Is it wrong for Peugeot to dismiss research?

You could be forgiven for missing it, but Peugeot dismisses market research in three seconds of its latest advert. 

Mindi Chahal

The ad is about design and driving asks, ‘what is the purpose of car design? To look pretty, to follow market research?’ The following scenes lead to the conclusion that the answer to these questions is no.   

The scenes relating to market research show a meeting room of people looking up at a man showing a chart on a clipboard presentation, followed by an office desk piled high with paperwork representing reams of data. 

The ways and means of conducting and presenting market research are surely contradictory to that stereotypical view. 

Research has seen innovation in eye-tracking technology and neuroscience, using smartphones and tablets to collect data and presenting that data through visuals, infographics, and video diaries – and yes charts too.  

The sleek ad, full of scenes of sensory experiences that all relate back to driving the car, goes on to say what design is about, including ‘taking out what is not essential’ and ‘to use technology to wake the senses’. 

I wonder how many brands would say they use market research to understand what parts of its products or services are essential to customers and whether using innovation in technology would make any difference to how consumers view the brand. 

You could say it’s a case of each to their own, that brands are for and against using market research and it’s a business decision, but the point made in the ad is disparaging. It’s used to show a contrast, you can follow market research or you can have creative design. 

It’s only three seconds and I might be overreacting slightly, but the debate of whether market research dampens creative has been going on for too long and this creative work will make sure it continues.    

Have you used research to create a great campaign? If yes, the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2014 are now open for submissions of your best marketing case studies of the past 12 months. 

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