episode, we open up our customer service lines to answer a burning question from one of our listeners: Is there really a Hidden Valley? And does it have a ranch?

May 20, 2020
BONUS: Brand Aid

What’s the right way to sell people hamburgers, cars, or anything, really, during a global pandemic? In this bonus episode, Charlie talks to Business Insider’s Tanya Dua and Meredith Haggerty from “The Goods” by Vox about the state of pandemic advertising and what it can tell us about the role of brands in our daily lives.

To read more of Tanya’s reporting about brands, advertising and marketing, subscribe to BI prime:

May 06, 2020
INTRODUCING: "Proof" and the Miracle Berry

While we work on a new season of episodes, here’s another podcast to check out: Proof, from America’s Test Kitchen. The Proof team tackles big questions about what we eat and explores the hidden stories behind the foods we love. In this episode, we learn who killed the "Miracle Berry." In the 1970s, it was poised to become the sugar replacement of choice. So why haven’t you heard of it?

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Apr 22, 2020
47: Drinking Buddies: Jack Daniel and Nearest Green

Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling whiskey in the world. For more than 150 years, it’s been made using time-honored methods that go back to when Jack Daniel made the whiskey himself. (Yes, he was a real person.) But who taught “Mr. Jack” how to make that whiskey? Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man. Unlike Jack Daniel, though, most people don’t know his name, so one woman has made it her mission to tell the world his story one sip at a time.

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Apr 08, 2020
46: Makin' Whoopee Cushion

April Fools' pranks come and go, but one joke item that’s stood the test of time is the whoopee cushion. Today, we trace its history from ancient Rome to now. Where did it come from? Why is it funny? Will it stay popular? And if everyone knows its name, why does no one company get the credit for it?

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Apr 01, 2020
45: Heard It Through the Grapevine

The 1980’s TV commercials for California raisins have been called some of the best ads ever made. The claymation raisins singing and dancing to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” became a kids TV show, recorded an album that went platinum, launched a range of toys and costumes, and starred in an Emmy-winning Christmas special. But were they a success for the raisin industry? Or did the dancing California raisins cause more trouble than they were worth?

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Mar 25, 2020
44: All That Jazzercise

Since Jazzercise started over 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of (mostly) women have come together to exercise and get fit. But if you think Jazzercise is just jazz hands and shoulder rolls, you’re missing out on the bigger story, one about women becoming entrepreneurs and running their own businesses.

Mar 18, 2020
43: A Tale of Two Spams

In Hawaii, Spam is served at grandma’s house and in high-end restaurants. It’s beloved. But in the continental U.S., the canned pork product is often the punchline of jokes. Why does Spam have such different meanings in different places? The answer involves World War II, Monty Python, and a troupe of singing saleswomen.

Mar 11, 2020
42: The Widow Clicquot

More than two hundred years ago in Napoleonic France, the business world was walled off to women, and champagne was a luxury reserved for the ruling class. So then how did a young widow take over her husband’s struggling wine business and turn champagne into an international phenomenon? And how does her legacy continue to shape what we drink today?

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Mar 04, 2020
41: The Red (M&M) Scare

From the mid 1970s to the mid ‘80s, red M&M’s disappeared. American consumers had become worried about the safety of red food coloring after some questionable Russian studies prompted the FDA to look into whether one particular dye might be causing cancer in rats. But years later, the red M&M made a triumphant return, thanks in part to a college kid in Tennessee and an inside joke that took on a life of its own.

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Feb 26, 2020
40: The Marlboro Woman

Marlboro cigarettes are synonymous with the rugged figure who sells them: the Marlboro Man. But the cigarette he smokes was originally marketed to women, and its journey from the lips of debutantes to the hands of cowboys takes us from first-wave feminism to the frontier of advertising. PLUS: Did Lucky Strike make the color green cool? And how did Marlboro find ways to market cigarettes despite increased regulations? We cover it all in BTYB Uncut.

Feb 19, 2020
Trailer: We're back!

Starting February 19, we’re back with new stories about the brands you *think* you know. Tune in this season to learn about the women who paved the way for Marlboro’s most famous mascot, the red scare that changed M&M’s history, Spam’s double life in the U.S., and more!

Feb 05, 2020
39: Scoot Over?

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

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

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, 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...

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

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
Jun 12, 2019
35: You've got Enron mail!
Jun 05, 2019
34: The Legend of the Atari Burial
May 29, 2019
33: Muzak listening, and Alexa eavesdropping
May 22, 2019
32: Who owns the Oakland A's?
May 15, 2019
31: Bill Nye the GMO Guy
May 01, 2019
30: What does a brand sound like?
Apr 24, 2019
29: LaCroix, Canada Goose, and Carhartt are cool. Why?
Apr 17, 2019
28: Victoria's Secret is Out
Apr 10, 2019
27: Harley-Davidson Rides to Live
Apr 03, 2019
26: The Best a Woman Can Gillette
Feb 27, 2019
25: The VW Beetle's Dark Past
Feb 20, 2019
24: An International Amazon Mystery
Feb 13, 2019
23: Apple 1984
Feb 06, 2019
22: Martha Stewart in the Middle
Jan 30, 2019
21: Crocs: From Punchline to Fashion Line
Jan 23, 2019
20: Does Panera Care?
Jan 16, 2019
19: Kentucky Fried Christmas
Dec 19, 2018
18: Resting Botox Face
Nov 28, 2018
17: Better Call Butterball
Nov 21, 2018
16: NASA Uncut
Nov 14, 2018
15: The Waffle House Index
Nov 07, 2018
14: Sears: There Was More For Your Life
Oct 31, 2018
13: Gangs? At Disneyland?
Oct 24, 2018
12: A Wrench in Tesla
Oct 17, 2018
11: The Amway Dream
Oct 03, 2018
10: The Macy's Home Department
Sep 26, 2018
9: The Mattress Firm Conspiracy Theory
Sep 19, 2018
8: The Jell-O Curse
Sep 12, 2018
7: The Bodies at the Brooks Brothers
Sep 05, 2018
6: Basically Starbucks
Aug 29, 2018
5: The Coca-Cola President
Aug 22, 2018
4: Trader Joe's No-Buck Chuck
Aug 15, 2018
3: The Last Blockbuster
Aug 08, 2018
2: Donald and Ivana's Affair (with Pizza Hut)
Aug 01, 2018
1: TGI Fridays: The Tinder of the 1960s
Jul 25, 2018
Household Name Trailer
Jul 17, 2018