Assessing the value of real-time market research

Emily Barley

When you watch an emotional television ad, can you explain all the feelings it evokes to a researcher just a moment later?

That was the question posed by Peter Fenton O'Creevy, joint managing director at VooDoo Research, when speaking at the MRS Real-Time Research Intelligence Summit, an event organised by the Market Research Society and held in London in January 2014.

Consumers, he told the conference delegates, often do not know how an ad has affected them, or find it hard to articulate. This means asking someone to discuss a spot immediately after they've seen it – as is required by real-time research – may not produce an entirely useful response.

And that is not entirely surprising, as the influence of an emotional ad is not the work of moments: the viewer's feelings and understanding evolve over time as they discuss it with other people and go on to view it again. "What does the ad ultimately do – what does it leave behind?" is the question that should be asked, according to O'Creevy.