The Dye Holloway Murray team were guests at some research on Tuesday night when some new positioning concepts were tested. Sitting there and listening, it dawned on us for the first time that the real danger in creative development research these days is that the underlying assumption upon which its use has always been based no longer applies. That assumption being that, with their comments, the respondents are trying to help the research sponsor communicate with them more effectively. But the trouble is, they’re not trying to help – in an information saturated, time poor culture, except in a few exceptional cases the last thing any of us now want is another advertiser grabbing our attention or, worse still, forcing us to change our mind about something. (Great creative charms its way past this barrier, but that’s another matter.) So driven by the sub-conscious desire to return the pretender back to its box where it’s harmless, respondents challenge every controversial edge, every provocative thought, every unusual turn of phrase and recommend replacing it with something softer, more anodyne, more expected. In the back room it’s assumed this is to make the messaging more consumable. But it’s really to make it more ignorable.
The enemy within
February 14, 2008
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