No More Talking to the Hand

Roddy Glen

“Creatives in one way or another are, or should be, among the main users of research, although they may not be directly perceived as such by the research supplier. It's deplorable that they have this image of us – and more importantly – our work, which we know can help them. Just how have we failed them so much – and why have we let things go on like this for so long?”

Chris Pratt 1983


This paper concerns itself with market research used in the development of mainstream advertising. It takes as its specific remit that part of the process called 'creative development research', an area of market research activity which, despite being a small element in the whole research arena, is often highly contentious, punching far above its weight in terms of the controversy it frequently generates. It does not, however, examine the quantitative and arguably the most provocative techniques employed in this context, but confines itself to the roles and potential roles of qualitative research.