Will Twitter kill the focus group?
Santa takes a break from his promotional duties with a rival in Pepsi's latest ad
Ad agency creatives and designers have long bemoaned the influence of focus group research on their work. But perhaps those days will soon be gone
In a recent interview with AdAge, Maasimo d'Amore, CEO for PepsiCo Beverages Americas, stated that "we don't consumer-research ads anymore. The best consumer research is the social network. So we develop new ads using the best judgment of our team and the agency. We put them on the air and for the first 24 hours we track what's being said. ... If needed, we go back in the editing room, and fix it."
It's a little bit like the Hollywood test screening approach whereby endings or even characters can be changed after a film is made (although before it is on general release) if they do not go down well with audiences.
D'Amore seems to be suggesting that Pepsi will re-edit or perhaps even re-shoot commercials if they get a kicking on Twitter or Facebook but that they back the judgement of their agency to get things right upfront.
And if a company as big as Pepsi is doing this, others will surely follow.
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so would the creatives/agency team PREFER this approach to using "focus groups" to help refine an idea before it gets made? really?
Good point. Might be a case of be careful what you wish for.
If this trend happens it's going to raise questions over accountability, which is really what I think people hide behind focus groups for anyway.
If an ad is received badly on the social networks, who holds their hand up – the agency for getting it wrong, or the client for delivering the wrong positioning in the first place?
I think that that kind of research is really the most reliable and the cheapest one. And if even Pepsi does this what can we say about other smaller companies...
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