Spicoli and the Sun
I never understood the idea of making research groups to test ads.
Ok, it’s part of our jobs and I respect that. But isn’t it strange?
I was wondering how this idea came out.
Maybe somebody just raised his hand in a meeting room and said:
“I know how to choose the next campaign. First, we put some strangers in a room with a window mirror, just like in the police interrogatories. Then, we show them some poor animated cartoons with the ideas. Next, we make this people talk about something they don’t understand: advertising. So, we pick their opinions and invest millions of dollars on that.”
But, as this is a normal practice in our market, I’ve been to a lot of researches. And I witnessed some pretty curious episodes.
One time, we were researching for a whisky campaign. The client wanted to know what was the perception of the brand before the screening of the animated storyboards (animatics).
The researcher showed some cards with brands’ names to the group.
- Let’s imagine that all these brands are in a Universe. Which brand would be the Sun, the most important star? And which one would be the Earth, who’s close to us? And finally, which one would be the Moon, the one that we admire but is too far.”
- Guys? The sun would be…
- Come on. Who’s the sun, the most powerful? Johnny Walker? Jack Daniels…?
A man stood up.
- Right, I’ll be the Sun! But you better decide who’s the Moon. I don’t wanna be the Moon!
Another time, I was at the other side of the mirror when a friend of mine entered the research room. Do you know Sean Penn? So, that’s my friend, if Sean Penn is playing Jeff Spicoli in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.
He sat next to a beautiful, sexy girl and he couldn’t take his eyes off her.
After the animatics screening, the researcher talked to the group.
- Now, please write down what do you think.
And there was my friend.
- Sorry, miss…I didn’t understand.
- It´s simple. Write: what are you thinking? How do you feel? What’d you like to say?
- Oh, I got it.
Everybody wrote their notes and the researcher started to pick them up.
- Now, let’s take a look at everybody’s opinions and then you tell me if you agree…
My friend’s eyes popped out.
- …First one: “I am thinking: the girl next to me is so hot. I feel: that she’s interested in me too. I’d like to say: Hi, do you want to do something after this?”
The girl raised her hand.
- Miss! I don’t agree! I DON’T AGREE!
- Fabio Seidl