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18 February 2010 @ 02:10 pm
Thinking Too Much...Or Not Enough  
Marketing drives me nuts. Mostly, because I see the strings advertisers are trying to yank on to get you to consume more, and I'm wowed that they think it'll work...and that it apparently DOES work. Seriously, I laugh at commercials and billboards and make snide remarks about how obvious they are, and then just groan when I realize how many people fall for them.

Now, connected to that, are focus groups. I wanna know where they find the people to not only write out the questionnaires but to participate in them. Take Campbell's Soup. Just recently, they redesigned their can labels, based on 'neuromarketing', which is just a fancy way to say 'what gets you to buy more when you see it'. This article (originally from the WSJ), details some of the changes, apparently based on whether consumers felt "emotionally engaged" to certain elements. Now, I dunno about you, but the only 'emotion' I feel buying soup is hunger and taste, and no pic on the label is gonna tell me how it actually tastes.

On a semi-related note, the new 2010 penny will have a different picture on the reverse. Instead of the Lincoln Memorial, it's now a shield and scroll, and the linked page at the U.S. Mint vaguely details why. Now, first off, I'm curious as to why we HAVE the penny, anyway. It's a pain in the behind, it's only good in support, and it's not overly useful. Beyond, that, though, think: this is a governmental decision and process. That's all resources and money that could have been used elsewhere. how much was spent on the design process alone, much less new stamp engraving, etc. Just seems very pointless...but then, we ARE talking about Big Government.

Think. Reason. React. It's good for you.
Ursula Messerschmitt: Cranky-Inner Demonssnobahr on February 18th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
I work in market research
Market research is conducted using pools of people who meet semi-specific criteria, and who agree to take the survey/attend the focus group/step up and answer the questions. You know why there's so much stupid-ass advertising out there? Because morons make up the bulk of the population answering the questionnaires. Srsly. You should see some of the ad-hoc answers we get. I wish I could share some of them with you. WHY THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE BREATHING MY OXYGEN?!</soapbox>
joroq on February 19th, 2010 04:41 am (UTC)
I'm part of an online survey group (I've gotten at least $200 in Amazon.com e-certificates out of it over the last couple years), and the most annoying surveys are the ones that ask "If [brand X] was a person, what would their personality be?" It drives me nuts, because I am usually forced to select at least 3 or 4 out of 20-30 adjectives.

Brands/products are NOT people, dammit!
Kellykwsapphire on February 22nd, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
I once read an article that talked about Sprite (I think?) - they changed their packaging, and people swore up and down that they'd changed the recipe. Coke didn't change the recipe at all, but because they added more green to the package, people insisted it tasted more lime-y. (I may be remembering the details wrong, but the gist is the same.) Packaging absolutely affects not only sales, but how people feel about the product.

I admit that I myself avoid the NAKED drinks because I hate their packaging. It's totally an aesthetics thing, and I don't care. If NAKED was significantly less expensive than Bolthouse, I'd go with NAKED, but since they're usually pretty close (and I have the added comfort of knowing Bolthouse is gluten free, except the green one), I go with Bolthouse every time. (NAKED may indeed be GF, but I haven't checked because their packaging is ugly.) I'm not saying this mentality makes sense, or is right, or whatever, but it's the truth.