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Qualitative Research • “the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and descriptions of things” • An interpretive approach • Greatest strength: discovering underlying meanings and patterns in relationships.
Advertising / Public Relations • Participant/Direct Observation • Listening – interviews & focus groups (next time) • Social media monitoring (later in semester) • Projective Techniques
I’m going to show you a picture. Write down the first thoughts that come to mind.
I’m going to show you another picture. Once again, write down the first thoughts that come to mind.
I’m going to show you one last picture. Once again, write down the first thoughts that come to mind.
Mercedes • George Clooney (with pug) • Cheetos
Qualititative Research Example (Cheetos) Situation Analysis • Intense competition • Drop in HH penetration • Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative (2007)
Marketing Objectives • Re-position to be more relevant to new target (adults). • Ensure that penetration & frequency do not decline in face of targeting shift. • Increase total sales by 6.4% over previous year.
Research Objectives • Identify an alternate ‘adult’ target for Cheetos. • Deep dive into the Cheetos’ consumption experience. • Understand core overlaps between new target and kids. • Develop and evaluate compelling new messaging for the adult target.
Research Plan • Combine qualitative & quantitative • Both primary & secondary
Projective Techniques • Use stimuli that allow participants to project their subjective or deep-seated beliefs onto other people or objects. • Particularly useful when direct questioning will not work.
ZaltmanMetaphor Elicitation Technique • In some 12,000 in-depth interviews for 100+ clients in over 30 countries, seven deep metaphors have surfaced with the greatest frequency in every sector and in every country, regardless of the research team. ZMET video
Cheetos ZMET(Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique) • Objective: Uncover underlying thoughts & feelings about Cheetos Insights • Both adults and children feel stressed, anxiousand vulnerablein the face of life’s demands. • Consuming Cheetos snacks gives them moments of escapeand refugeby inspiring playfulnessand mischief.
Stated vs. Observed Behavior • Stated: “Look, it’s a kids’ snack. Sure I eat them, but it’s not something I’m exactly proud of.” • Observed: Crunching & finger-licking. Orange fingers and smiles were brandished proudly, almost as badges of honor. • Insights: Adults were looking for permission to not act their age and not conform to expectations of ‘adult behavior.’
Total Consumption Experience • Consuming vs. Observing • Observed differences based on whether a person was eating Cheetos or watching someone else eating Cheetos.
More Observational Research • Dressed in Chester Cheetah suit and walked around financial districts and tourist spots in San Francisco. • Insights: Grown-up people with serious, responsible jobs loved Chester. He could easily go from being a mascot of childish fun to mischievous adult playfulness.
The Takeaway • Some adults love Cheetos snacks just as intensely as kids. • For them, Cheetos is a catalyst for liberating the childlike playfulness and mischief. • Chester is the ‘jester’ – he provides the inspiration to push against constraining adult norms and judgmental behavior.
The Big Idea Bend the Rules with Mischievous Fun
Ad Testing • All ads exceeded ASI Ad-Testing benchmarks. • Subconscious responses? Given the mischievous nature of the ads, hypothesized that people were censoring their emotional responses to be socially acceptable.
Ad Testing via Facial Coding • Principle: we feel before we think – faces are extremely revealing about subconscious reaction. • Facially coded positive responses were significantly higher (84%) compared to self-reports (78%). • In short, people liked the ads more than they were willing to admit.