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Monday, October 8

The Consumer Is Clueless

My friend Benny mailed me this link a while ago...Have a dekko!

1. It proves yet again what I firmly believe, perhaps you might as well!!
That consumers can be mostly misleading when it comes to evaluating a half-cooked creative stimulus. They are clueless. But we can't entirely blame them!

2. Yet, clients(almost all) will hang on to every word of the 6-8 guys(who make the FGD group) who pop-analyse the creative thread-bare as if all of them were seasoned critics...Even though at the back of their mind they might know that the FGD guy is a 'frequent participant' from Amar Colony/ Lajpat Nagar(if you are doing the FGD in Delhi:-)

3. The often hurriedly assembled narrimatics, animatics or other aha-I-managed-to-kill-the-creative-matics are as different from the final creative as chalk and cheese. Yet, this fact is brazenly ignored by the research agency and the client.

4. With almost all the persuasiveness and memorability of the ad dependent on the final execution and the special effects of the finished product, I fail to understand what benefit do we gather by the rigorous analysis of the half-cooked creatives...

Finally, however unscientific it may sound, there is little substitute to creative judgement and trust between the client and the agency...

More than 20 years after this 1984 Apple TVC, the 'life of a creative campaign' around the globe is still hostage to the tyranny of the FGD - the pop-pontification of the 'career FGDist'!


reptile said...

Almost every thinking client-person (there are lots!) uses the exploratory qualitative process to make for richer & relevant creative.

Having been a researcher in the not-too-distant past, it's easy to see different viewpoints on this - for that matter; Why do we test concepts? Arguably, a rather difficult way to gauge real consumer intent.

Perhaps we're not doing enough to assuage client-person's fears. Someone (i suspect it was balki) who once said - In the end, it's the client who's bearing all the risk - so the onus is on us as planners to take the higher ground of the lighthouse.

There is another viewpoint, and perhaps that might constitute the fodder for another post. That of client-people needing, and yes, often seeking out allies at the agency. Why? Purely because they have little cross-category learnings to leverage from. One of the greatest gifts the agency business gives us.

Satish Krishnamurthy said...

Nice video. Its crazy how clients put all their money on the debrief and what comes of it. We know consumers control stuff, but then there has to be a line drawn somewhere. In my little time working on a real account, I have seen quite a few good spots killed by research.

I think its about how much you believe in the research, and also its about how much you believe in the creative. From what I know, Nike doesn't test any of its spots. They just listen to it, take a gut reaction and decide to go ahead or no. Maybe that's why they make iconic advertising? :) Research needs to be used as a sounding board, not as an end in itself. The clients have to develop a spine when it comes to research, seriously.

Manish said...

A lot of this research game is very us vs them...
Client vs the agency
ad agency vs the research agency
creative vs servicing
creative vs planning

And much of the time, there is total suspension of common sense when reading or evaluating the research!