campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 17 December 2001 12:00PM
1. A planner doing some groups knocked on a door. "Hi, is your Mum
in?" he said to a boy who answered the door. After the planner had
unpacked his stimulus and totally rearranged the furniture in the living
room, a hassled housewife charged in. "Who are you," she screamed, "and
what are you doing in my house?" Wrong house.
2. A researcher is doing two beer groups in a hotel. On checking out the
next morning, there is an unexplained item on his bill. The blokes in
the first group had noticed the room number on his key and charged a
slap-up meal to his room.
3. While quantifying the relative merits of various, predominantly red,
pack designs by interviewing passing consumers in a shopping centre,
researchers stopped a couple for their opinion. The woman said she
really couldn't tell which she liked best because she was colour-blind.
When researchers suggested that perhaps her husband could help her, she
said that was unlikely because he couldn't see at all.
4. The time when the researcher goes behind the two-way mirror to ask
the client if she has any questions. They overhear the respondents
discussing how boring it is this week.
5. French brothers Lilet (pronounced Lilay) are intending to launch
their red aperitif wine in the UK. When they try to quantify its likely
appeal, the most common claimed frequency for drinking is "once a
6. After a beer group, a respondent leaves behind the invitation card to
the evening he was given. On the back of it is written: "Dear Bob, don't
forget you are a lager drinker and you drink between nine and 12 pints a
7. A pretty female planner goes behind the two-way mirror to ask her
client a question. They hear one of the male respondents volunteer: "I
would, wouldn't you?" All the other respondents agree vociferously. The
planner's credibility is blown.
8. When trying to recruit a group of wearers of false teeth, one
prospective respondent takes hers out, in the middle of Orpington High
Street, to prove that she has them.
9. During a discussion group for one of the big banks, a respondent
realises his bank is the client. He gets up and starts tapping on the
two-way mirror furiously. "You fuckers," he says, "you made my business
collapse." He then starts crying.
10. During a group discussion, an American client can be clearly heard,
behind the two-way mirror, screaming furiously at the incompetent
researcher: "Probe, you bastard, probe."
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk