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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Advertising

Today's Marketing Week and much of the national press have covered a story based on some research by DDB London. The research showed that only 12% of the Great British...

Henry Lambert
  • 28 september 2005

Today’s Marketing Week and much of the national press have covered a story based on some research by DDB London. The research showed that only 12% of the Great British public had heard of podcasting, whilst only 28% knew the meaning of blogging. On this basis, argue Marketing Week, there is ‘a total lack of interest in blogging and podcasting outside the media industry’. Quite a statement considering just how ubiquitous both blogs and podcasting seem to be becoming.

However, on closer inspection the report begins to make some sense. The panel used by DDB London consists of taxi drivers, pub landlords, beauticians and hairdressers – ‘people who through their jobs are casually, or sometimes intimately, plugged into peoples’ conversations every day’. Yes these people do interact with others regularly but clearly activities which are inherently solitary (although not virtually) and involve sitting at a computer are not likely to be on their radar screens. How often do you actually mention the medium you received information from when passing comment (unless it is to provide authenticity)  and especially if you believe that the other party will not have heard of it?

This survey (conducted by an ad agency threatened by the online world) does not actually damn these up and coming technologies, despite the conclusions of the authors, rather it praises them for having broken through to the mainstream – to people who do not use the internet and computers in their work. If 28% of beauticians know what a blog is then that’s pretty impressive penetration from such a new form of media.

Rather than feeling threatened and arguing that they are irrelevant, advertising agencies should thoroughly embrace these new technologies and realise that with the huge time-shifting trend, their days of putting blockbuster ads during primetime are on their way out. 

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