Exhibit 4-7 212 Men uses sex appeal in its advertising
Some corporations and advertising agencies have used motivation research to gain further insights into how consumers think. Examples include the following:7
• Chrysler had consumers sit on the floor, like children, and use scissors to cut words out of magazines to describe a car.8
• McCann-Erickson asked women to draw and describe how they felt about roaches. The agency concluded that many women associated roaches with men who had abandoned them and that this was why women preferred roach killers that let them see the roaches die.
• Saatchi & Saatchi used psychological probes to conclude that Ronald McDonald created a more nurturing mood than did the Burger King (who was perceived as more aggressive and distant).
• Foote, Cone & Belding gave consumers stacks of photographs of faces and asked them to associate the faces with the kinds of people who might use particular products.
While often criticized, motivation research has also contributed to the marketing discipline. The qualitative nature of the research is considered important in assessing how and why consumers buy. Focus groups and in-depth interviews are valuable methods for gaining insights into consumers' feelings, and projective techniques are often the only way to get around stereotypical or socially desirable responses. In addition, motivation research is the forerunner of psychographics (discussed in Chapter 2).
Finally, we know that buyers are sometimes motivated by symbolic as well as functional drives in their purchase decisions. At least one study has shown that two-thirds of all prime-time TV shows present an average of 5.2 scenes per hour that contain talk about sex. Thus, we see the use of sexual appeals and symbols in ads like Exhibit 4-7.
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