News

Stay in the loop with company updates and insights from our talented team.

/categories/advertising-research/

Changing Public Perceptions of Excessive Drinking

advertising research / communication research / health communication / public perception / featured
Most people are aware of the dangerous consequences of excessive drinking. However, most people think about excessive drinking like they do about gun ownership: that in a variety of contexts, it’s perfectly safe and normal. Several studies—including our own research—show that most people believe that the acceptability of excessive drinking is determined by the context in which one drinks.1 2 3 If we apply this belief to gun ownership, it makes perfect sense. Where and how you use your gun fully influences whether the use of your gun might be considered "excessive." However, when applied to excessive drinking, the framework begins to fall apart. Most research shows that "situation" or "place" plays a substantial role in shaping individual’s perceptions of whether a drinking behavior should... more
0

Fear the Cookie Dough

featured / public health / communication / advertising research
Fight Bac | Food Safety As a mom of two kids I am the first to admit that I’ve not only consumed raw cookie dough myself, but also let my children lick the batter off the spoon (cue my guilt and shame as a public health researcher).It is likely that many consumers are aware of the risks for foodborne illness (from the raw eggs) in cookie dough – yet like me continue to eat it. Like many health behaviors, this begs the question "if we know the risks, why do we still do it?" This week’s announcement by the FDA may slow cookie dough consumption (temporarily) but it’s not likely to last. Food... more
0

ADWKDC 2015 - Let's Talk About Millennials

advertising research / arlington dc / featured

The other week, I returned to ADWKDC-DC Ad Club's weeklong industry event, culminating with a two-day conference where you learn from the area's best and brightest marketers and communicators. This year was ADWKDC's biggest event yet with three tracks—strategy, media, and creative—and several keynotes sprinkled across the two days. I stuck to the strategy track both days where a major theme across sessions was getting to know your audience to tailoring your messages for them—whether that entails applying concepts of behavioral economics to your communications or understanding how today's plethora of data impacts consumer targeting.

ADWKDC 2015 also marked the first year that Fors Marsh Group spoke at ADWKDC. Our Senior VP of Research, Dr. Brian Griepentrog, joined the panel "What Baby... more

0

Small Steps, Big Differences - Embracing National Wellness Week

featured / advertising research / health research / in the news
With beach season in the rearview mirror and holiday festivities ahead, I feel tempted this time of year to pull out my sweaters, find a cozy fire and hibernate for the winter. Unlike January, I find the fall a particularly difficult season to try and "overhaul" one aspect of my health - such as starting a ‘diet' program or instituting a new fitness regimen. Yet in 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) chose September as the month to celebrate National Wellness Week (this year, September 13-19) in an effort to promote the importance of not just nutrition and physical fitness, but the many other aspects of what it means to be "well." SAMHSA defines wellness as "not the absence... more
0

When Does "Healthy" Mean Healthy? Misleading Advertising and Consumer MisPerceptions

featured / behavioral research / health research / advertising research
Walking through the grocery store, you're bound to come across dozens of claims displayed in large bright letters on product packaging: "Natural," "Low-Fat," "Low-Sodium." These words are often harmless—a fat-free yogurt describing itself, or a jar of peanut butter promoting its ingredients. But product packaging labels can also be misleading. Occasionally, a product will have a claim that is outright incorrect or inaccurate. More frequently, though, misleading product labeling uses language that implies a benefit of the product that does not exist or an exclusive feature that is actually shared by other brands. For instance, a food item billed as having "No Trans Fat!" might cause some consumers to believe that other brands of that same food do contain trans fat, which may not be... more
0

Growing Up in an Obesogenic World

featured / health research / public health / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and as such there has been a lot of press lately about what to do about the obesity epidemic. In fact I recently saw an ad for the documentary, Fed Up, which alleges the obesity epidemic all boils down to the consumption of sugar and provides insight on the role that the food industry and our own government plays in the epidemic. I haven’t seen the documentary yet, but as a social and behavioral scientist, it got me thinking about the synergy between policy intervention and personal efforts to lose weight, and the importance of recognizing the limits of individual agency, especially for children. While obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups in the... more
0

Looking Back on ADWKDC 2014

featured / advertising research / arlington dc / conferences
It’s been just over one week since ADWKDC wrapped up and I’m still thinking about all of the great panel discussion and presentations I saw. Sarah Evans and I joined a few hundred of the Washington, DC area’s advertisers and marketer’s for the 11th annual event hosted by the DC Ad Club and came back with plenty to share with the office. Just like our time at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta a month ago ( see Sarah’s blog post here), storytelling was a big theme. Here are a few tidbits everyone can apply to storytelling that stuck with us:
  1. Make it personal. &pizza co-founder and President Michael Lastoria... more
0

