Tag Archives: market research

Whacky Wednesday – free consumer insight: get yours NOW! (use it, don’t use it, whatever)

If you work for a bank / cellular service provider, please copy and paste this post into a mail and allstaff it. It’s cheaper than paying some market research company to do it, and it’s also more honest. Here are some observations, insights and recommendations:

If you call me from a private number, I assume you are cold-calling me from some cellular service provider / bank, which is the communication equivalent to being woken up in the middle of a night by a naked bald guy jerking off over my face.

Unfortunately, repeat offenders have forced me to put some drastic measures in place, which include stating very clearly on my voicemail that if you are calling from a private number, I WILL NOT answer, unless you send me an SMS telling me who you are, and why you are calling, and give me a number on which to return your call. This is not open to negotiation.

This applies not only to private numbers, or ‘blocked’ numbers, as they appear on the iPhone, but also goes for any number that I do not have in my address book and hence do not recognize via Caller Line ID. Why so tense, you might ask?

Because if you are not one of my nearest and dearest, I do not want to speak to you. If you are going to try and get me to buy something, I do not want to speak to you. If I want to buy something you have, I will find you – don’t you worry. If you exist in the peripheries of my life ie. you are my bank consultant, the dude from my gym who wants to check if I’m still taking part in the triathlon or the chick from the spa who wants to confirm my massage this weekend, you have TWO options when it comes to contacting me: email me, or SMS me. I will reply. I will be nice, courteous and pleasant to deal with.  We can still have a meaningful, productive relationship – just not over the phone.

(Whomever the retarded person was who phoned me SEVEN times from a private number yesterday, what is going through your brain? Which part of my voice message do you not understand? Why do you think phoning me again will make me answer? Do you not read 2oceansvibe?)

***********************PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION NOW*******************************


Lastly, but not leastly, do not EVER send me a Please Call Me. The last friend who sent me a Please Call Me is no longer a friend. So why on earth, bank-who-shall-not-be-named (you know who you are) do you think sending me a Please Call Me is going to convince me that you have any kind of understanding of me as a consumer or my needs? Getting a Please Call Me from a bank takes cellular rape to a whole new level. There really was nothing left to do but, well, call the number on my screen. Of course, I didn’t know the Please Call Me was from a bank until I called.

A transcript of my conversation with person from Big Bank that Everyone Knows.

A transcript of my conversation with person from Big Bank that Everyone Knows.

UN-f-ing-BELIEVABLE.

I’m feeling benevolent, so I’m not posting the name of the bank here, but if you’re shopping around for a new bank and would like to know who NOT to go with, drop me a mail and I’ll gladly tell you.

i’m a trendwatcher, you’re a trendwatcher.

Oh gawd not another one.

Oh gawd not another one.

ever feel annoyed when you’re getting out your car and some pesky guy comes over begging for ‘cool interesting stuff’ saying he’s a ‘trendwatcher’? i mean is it just me, or is every 2nd person on the street a trendwatcher these days? i was a trendwatcher once. but back then, nobody had heard of Demetri Martin. thecoolhunter didn’t exist. the internet was held together by Yahoo Tape. nobody but designers knew about ffffound. times have changed y’ulle. if you’ve got Google, you don’t need a trendwatcher to tell you what’s cool. in fact this site + this site = free cool stuff in your RSS feed 4 eva. now grow up and get a real job.

A company of trendwatchers.

A company of trendwatchers.

A freelance trendwatching consultant (be prepared to pay more $$)

A freelance trendwatching consultant (be prepared to pay more $$)

Psychographic Profile: I am an Advertising Student

Lets get vida and take photos of each other and deep etch them.
Let’s get vida and take photos of each other and deep etch them.

i am an advertising student.
i go to red and yellow / triple A / Vega.
i think my school is better than all the others.
i am from Joburg, but i am reinventing myself in Cape Town.
i am open-minded and quirky.
my accent has an American twang that i picked up from my best friend MTV / VH1.

I am an advertising student.
i carry at least 2 moleskines everywhere i go (1 for ideas, 1 for doing sketches of my friends that i will scan later and upload onto facebook so my friends can use them as profile pics).
i am learning to manipulate the minds of the public.
i am learning how to render food, cars and fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) with my overpriced Copic Markers.
i am adding ppl who work at ad agencies as friends of facebook because it will improve my peer evaluation marks.

i am an advertising student.

i have loads of cool kreative friends at AFDA.i have slept with all of them.
all of them have slept with me.
we do cocaine together at mercury live.
together we are ‘singing the song, singing this is the life’.
i write scripts and we make short films about the role brands play in our lives.
i work for the man. i hate the man. fuck the man. i am the man.
i make out with my female classmates when i go out to Long Street on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
i am in love with my gay best friend.

i am an advertising student.
i am multitalented. i can write and i can draw.
i can direct short movies on my nokia.
i know how to work a “Mac”.
i am in love with ideas.
i am just an idea. you are just an idea.
together, we have both been done before.

i am an advertising student.
someday i will be an advertising intern.
someday i will sleep with a Creative Director and blackmail him into hiring me.
someday i will write / art direct / design a TV ad / billboard / radio ad / brochure / promotion / meme that your kids will hum along to / fwd on email / fwd on Mxit / fwd on facebook.
someday i will quit my successful job and go ‘work in Dubai’ to kick my cocaine addiction.
someday i will never quit smoking, even though i did that ad about smoking that makes you puke into your mouth.

i am an advertising student.
i take pictures of the nightlife and upload them on my blog.
i work on proactive campaigns for brands like Vespa and Pritt glue.
i earn money by working behind the bar at a nightclub / at Exclusive Books / for a market research company.
i collect scraps of paper / packaging / stickers / quotes and stick them up around my desk / bedroom to feel creative / stimulate my mind.
i go to Vida E Caffe at wembley square every saturday morning so i can see Waddy Jones and his wife drink coffee and write raps.

i am an advertising student.
i go to vortex on the weekends. i dance to the trance music.
i love the vort because i can forget about brands and just ‘let loose’ and ‘be myself’.
i only read wallpaper and monocle magazine because i am progressive and have a global perspective.
i have won a student loerie.
i will get the funnest job at the zaniest agency because of it.

i am an advertising student.
i am my own consumer promise.
this is my tone and manner.
this is my substantiating evidence.
buy into my communication strategy.
buy into me.
buy me.

first idea bounty winner

i wrote about idea bounty a while back. i think i gave it an extravagant write up. best thing since sliced bread etc. well it seems they walk the talk, and have just paid up $2 500 to a planner at BBDO Paris. which makes me feel a little jealous. half of me – the half that’s been exploited for my ideas by market research companies for the past 4 years – didn’t believe they would actually pay up. but now that i see they do, i’m on top of their next brief quicker than you can say “Mow The Lawn!”

also, here’s a super cool interview with the dude who won.

See? Your good ideas can make you rich.

See? Your good ideas can make you rich.

pop-up retail: sounds rad, looks bad

‘pop-up retail’ is one of those annoying phrases that marketers have been throwing around strat sessions for a good 5 years now, and i see on cherryflava that puma has finally gone and produced their very own pop-up store at the V&A waterfront. while the phrase ‘pop-up retail’ might make 2 bit strategic consultancies feel very innovative and vital to the brands they are trying to enhance, it doesn’t impress me. and while i may be wrong here, i don’t think it impresses the consumer, either.

like husky dogs, pop-up retail is a first-world import that doesn’t sit well here. sure, in a country like sweden, which has all but obliterated the bottom half of maslow’s heirarchy of needs, putting an expensive brand in a prefab shack does come off as novel. zany. funky. but in this country, which might as well be renamed ‘Shack City’ over South Africa, a prefab container just doesn’t come off as impressive. does this make you want to walk inside and spend a lot of money on tracksuits and shoes?

Wow! Glass doors! Corrugated steel walls that look like shit! Man i cant wait to shop here.

Wow! Glass doors! Corrugated steel walls that look like shit!

i also wonder why they put a pop-up store at a location that already has a real store. a real store in a real building. maybe it’s because no one goes to the new fashion wing at the waterfront? or maybe it’s because the cool coloured kids who work behind the counter in the real store are holding it hostage by refusing to turn the bad music down? maybe it’s because young hip consumers see a brand that has only one store as being ‘poor’ and therefore non-aspirational? sigh. Gen Y are so complicated, so demanding. i don’t even understand myself some times. let’s look some more at the crappy store:

Hey, isnt this enticing? My eye is drawn to the hazard tape at the top. This place looks cooking and dangerous. Wish all my lifestyle brands could look like this.

