Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Getting real

In days gone by, one of the inadvertently funniest aspects of my job was sitting behind one-way mirrors with a group of assistant brand managers, none of whose first languages matched that of the poor souls we were watching, in something called a "Concept Lab" where we would "generate consumer insights."

The words "lab" and "generate" are telling. Very little of our generated output would bear any relation to anything a real person might say. You know the sort of thing: "These days I have to juggle so many roles - Supermom, household manager, personal shopper for my girlfriends, yoga coach for my neighbour, Stepford Wife as well as moonlighting as a rocket scientist on the side. Wouldn't it be great if there was a panty liner that was as flexible as I am?"

Now there's a whole site dedicated to this sort of absurdity: "Things Real People Don't Say about Advertising". It made me laugh and it made me cringe - occasionally, just occasionally, I have been there myself. Crackers include "I wonder if my favourite brand of kitchen roll has a Twitter stream I can follow" and "that viral made me LOL so hard, I think I'll buy the car that was in it."

See, that content really is both entertaining and informative. I will now act as an evangelist and pass it on immediately to my friends and colleagues.



Whisks said...

Are they really real? That link made me laugh out loud and want to hang myself, both at the same time.

Sue said...

Sites like that one are a necessary reality check in this business. You'd be amazed how many of those could be real!