Focus Group of One - Nationals On-field Experience Provides Unique Perspective on Smokeless Tobacco

featured / health research / public health / tobacco / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
Don’t talk about work. This was the only advice my husband gave me before I headed down to the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Nationals game Monday night against the Braves (holy smokes, did that really happen?). He knew it’d be hard to resist. I’ve posted a time or two (or five) about smokeless tobacco in Major League Baseball for instance, click here. It’s the perfect storm for me. Health, behavior change, baseball. So many of my passions intersecting. Nationals Baseball Enter Steven Souza (International League MVP and Rookie of the Year, no big deal), who will catch for me. He opens with the classic DC... more
0

CVS Quits for Good

featured / health research / public health / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
CVS is telling consumers to keep walking if they’re looking to get a nicotine fix with a new pack of cigarettes or a can of dip. CVS announced in February that they would stop selling all tobacco products by October 1, 2014 as part of a larger initiative to focus on health and well-being. Yesterday, CVS unveiled their full initiative and announced that their tobacco products sale ban was effective that day, September 3—almost a month ahead of schedule. CVS Quits for Good As highlighted in the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report, over 20 million American deaths have been attributed to smoking since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report (which first reported the impact of smoking on health).... more
0

Smokey Bear Turns 70; Gets Us Fired Up About Public Health Branding

featured / health research / public health / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
Happy (early) birthday to an American icon! Smokey Bear was created on August 9, 1944 through a partnership between the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Association of State Foresters. Though his tagline has evolved a bit from the original “Smokey says, Care will prevent 9 out 10 forest fires,” the underlying call to action has remained constant – and Smokey’s message is still going strong in what is the longest running public service campaign in U.S. history. http://blogs.lt.vt.edu/daramg3144/files/2014/04/FIRST-SMOKEY-FOR-BUSINESS-CARD.jpg His now recognizable catch phrase – “Only you can prevent forest fires” – speaks to a common tactic in this sort of campaign. Get people to believe individual action is important and impactful. Like the... more
0

Coverage of Tony Gwynn’s Death Likely to Affect Perceptions of Smokeless Tobacco Risk – But in what Direction?

featured / health research / tobacco / behavioral research / advertising research / blog
Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn died much too young Monday at the age of 54, succumbing to salivary gland cancer. Gwynn had used smokeless tobacco during his 20-year career with the Padres, and his passing has people talking about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and its tie to our nation’s pastime. How the conversation is framed, however, will determine if this will be an opportunity seized or missed for prevention/cessation efforts. http://online.wsj.com/articles/tony-gwynns-death-has-mets-thinking-about-smokeless-tobacco-1402968225 Players know the risks, but they choose to use smokeless tobacco anyway. At least that’s the line they’re giving reporters. We face this challenge with our work with youth as well. It is essential for the communicator to realize that there’s a difference between... more
0

She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny… E-Cigarettes ad bikini?

advertising research / health research / social marketing / blog / youth
In past posts, I’ve discussed the frustrating genius that is Blu’s “take back your freedom” approach to some of its advertising. I’m less than impressed, however, with the sex sells tactics that dominate a second line of ads. But not (only) for the reasons you may think. Working on smokeless tobacco issues over the past year, I’ve become increasingly aware of the delicacy with which we must communicate about products that, while not harmless, may be less risky alternatives for current smokers. Blu E-Cig Bikini Ad The same harm-reduction tension dominates the e-cigarettes debate. Whether e-cigs are a cessation tool or a catalyst for new users to start a habit of smoking is hotly contested. Earlier... more
0

Going for Olympic (Advertising) Gold

advertising research / in the news / behavioral research / current events / featured / blog
On the heels of the Super Bowl comes another win for advertising with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Whether people are setting their alarms to watch the events live or avoiding all spoilers until the primetime rebroadcasts, the Olympics are traditionally one of the most watched television events. The Olympics dominated the Nielsen top 10 rankings for the week of February 3rd, capturing the top 4 spots with the February 7th Opening Ceremony taking first place with 31.69 million viewers. The Sunday Prime Time, Saturday Prime Time, and Thursday Prime Time broadcasts completed the top 4 (1). With such viewership it is no wonder that NBC Universal announced in September 2013 that it had sold a record setting $800 million in advertising to a... more
0

Is TV Advertising Always a Touchdown?

advertising research / behavioral research / current events / in the news / market research / featured / blog
With the Super Bowl this Sunday, the advertising world is abuzz with predictions on what to expect from the top spenders and advertisers. At least they can count on the fact that TV ads continue to be trusted, and probably will for some time. Newspapers and Magazines are still most trusted forms of advertising, with almost two-thirds (63% and 62%, respectively) of consumers trusting advertisements from those sources. Television is not far behind at 61% (1). TV ads are also cited as very influential, with 68% of consumers indicating that they always or sometimes take action on something after viewing a television ad. And despite the rise of digital ads, TV accounts for the largest amount of advertising dollars spent, with over $63 billion spent... more
0

