Last night here in Denver, while listening to Steve Hayden’s talk From Big Ideas to Big IdeaLs… (that’s an entirely another blog on another day)…Steve talked about a campaign for Shreddies, the Canadian version of Shreaded Wheat here in the U.S., that used a focus group to learn more about the new Shreadies product, DIAMOND SHREADIES. As you’ll see, people in focus groups are very polite people and will provide the desired response even if obviously wrong. This “focus group” video was then posted on YouTube and was viewed by almost a million people, that’s a lot in Canada, and sales ‘went way up beyond expectations’ after this and the new “Diamond Shreadies” campaign broke. I agree with Steve. It is silly to use focus groups to gain insight into the effectiveness of an ad or when your questions in the focus group lead the people to the answers you want to hear.
See for yourself.
Focus Group Video
Also, 81 Facebook pages and over 280 discussion groups have been started on this topic of Diamond vs. Square.
Steve Hayden is one of the most revered advertising copy writers since the mid 1970′s. He’s most respected for his “1984″ commercial for the introduction of Apple’s Macintosh computers… an ad that only ran once during the 1984 Super Bowl, and most recently the “Real Beauty” campaign for Dove.