Solve Media recently discovered a way to gain intel by creating a new vehicle for gathering research. The company has taken advantage of the need for internet security by utilizing captchas as little data collectors. Captchas are those boxes we see on the internet here and there that ask us to re-type the squiggly characters in the box, proving we're human. Solve Media has simply bought the rights to change the squiggly characters to a question like, "What's the first word you think of when you hear, Mercedes-Benz?" and then interpret the responses.
It's a clever little content analysis technique and it felt like a 'why didn't anyone think of this before?' moment. Who knows if it will provide helpful data. For one thing, people often rush through captchas without a moment's notice though they've never encountered a proactive captcha before. Solve Media may end up with more asjkbfd's than they know what do do with. And even if they do get valid responses and find out that Mercedez-Benz conjures a particular mood, what are they supposed to do what that? It seems to me like the captcha thing is clever and cute but provides less than helpful information. To Solve Media I say, I like the ingenuity but re-direct it toward research that provides results that can carry you somewhere real.