Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Let's do some research.
Yesterday I read in Adweek that ESPN is going to field " a Major Sports Research Initiative...to examine consumer behavior across all media, including TV, Internet, mobile, radio and print."
Hmmm. That's a poser. What do you suppose ESPN, a sports network, will conclude?
1) Men like watching sports.
2) Men who watch sports buy shit.
3) Even women like sports.
4) ESPN is the world's best media buy across virtually all key demographics.
I suppose if there were a cable channel called the Garlic Network and they funded a major research initiative they would conclude:
1) Men like garlic.
2) Men who like garlic buy shit.
3) Even women like garlic.
4) The Garlic Network is the world's best media buy across virtually all key demographics.
I've done some research lately myself. And I've discovered that 99% of the research I conduct proves what I already thought. Ergo a new ad buzz word "Mesearch(r)."
My point is fairly simple. Research seems to occupy an agency's middle stage. You're not doing nothing. You're not creating actual work. You're smack in the middle. You're creating work about work.
Undoubtedly some research proves valuable. Living with customers, like Melville lived on a Whaler, teaches you things you wouldn't otherwise learn. And research can do that.
I fault research only when it is a substitute for genuine thinking and for actually doing things that move people.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:03 AM