E-Cigarette Companies Ring in the New Year with New Ads and New Tricks

advertising research / behavioral research / health research / blog / social marketing
E-cigarette companies had a booming year in sales and marketing in 2013 and they’re not stopping until someone (the FDA) makes them. I first reported on e-cigarettes back in early November, but little has changed to federally regulate them. Companies are still able to promote their products in all media outlets, social media included. However, some states and cities are establishing their own regulations. On December 19, New York City Council passed a bill that now bans e-cigarettes wherever smoking is also prohibited (1). This includes restaurants, bars, parks, and office buildings. Advocates of the bill said that e-cigarettes confused bartenders, waitresses, and other enforcers of the existing smoking ban (2). NY councilman James Gennaro, one of the lead sponsors of the ban, believes... more
0

Social Marketing and Beyonce Singing the Same Tune? Not Quite.

advertising research / behavioral research / in the news / blog / current events / social marketing
Last week Beyoncé set the Internet abuzz when she released a surprise new album in what some have called a stroke of social marketing genius. A great example of a common mix-up between social media marketing and social marketing, Beyoncé’s album release isn’t social marketing as we think of it. However, we’ve been excited to see social marketing (i.e., the application of marketing principles and techniques to plan, implement and evaluate social change programs (1)) trending in 2013 as well. The appeal of social marketing lies in its utility in producing behavior change through a consumer oriented approach. More and more, evidence suggests there’s more to behavior change than a rational, well-thought-out argument. This is an idea that seems second nature for marketers of products... more
0

The Psychology and Advertising Behind Black Friday

advertising research / behavioral research / blog / in the news
Hi MeganI have a confession to make – I am the woman in this Target Black Friday commercial. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving not only excite me because I know I get to spend time with my whole family, but it also means it’s the start of Holiday shopping – signified by Black Friday. After my family’s Thanksgiving feast, the women in my family, young and old, circle up with piles of ads and start discussing stores and deals. Over the years, 5 am alarms turned into 3 am alarms, which turned into shopping all-nighters. Nothing makes me happier than frolicking in the aisles of Target at 2 AM and grabbing the very last iHome that’s... more
0

Making the Most of an Ethnography Study

advertising research / behavioral research / ethnography / blog / youth
"Who is your typical rural teen male?" As market researchers, we often field these types of questions from clients working on a campaign. We need to be able to provide a portrait of the target market so that the strategy and creative teams can create a message and execution that resonates with the intended audience. Otherwise, how would any ad prompt people to buy that latest Apple product or eat more fruits and vegetables? One recent question we were tasked with was ‘who is your typical rural teen male?’ which was part of an overall effort focusing on rural teen males for a public health campaign. So, who is your typical rural teen male? I have a confession: I have no idea about rural teen... more
0

While the Cat is Away, The Mice Will Play: E-Cigarette Advertising Runs Free... For Now

advertising research / behavioral research / health research / blog / youth
Let’s play a quick game. Let’s imagine you see commercial with an attractive young celebrity on TV holding a cigarette, saying it’s a “perfect puff every time,” enticing you to purchase these so you can look as cool as him or her. Cue another scene, you’re at the race track and you see cigarette brand sponsorships plastered on the cars and drivers. What decade am I thinking of? The 1960s? ‘70s? Actually, no, I’m thinking of this decade, right now. But instead of the traditional cigarette or cigarette brand, it’s the e-cigarette (or electronic cigarette) – a new product that’s spreading like wildfire. An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that looks like a traditional cigarette, but does not contain tobacco or produce tar and carbon... more
0

Kicking the (Red) Can: Coke Comes Under Attack Amid Concerns About Obesity

advertising research / behavioral research / health research / blog
Show-stopping tagline of the week: Happiness doesn’t come in a red can. Obesity does. The “can” the ad refers to is Coke, and the ad (part of the Howard County Unsweetened campaign) asks people to choose healthier beverage options.(1) It moved me – kind of. I saw the ad. I hit print. I hit send. I grabbed the two people within earshot, and I shared. And…I proceeded to finish the Coke I was drinking. Then for three days I’ve thought about why. I was excited about this ad. It grabbed my attention. I’m still thinking about it. But, it wasn’t enough to make me give up my afternoon caffeine fix. The fact is it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. And my hunch... more
0

Hope Springs Eternal For (Sorry, DC Sports Fans) Those Who Watch Underdog Narratives

advertising research / behavioral research / health research / blog
If you're looking for an excuse to veg out in front of the TV this weekend, we’ve got you covered. Your favorite guilty pleasure may have a positive impact on your well-being – if it has an underdog narrative. In a recent study (1) published in Media Psychology, people who watched underdog narratives (2) for five minutes a day, for five consecutive days, reported feeling more hopeful than those who watched comedies, nature scenes, or no videos – and their hopefulness remained elevated for up to three days after viewing the final narrative. Hi MeganHope has been linked with psychological and physical health, coping ability, and commitment to goals. And, the big “so what” for these results is... more
0