November 2012 Archives

Evaluating Specific Strategic Communications

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Galaxy vs iPhone.jpg

The above link shows one of Samsung's advertisements for the new Galaxy S3 phone. I want to evaluate this piece of strategic communications because it is doing something that not many brands decide to do, it is directly targeting the iPhone 5. Apple is not a brand that companies typically try to bash because they have been so dominant. In the ad they mock people waiting in line to get the iPhone talking about ridiculous features of the iPhone and eventually shows people with the Galaxy S3 doing things that blow their mind.

I think that initially this seemed like a hit but overall it is a major fail for the following reasons. First, they gave a lot of exposure to Apple stores and mentioned the new phone many times. If consumers can't hear the TV, they will think it is an ad for the iPhone, overall it provides free advertising for Apple. On top of this, they are insulting consumers that they are also targeting. Some consumers do not like competitive ads and this will hurt them. Finally, they are awaking a sleeping giant. Apple typically has a very consistent, respectable advertising campaign but this ad changes the game. Apple has already started to fire back and I only expect it to get worse.

Are Interest Emails Effective?

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Since joining the School of Journalism and Mass Communication I have been the target of various surveys, research tests, and focus groups. The University of Minnesota loves its list serve emails and the SJMC loves them as well. Every week I receive several emails asking me to participate in their research efforts and then it hit me, is this method actually effective for them? I personally do not participate in any studies unless a class requires it. The document below includes two screen shots of emails I received in the same day asking me to participate.

Interest Emails.docx

I understand that it is convenient to email the list serve in order to try and get interest but where should the line be drawn? With so many emails being sent out students are becoming desensitized to them and just delete them as they reach their inbox.
The first email wants students to join a focus group to provide information about the Journalism Library. The second email seeks input about two journalism classes. I feel like the most effective way to get results for these would be to survey people that are actually in the library. They should select a class or two to go into and have them fill out the survey as part of the class. Research is such a big part of journalism that it should be normal to interrupt a class for a survey. For participants in the second email, they should go directly into those classes as well as upper division classes and have them take the survey.

Starbucks Survey

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I received a Facebook invite to do a survey for Starbucks. Typically I would decline this notification but I saw that I could win a $5 gift card so I figured I would go through with it. Their incentive was effective for me and I am sure it worked for many more. The surveyors utilized a convenience method because I saw that it was Facebook friends of certain people that were asked to do the survey. The following document includes the Facebook invite page as well as the first page of the survey.


I thought the survey structure was pretty effective. The first question filters out the non coffee drinkers. From there on the question format included multiple choice questions that lead from one to the next. The only problem was with the question regarding age. The age choices were not equal segments. Other than that the colors were neutral and gave a Starbucks feel.

Relevant Insights

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When Googling research vendors, the first three slots are filled links to Relevant Insights at I found it interesting that they paid a lot of money to be in those top spots when their website is rather weak.


The pictures include images of the home page. It is very plain and looks like a spam email. The second image shows two interesting tools they have under the Research Tools tab. A sample size calculator and margin of error calculator are provided and it seems pretty interesting. Overall, the website is split up well to get to the information the viewer needs. However, it is nothing special for being the top couple spots on the Google search.

The Future of Consumer Panels

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Here is an interesting article on the future of control panels. The article is developed around the testing food and brands but the ideas are still unique. They discuss interactive options, touch screen refrigerators and other unique ways in which panels may be conducted in the future.

The article can be found here:

Do Looks Help Resumes?

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An interesting study was conducted to see whether peoples' attractiveness help in the application process. They had 180 participants act as a recruitment officers and review applications. They looked at good applications with and without pictures as well as mediocre applications with and without pictures. With a good application, it was found that having a picture attached did not benefit them. However, for mediocre applicants, the attractive people that included pictures were actually found to have a better chance of getting an interview. The study can be found here:

I think it is interesting to have random people role play in research but I feel like the results have to be taken with a grain of salt. Being a recruitment officer takes a certain mind set and trusting the results from a random sample does not seem like a great idea. Overall, it is a very interesting study.

Death Row Meal Selection

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Cornell University Food and Brand Lab used public records to analyze inmates' final meal choices before being put to death. I thought it was an interesting topic to research and an interesting way in which to research it. The summary of the research can be found here:

It is not surprising that vegitables and fruits were not requested often. However, I think it is interesting that almost 40% of inmates requested a branded food or drink. Comfort foods make sense for the situation. In terms of research, public record seems to be a flawless approach for such a specific study because it is fact and you are assured minimal error. There is a response or data for every person, the only problem is if the meal is entered incorrectly.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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