Unconventional route to consumers' thoughts
If you're launching a new ad campaign, you may want to call in a trial
lawyer. Or perhaps a cultural anthropologist. Members of these and other
non-advertising professions are finding work as ad "planners"
all the rage among agencies wanting to go beyond the limits of conventional
consumer research into the hearts and minds of target customers.
According to The Wall Street Journal,a planner's job is to "unlock
consumers' emotional connections to products," then pass the findings
along to the agencies' creative teams. One agency hired a former trial attorney,
expert at digging up evidence against plaintiffs in malpractice suits, to
"depose" consumers in 12-hour sessions. The topic: their thoughts
on vacation cruises.
Another, hired by General Motors, sent a cultural anthropologist to 18
cities to speak with garage mechanics and auto museum curators. GM also
asked 40 focus groups such touchy-feely questions as "If GM were a
person, how would you describe your relationship with that person?"
Jewelry marketers may soon be asking women "If a diamond was a person,
would it be your best friend?"
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.