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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

73 Episodes
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For the last episode of our show, you told us stories about a first love, fitting in, family trips, and how brands played an unexpected role in all of it. Plus, the team who made Brought to you by… takes a minute to say goodbye. Thank you for listening.
61: Kellogg v. Kellogg

61: Kellogg v. Kellogg

2020-12-0240:183

John Harvey Kellogg was a famous American physician. His brother Will was an ingenious businessman. Together, they invented flaked cereal and revolutionized American breakfast. But John Harvey and Will were bitter rivals, and they waged war over the very food that made them famous. So which Kellogg is the one whose name we remember today?
At the start of the Cold War, Levi’s jeans represented everything communist governments were trying to stamp out. But Levi’s kept finding their way behind the Iron Curtain, especially into East Germany. There, people could see what they were missing just over the wall that separated them from the West. East German officials started to worry: Could a pair of pants bring down the government?
In 1990, PepsiCo made a deal with the Soviet Union for submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer. It was the largest agreement ever made between an American company and the USSR. But it wasn’t Pepsi’s first deal with the Soviets. For decades, one executive had been flying to the Soviet Union to meet foreign trade ministers, politicians, and regular Russians. At the height of the Cold War, he was determined to make a deal and bring two countries locked in a bitter conflict together.
A few months ago, a listener in our Facebook group suggested we look into Sears mail-order homes for a potential episode. We loved the idea, and it turns out there’s already a fantastic story about these houses from the podcast 99% Invisible. Today, we’re sharing that episode with you.99% Invisible is a show that explores all the thought that goes into the things around us that we never think about. Learn more about this episode and listen to more of their show here: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-house-that-came-in-the-mail/
Since its founding nearly 160 years ago in Cuba, one family has run Bacardi. They fought for Cuba’s freedom, fostered an artistic community in the country, and rebuilt their business after fleeing the country because of Fidel Castro. Even today, they continue the struggle for Cuban identity from abroad. It’s the history of Cuba and what it means to be Cuban, distilled into a glass of Bacardi rum. Thanks to Tom Gjelten for letting us use the title of his book, "Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba": https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/296309/bacardi-and-the-long-fight-for-cuba-by-tom-gjelten/
56: Pan Am in Vietnam

56: Pan Am in Vietnam

2020-10-2136:492

During the Vietnam War, Pan Am flew troops in and out of an active war zone on rest and recuperation trips. The flight attendants on those planes didn’t get any special training or preparation to deal with some of the horrors they would witness, and when the war was over, they didn’t receive recognition from the U.S. government. But their role left a lasting impact, even if their contributions were largely forgotten.
On October 21, we’re back for a final season. With episodes that take us behind the Iron Curtain, 35,000 feet over the Vietnam War, and through two Cuban revolutions, we’ll hear brands ask the question: Is politics any of our business?
We’re working on a special episode for next season and want to hear about how a household name brand played a pivotal role in your life. Maybe you and your dad took a wild road trip in the family Volkswagen on your way to be dropped off at college? Did you make the heart-wrenching call to sell your Topps baseball card collection to pay for your prom dress? We want to hear about how a brand made you feel grown up, or was part of a rite of passage. Call and leave a message at (646) 768-4777, or record a short voice memo and send it to btyb@businessinsider.com with "Product Misplacement" in the subject line. We may use it in the episode!
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?For more on Polaroid, South Africa and the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement: https://bit.ly/btyb-polaroidSubscribe to Business Insider: read.bi/podcastSign up for our newsletter: http://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/brought-to-you-by
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: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/food/articles/unholy-waferListen to more episodes of Proof: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/proofSubscribe to Business Insider: read.bi/podcast
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.Subscribe to Business Insider for the three-part investigation: businessinsider.com/btybListen to the Insider Today roundtable: https://bit.ly/insidertodayroundtable
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? Subscribe to Business Insider: read.bi/podcastSign up for our newsletter: http://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/brought-to-you-bySubscribe to the Insider Today newsletter: https://bit.ly/insidertoday
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.Subscribe to Business Insider: read.bi/podcastSign up for our newsletter: http://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/brought-to-you-bySubscribe to the Insider Today newsletter: https://bit.ly/insidertoday
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?And for more information about menstruators: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/menstruationSubscribe to the Insider Today newsletter: https://bit.ly/insidertoday
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. Subscribe to Business Insider: read.bi/podcastSubscribe to the Insider Today newsletter: https://bit.ly/insidertoday
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?Listen to the reporter roundtable: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-american-businesses-can-do-more-fight-racial-injustice-2020-6 Read more of Kate Taylor's reporting about McDonald's and subscribe to Business Insider: businessinsider.com/btybSubscribe to the Insider Today newsletter: https://bit.ly/insidertoday
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. Sign up for our newsletter: http://newsletter.businessinsider.com/join/brought-to-you-by.
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.
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?
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Comments (22)

Austin Peek

The next episode of this podcast is going to brought to us by... Jan 2069? You can't keep me waiting this long bro... Life has no purpose when I don't get enough of this podcast...

Feb 14th
Reply

Christoph Pirringer

i really loved your show and it saddened me to hear it has ended. what else to expect of 2020 I guess... anyways, bummed out to see you go but hopeful that the team maybe will resurface with other great shows. thanks a million for making an incredible difficult year a bit enjoyable for me. take care, stay safe and see you down the road somewhere :)

Dec 11th
Reply

gary thompson

excellent podcast. full of great personal stories. Recommended.

Nov 18th
Reply

gary thompson

Even though we dont have trader joes in Australia I still found this story fascinating. keep up the good work.

Nov 18th
Reply

Arfa Malik

.,,m:,

Jun 9th
Reply

Cliff Bates

Can you do a show on Lane Bryant I want to hear skinny girls complain and say what Lane Bryant should and should not do.

Aug 20th
Reply

Austin Peek

Jesus, these girls voices made me had to stop listening.

Mar 7th
Reply

Meagan Cahuasqui

I think this is my favorite episode of the podcast thus far

Mar 5th
Reply

Talia Spierer

I own croc wedges... not sure how I feel about it

Jan 30th
Reply

Paterka Town

I'm so glad I stumbled upon this pod! I really like the length of the show and really dig the slices of info. The hosts play well off of one another without overwhelming the show content. Keep it up!

Jan 28th
Reply

Michael Dobbins

Good content and entertaining but the nasally lisp of the shows host almost makes me not want to listen

Jan 8th
Reply

Dustin Padgett

Q

Dec 7th
Reply

Daniel Marak

This whole episode was just a teaser for another podcast. A waste of time.

Dec 5th
Reply

Ebeth K

this is great. This year I traveled and we tried to stop at Cracker Barrel as it was the only place open besides iHop. They were ALL packed....hours of wait to get a table as everyone brought their families there. Needless to say, we did not stop.

Nov 26th
Reply

J F

This episode feels cut short. Learned almost nothing from it.

Nov 24th
Reply

Tyler Stevenson

ahahaha you never got to any point. not once.

Nov 21st
Reply

Keira

Wish they'd actually dug into the lawsuit. why bring it up and not explain why it's being brought against the gangs? This episode would be a lot better with that context

Nov 6th
Reply

Marc Kiven

the show is ok but your ads are awful and way too long. enough to dissuade me from listening.

Oct 4th
Reply (1)

Veronica Alzate Acosta

Can you make an episode with Juan Valdez?

Sep 12th
Reply

Daryl Sande

Re:. the coca cola president. Nice hatchet job on President Fox. UNSUBSCRIBED!

Aug 22nd
Reply (1)
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