From Good to Great Communications: How Emotions Can Help

Recently, I was asked by an industry peer what really made for great communications. I couldn’t help but reflect on the ads that mattered to me, and that influenced my decision making. The ads that I remember first really paying attention to when I was much younger were the classic long distance commercials. They really stuck with me. Even to this day, I continue to patronize the brand that resonated with me back then, even though back then I had no ability to act on it.

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Writing Concepts As If Guided by Voices

If a successful company like P&G – with a claimed 50% success rate for new products, versus an industry average of 15-20% – spends eight years developing Tide Pods, don’t our good ideas deserve just a bit more nurturing than we are giving them?  A good idea, poorly executed, will fail – same as a poor idea, well executed.  A successful concept requires both a good idea and proper execution.  Success of this nature can absolutely happen on a deadline, but it’s less likely to happen if you procrastinate right up until the deadline.

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Obama and the Youth Vote: Losing His Grip?

Obama may have reason to be nervous about declining among young voters this year.

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Healthcare Reform Revisited: the Devil is in the Details

Several weeks ago the Supreme Court reviewed part of President Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Specifically, they examined the “individual mandate” that requires (almost) all Americans to have some sort of insurance coverage. The Supreme Court review has put “Obamacare” back in the crosshairs of public debate and the debate has not been kind.

In particular, many professional pundits and Republican politicians have been quite negative about the law’s prospects. They maintain that Obama’s signature healthcare initiative is not long for this world and presents a serious electoral weakness for the President. They point out that Obamacare finds very little support among public opinion in both past and present public opinion polls (RealClearPolitics.com).  And many experts attribute the large Republican gains during the 2010 mid-terms to the use of “Obamacare” as an effective wedge issue (as in here or counterpoint here).  The healthcare reform’s lack of popular support, together with a Supreme Court somewhat predisposed against the Democrats on economic issues, is bad news for Obama’s agenda and record, or so the argument goes.

Is this a fair assessment of healthcare reform?

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Leveraging the Potential for ‘Word of Mouth’ and ‘Word of Mouse’

In an interview piece published today, Wendy Swiggett, Senior Vice President of Global Ad Testing Development with Ipsos ASI, shared her thoughts on how to best harness Word of Mouth and the real-world benefits of what we at Ipsos ASI call re-transmission — the sharing of the ad’s content from a trusted source thus transferring endorsement of that product or message. The results create a multiplier effect on both ad reception and response, and the best part is, they are measurable.

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Obama Not Losing Ground among Women

Have Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney, and the resulting debate about the role of women in and out of the workplace in general, hurt Obama’s chances among women? Fortunately for the president that doesn’t seem to be the case.

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High Hopes for the High Earners? America’s Affluent Speak

As one of our research participants put it, when asked to describe his optimism about the economy: “I believe there are indicators that the economy is recovering… unemployment is falling slightly, the real estate market is improving, companies are beginning to offer raises, etc.”

This is powerful stuff given it comes from one of the most influential markets in America: Affluent individuals, defined as adults living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income.

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Obama’s economy

On some of the most crucial attributes, including jobs and the economy, healthcare and representing change, Barack Obama was seen by the majority of Americans as the most credible candidate. Unfortunately for the President, this path looks like it probably will not work twice.

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Database Follies

As with the review website Metacritic, the static database problem runs rampant in Market Research, if you look for it – inherent in any rating where we ask people for a monadic evaluation without understanding current behavior and competitive context. Whether in CPG or other areas of life, the question isn’t whether you like something – it’s whether it would replace what you are currently doing. Next time you go to conduct a Market Research study, ask yourself these two questions.  (1)  Did I start by understanding current consumer behavior?  (2)  Did I force consumers to make a choice within a competitive context, by comparing to their current behavior?  If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” you might end up with the Metacritic problem.  Unless it turns out you truly do live in Lake Wobegon, and all your ideas are above average.

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Consumer Confidence and the Election

As Cliff pointed out in his earlier post Barack Obama’s chances for reelection are more reliant on the sentiment of the American Public (desire for change vs desire for continuity) than the tactics of the campaign. In upcoming posts, Cliff will further detail how he calculates the desire for change typology. Today I wanted to share some quick data on a single component, the economy and consumer confidence.

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