Gonna cut myself on the metal so i can feel one with the store.

yeeeeeah. remember kids, just because Puma jumps off a building, doesn’t mean you have to, too.

get paid for your ideas. no, really.

there are a lot of dodgy companies around that ask ‘consumers’ to come up with ways for companies to improve their products / services. usually these companies take these ideas and present them as their own and then give you 150 bucks and a few slices of pizza for your time. not ideabounty, which allows you to submit ideas in a closed system, and if your idea is used you get paid $2 500 (yes, that is a dollar sign). i’ve signed up. i’ll be answering my first brief once i’ve finished the golfing headlines i have to write.

Psychographic Flash Cards for Marketers: Print them out and improve your skills

as a writer who crossed over into strategy (and by that i mean tripped, hit my head and woke up on the other side of the fence with a throbbing skull and the desire to speak, live and think rhetorically), my favourite part of the marketing and advertising process was always the part where i got to write up consumer psychographics. i’ve been told i’m quite good at it. i’ve also been told i’m quite good at lying and manipulating people, but i guess like everything in life it depends on your attitude.

one thing i noticed about market research is how deeply marketers read between the lines. if a consumer says “I like Coke Zero”, a bunch of invisible subtitles that only us marketers can see comes up which translates that sentence into:

“I am a young female who was once naturally skinny except now i have passed the age of 21 and got some muffin tops which have caused me to stop buying Levi’s jeans since they only really fit hip-less girls and now I buy my jeans at Woolworths because I am scared if I spend too much money on a brand it will be a waste because I will probably get fatter and have to buy more jeans anyway. My ideal car would be a Mini Cooper and while I don’t save yet I appreciate Standard Bank’s attempts to lure me into their Achiever Plan with neat discounts from Apple. Apple 4 Ever. PC sucks. I aspire to Scarlett Johanssen because she is sexy and proud of her curves and has a brain because she did an album of Tom Waits covers.”

so when i discovered this site called Beforeidieiwantto.org i thought it would be handy resource for marketers. What you do is print out the Polaroids and use them as Flash Cards to flex your psychographic muscles when you’re sitting around sharpening your pencils and pretending to put briefs into the system. treat the statements about what the consumers want to do before they die as insights into the mind of the consumer, and translate it into strategy speak.

>>>>>beforeidieiwantto is a site set up by some Polaroid fans to protest Polaroid’s decision to stop making film. basically they go around taking Polaroids of people and asking them to name one thing they want to do before they die. i guess it captures the spontaneity and spirit of Polaroid while turning each photo into something meaningful and completely non-disposable, ie. the total opposite digital photography.let’s take a look at what kind of conclusions you can draw from the following consumers and their Polaroid statements:

Age 18 - 23, LSM 6+, Male.

Demographics: Age 18 - 23, LSM 6+, Male.

Psychographic interpretation:

“My parents love me and want me to succeed in my own time so they buy me tops from Guess and Diesel (sometimes) and my jeans from Levi’s from Edgars because my mom has a card there. I tell people I drink Heineken because it makes me feel like I am absorbing a bit of the zany-ness in their ads through osmosis but I’ll drink anything really. I listen to 5fm and i belong to the Junior Rotary Club (a.k.a i pay a Tiger Tiger VIP membership fee so i can skip the queue). I drive an Opel Corsa but I aspire to a Hummer and I once entered that 5fm competiton to win one but i kept forgetting to phone in so I didn’t. I have a girlfriend but she hates me because i play Xbox when she’s over and the one time she thought i gave her herpes. I watch TV as often as I can because I believe an education is really important.”

age 21 - 25, LSM 6+, Female

Demographics: age 21 - 25, LSM 6+, Female

Psychographic interpretation:

“I was one of those awkward teenagers who eschewed mainstream cool culture, and used words like ‘eschewed’. Because I am of above average intelligence i realise that not buying into mainstream means i buy into alternative, and i looked to art for my inspiration eg. Rammstein, mIRC, Doc Martens. Marketers who want to get my attention should appeal to the fact that I consider myself above my peers because i don’t buy into MTV culture. I do have some insecure moments and I have caught myself comparing diet products. I am and always will be a PC person and think people who use Apples are dupes. I spend my spare money on figurines and fantasy novels and i get a LOT of cashback vouchers from Exclusive Books. I don’t watch TV because i get my series downloaded. I drink White Horse whisky because it’s actually a good blend and Lagavulin is its core malt, which means I use knowledge of exclusive brands as status symbols. If I were a car I would be a Black Vintage Chevrolet, or whatever the car is in Death Proof. Tarantino is a genius.”

**********Get Practising your psychographic skills HERE**************

PS. I really respect this initiative, since i have a Polaroid camera and I really really don’t want to run out of film.