Here at JVW Inc., the science of how we approach a TV spot is fairly simple. We use quantitative research to prove our creative is going to work. The methods we use are dial groups, which are often confused with focus groups, but are actually much more effective.
A focus group is a glorified think tank, a dial group is something different. The great thing about the dials is they cut through the opinions and get down to the facts. The dials are a mathematical method of judging an ad’s effectiveness in your TV market.
While studying qualitative research design JVW inc. developed a weighting algorithm that allows for safe extrapolation of predictive tendencies typically displayed in consumer behavior patterns. This formula has proven to be so accurate that it has achieved a 95% confidence interval, placing it at the very pinnacle of panel research.
So how does one conduct a dial group? First we have to gather enough participants for a reliable cross-section of your TV market. We recommend a minimum of twelve participants for reliability but have tested as many 450 participants for a single project. The more participants we have, the more reliable the data becomes within each subgroup.
These respondents are found through ads placed in newspapers, the internet, and, of course, on television. We gather essential information on who the respondents are, such as age, sex, educational background, and hours per week spent viewing television. Based on this information, we narrow down the list and pick the respondents that closely mirror the audience you’re trying to reach.
With our participants in place, we arrange to have everyone meet at our office, or at a conference room we’ve rented out for our dial group. Before we begin light snacks and drinks are offered, and every participant is required to sign a group release form for the purpose of confidentiality.
Then we turn down the lights and begin showing our clients’ television commercials. We will also run your competitors’ ads, as this gives us a more accurate reading of your particular TV market. Each participant is given a dial handset which records their responses to the projected ads.
Each dial handset is controlled by our technical engineer. He has assigned a number to correspond with each handset, and is able to see, on his computer monitor, how each participant rates individual commercials. He can also isolate the readings from certain handsets during the live group if the client wants to see how a smaller subsection reacts to their commercials.
Our dial groups typically last between two and three hours. This allows the participants to get comfortable with the dial handsets and gives us time to show all relevant TV commercials from your area.
The client watches the dial group from behind a two-way mirror or divided-off area. Often, a client’s presence can influence the way a participant rates his commercials. We take great strides to protect our client’s anonymity and ensure his identity from being revealed to our participants.
A dial system is a highly-complex marriage of hardware and software. We will attempt to describe to you, in layman’s terms, the most important devices that work together and make up the dial system.
The overlay device is used to superimpose the data moving-line graph over the video image of the television ads being presented in the dial groups. We record the resulting output to DVD or capture it in a video file. This allows our clients to review the participants’ response anytime they wish.
The video switcher is used to switch between the projected video of your ads, and any text questions you may want the participants to answer. Though a dial group does not usually consist of many text-based questions, you may want to start the session by asking a few basic questions about the participants’ backgrounds. All responses are recorded by the dial handsets.
The Perception Analyzer software is a program that records and stores all raw data from the dial handsets. This data can then be extracted and analyzed by any skilled researcher.
A desktop computer or laptop computer is required to run the software that allows the dial system to work properly. Our technical engineer will operate the computer for the entire length of the dial group and track the participants’ response in real-time.
The scan converter takes the image from your computer and correctly sizes and positions it for display on the television monitor or screen your participants will view.
Why would you make an ad unless you were sure it was going to work? We don’t want to invite our clients to a craps table. What effective research does on the backend is save you TV dollars. Your placement will be more direct and you’ll know the shelf life of your ads.