Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Won, Market Research, A Shout Out, Upcoming Projects

I haven't been around much lately so I've got a lot to cover today. You may want to grab a cup of coffee or a cold beverage because you're probably going to be here for a while. I'll wait....

I Won!

Have you been to One Step At A Time lately? If you haven't, you should. I love her blog, it has great recipes and fun stories. She had a fantastic give away for her 100th post and do you know who won? That's right, it was me! Thank you very much Lissaloo (and her adorable assistants who helped with the drawing). I'm so excited about it, I can't wait to try the huckleberry products in my prize package!

Why didn't I think to have a give away for my 100th post? I'm not sure, but I think I'll have one for my 200th. Or maybe my 150th. Or maybe my 143rd. What will I give away? I've got a few ideas. It could be an all expenses paid trip to Michigan to enjoy drinks at our bar (yeah, right), or a video of my entire family dancing badly to old music (who wouldn't like that?). You'll just have to keep reading my blog to find out, won't you?

Market Research

A few weeks ago I was looking up a recipe on Allrecipes when I was asked to participate in a survey. I wasn't in a hurry at the time, so I agreed. I was expecting to answer questions about recipes and cooking techniques, and there were a few of those, but I was also asked about my personality. There was a lot of emphasis on whether I am lonely and/or depressed. I found that surprising. Is that a common characteristic of people who like to cook? Or, could it be, they assume the people who participate in the recipe exchange (a sort of forum/message board on their site) are lacking in human interaction? I used to spend a fair amount of time on the recipe exchange, and I'll admit it can be addicting but I never thought about any of the other members being lonely or depressed. I haven't been there much in the past few months, maybe there was an incident I missed.

I've heard that companies test market their advertising for feedback but I'm not sure market research is all that valuable. I find myself wondering who television commercials and print ads are aimed at all the time. Here are a few that leave me scratching my head:

There is a commercial where a woman finds the yogurt in the supermarket so irresistible that she can't wait to get home to eat it. She slurps the yogurt out of the container right in the refrigerated section of the store. I don't recall the brand, but I can't imagine they want to encourage consumers to eat their product without paying for it. The slurping sound she makes doesn't exactly make me want to eat yogurt either. Who is this commercial supposed to appeal to?

All of the paper towel commercials confuse me. They always show the paper towel being rinsed out and reused. Isn't the fact that paper towel is disposable the point in using it in the first place? I can honestly say that I've never rinsed out and reused a sheet of paper towel. If I were going to do that, I would use a rag or a sponge.

The pain reliever commercials that show the up close shots of wrinkly skin and swollen joints don't make me want to run out and buy their product. More often than not, they just make me want to change the channel!

What about all the disclaimers on prescription medications? Talk about scaring people away from trying a product! Page through any magazine and see how many pages are devoted to the side effects of any prescription medication. There used to be an anti-anxiety medication commercial on television that listed gas and diarrhea as possible side effects. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you be more anxious if you had to worry about that all the time?

Local spots are pretty bad, too. No matter where you live there are commercials for local car dealerships. Have you ever seen a good one? I don't think I have. There is one running currently in our area where a dog is driving a car. I'm not sure who that's supposed to appeal to. Worse, though, was a commercial we used to see when we lived in Detroit. It was for a local dentist and they made a big deal of the fact that he used heat sterilization on all of his instruments. As opposed to what? Wiping them off on his smock?

Lastly, what about public access television? Is it test marketed, too? Does anyone watch the locally produced shows they air? We used to watch a local home improvement show on Detroit public access just because it was so unintentionally funny. The host never had the proper tools for the jobs he did. He would often show that you didn't need to have a ladder to do a job. Once, he installed a ceiling fan while standing on a dining room table base (not the table top, just the base). When we lived in Bloomfield Hills, there was a locally produced lifestyle show we liked to watch occasionally. The most memorable episode dealt with travel and how to prepare for your trip. They suggested that you could test the humidity resistance of your hair styling products by sticking your head in the dishwasher after the wash cycle was complete. If you got frizz, you might want to try a new product before heading to the tropics!

A Shout Out

Congrats to Muddy Runner on his very successful Cheap Thrills road trip! If my recent post didn't convince you that you could have a fun outing while spending less than $20, click here for a look at his trip. Well done!

Upcoming Projects

After mulching the flower beds with the remains of our two maple trees, we decided that we needed to complete a few more projects in the back yard. I'm not going to spill the beans and tell you what they are just yet, but I will tell you that I'm very excited about them. They may keep me away from my blog for a few days, but I'll post pictures when they're done. I can't wait!


Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Congrats on your win, that's pretty exciting. And I hear you when it comes to commercials. The prescription drugs are definitely the worst; in many countries drug companies aren't allowed to advertise. It makes sense, I mean, it's not like you can diagnose your own illness and write your own prescriptions!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Way to go on your win! Congrats!
And the drug company commercials drive me crazy-- so do the ads in the magazines.
Can't wait to see what's in store for the garden!

Lissaloo said...

lol, I had similar thoughts about the yogurt commercial. The first time I saw it, I looked over at my Hubby and the puzzled/disgusted look on his face must have been on mine as well and we both busted out laughing. Commercials seem to be getting stranger every day =)

Purple Flowers said...

Congratulations Willou - and keep the smile on your face! :)

Chicago Mom said...

The drug commercials are funny because usually the side effects are worse than what you are trying to cure in the first place.

Can't wait to see the mysterious garden project!

PurpleHoodieChick said...

Omg I hate some of our local commercials. Like "Terry's Terrice" or "We care in St. Clair" They make me angry!!lol

Clarity said...

Winner! So pleased for you, I don't bother with these as most of them are for U.S. citizens only - who can blame them with that postage?

I agree that adverts are offbase most of the time, advertisers are in their own world - it's more about attention than selling the product.

Although, the show which suggested you stick your head in the dishwasher - so funny!