NEWS24 March 2011

The tense relationship between research and creativity

Features

Hilary Woods of Ogilvy Advertising on why ad research is “at its weakest” in the creative development process.

@RESEARCH LIVE

2 Comments

9 years ago

Taking the analogy of the enigmatic' look', good advertisng development qualitative exploration would give an interpretative account of respondents' thoughts and feelings associated with the enigmatic expressions both of others and of themselves ( 'Where inside you is your own Mona Lisa and what brings it out?) so that the agency and client will have sharper understanding of the meanings and values associated with enigma and how the look captures or misses these. Very poor and literal ad research would say they like the hands and they dont like the visage. Ad dev research is not about finding out what peopel like but is about understanding the ways in which they make emotional connections to the work. Over the last three decades, great ad campaigns have found research to be a stimulus more then a hurdle, something to switch the lightbulb on more than to change it.The argument is surely about how to bring creative perspectives to sit alongside those of marketing at the research briefing and not about questioning the potential value of respoondents' contributions, skilfully elicted and represented.

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9 years ago

Hilary makes good points, but which research agencies are naive enough to take their ad research entirely at face value? I also think the Mona Lisa example works, but is flawed. If your ads are aimed at the much maligned 'average UK consumer' you wouldn’t want your painting to look like the Mona Lisa. They'd have every right to say it's boring....because it is boring. Engimatic smile? PAH! 8 million people visit the Louvre every year, but how many are average UK consumers? Get a painting of Kelly Brook up there instead - give 'em what they want! To listen to the consumer without thought is dangerous, but not as dangerous as failing to listen to them at all.

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