The Week: i-Q - The internet question - Is pre-testing the enemy of creativity?

The way most pre-testing is done is corrupt, because it gives the test group way too long to consider the creative, and allows each individual to be influenced by others in the group.

Advertising is consumed (if at all) quickly and on an individual basis. So while I wouldn't say pre-testing is the enemy of creativity per se, I would say gut instinct should be more important. After all, that's what our audience uses when they see our work. - Richard Hayter

Being new to the industry and having recently gone to my first groups, I saw in the first two minutes that research hinders creative without any doubt! - Musa Tariq

The single purpose of focus groups is when something fails, the brand manager can say: "Well hell, CJ, it tested like gangbusters in Boise." Apple's 1984 was tested against four focus groups ... every single person hated it. Apple's agency, Chiat SF, couldn't sell the time, so they were forced to run it. The rest is history. - George Parker

I've seen many a creative idea get minced by pre-testing. What seems quite hilarious is that a number of comments will be picked up in, say, a group in Glasgow, then a group in Leeds, then a group in London and are then crammed into the work. When it's spat out at the other end, it runs and looks confused, mutilated and average. - Double Ambitious.


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