Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

Submitted By: TANMAY LALIT TAPASE 2012PGP400

Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 2 Conceptualisation of Research Problem ......................................................................................... 2 Qualitative Techniques Used ......................................................................................................... 2 Profiling of the respondents for the proposed study ...................................................................... 2 Rationale for using the specified Data Collection Methods............................................................. 3 Detailed Guide for Data Collection ................................................................................................. 4 Data Analysis Plan ......................................................................................................................... 6 Expectations from the Study .......................................................................................................... 6

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Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

Introduction
The article talks about the recent Ford Ads which were termed as ‘sexist’ by a large section of the media and which had to be withdrawn owing to social outrage. These Ads were dismissed by Ford themselves which put the blame for the Ads on the Advertising Agency. The Advertising Agency also apologised for the Ads saying that these Ads had not passed the proper screening process and were released because of oversight.

Conceptualisation of Research Problem
The Ford Ads and the ensuing public outrage bring forward the question of sexist advertisements and objectification of women in advertisements. However, this is not the case with Ford alone. Increasingly, we see advertisements in India being sexist and showing women in a disrespectful way. Through this study, we try to analyse the various reasons for such sexist advertisements increasing across the various media channels. Research Problem- To analyse the reasons behind the increasing instances of Indian advertisements showing the sexual objectification of women At a time, when the crime against women are at an alarming level, such advertisements may act as an reinforcing agent for viewing women as only physical objects. In such a scenario, there needs to be a line drawn between creative freedom of advertisers and what is acceptable. There are several underlying social reasons which have led to such advertisements cropping up. Banning such advertisements won’t help; we need to go to the depth of the problem. We need to analyse the underlying reasons; because only when we attack these reasons will we able to stop such stereotyping of women.

Qualitative Techniques Used
For carrying out this study, we will try to use several qualitative data collection techniques. Based on the target group and the data required, we would administer the various techniques. Some of the Data Collection Methods which we will be using are: 1. Focussed Group Discussion 2. Observation 3. In-Depth Interviews

Profiling of the respondents for the proposed study
We will try to have a broad perspective of responses so as to be able to analyse the issue for various view-points and also to get various reasons. To understand the issue from the advertising agency point of view, we will include the agency employees to be a part of the study. This would include people from both the commercial side (Account Managers) as well as the creative side (Copy writers). We will try to have the respondents from at least 5 advertising agencies. Through these advertising

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Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

agency personnel, we will also get information about the screening process followed at most of these agencies for new Ads. We will also have the end consumers as a part of the target respondent groups. These consumers can help us understand what kinds of advertisements were found by them to be objectionable and the reasons for it.

Rationale for using the specified Data Collection Methods
1. Focussed Group Discussion The Focussed Group Discussion would be carried out among the various employees of the Advertising Agency. Here, the respondents would discuss about the increasing instances of sexist Ads across the various media channels. As both the account managers and copy writers would be present in this discussion, we would get the perspective from both the client side as well as the creative side. These participants would discuss if there are individual demands from the client side regarding showing more sexism in the Ads. The topic of creative freedom in advertisements and the rationale of the creative team for using such Ads would also be discussed. The participants would discuss about the screening process followed at their agencies and how they vetted out such advertisements. A similar Focussed Group Discussion would also be carried out among the general public so as to understand what kind of Ads they found to be sexist and what the reasons were for them for thinking so. We will also try to analyse what they thought to be the reasons behind such advertisements coming up and the impact these advertisements had on them. 2. Observation In this method, we will try to analyse the entire advertisement making process at the various agencies right from the client brief stage to the final advertisement. Such an observation would help us understand what the various approvals and screening processes are which take place before an Advertisement gets the final nod. Observation of the ideating process for the creative people would also help us understand the process which goes behind them coming up with an idea. The various factors which affect the direction of their thinking can be analysed. 3. In-Depth Interviews The In-Depth Interviews would be conducted with the various participants of the advertising agency. Such an interview can help us understand the underlying assumptions and the thought process which these people follow for coming up with an idea. They can also elaborate on the specific reasons that they think for increasing sexist Ads in India. Such In-Depth Interviews would also be carried out with the Heads of Advertising Agencies; these heads would have a lot of experience in this field and would be able to tell the possible

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Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

reasons for such Advertisements coming up. These interviews would be face to face, semistructured and informal. We need to extract as much information as possible from the advertising people because at the end of the day, they are the ones who are making these Ads. Such In-Depth Interviews of general consumers would also be carried out so as to understand their perception regarding such Ads. We can also understand the effect such Ads had on the buying behaviour of consumers for that particular product.

Detailed Guide for Data Collection
1. Focussed Group Discussion The FGD would be carried with the executives from the Advertising Agencies at a time convenient time for them. The group size would be 8 executives with 4 from the commercial side and 4 executives from the creative team. Prior appointments would be taken from them. Initially, the group would be given pointers and questions so as to streamline the discussion. Some of these discussion points would be: 1. Is the objectification of women in Indian Advertisements increasing? 2. Is there a pressure from the client side or the creative side to have such advertisements? 3. Are there enough screening processes adopted within the agency to prevent such advertisements from moving forward? 4. What could be possible reasons for such Ads coming up? 5. What are the changing contexts within our society which might have given rise to such advertisements? For the FGD with the general public, the agenda would revolve around if there has been increase in such Ads, what could be the reasons for such Ads, do they relate to such Ads, do they think there should be proper complaint system for complaining about such Ads. Throughout the Focussed Group Discussion, there would be video-recording so as to be able to analyse the data in a much better way later. The FGD for one group would last for 45mins to an hour. 2. Observation The observation would be carried out at the Office of the Advertising Agency. Prior permission would be taken from the Advertising Agency regarding the use of their premises for such a study. We might be required to sign confidentiality agreement with the agency as it would involve client information. The entire process that the Advertising Agency follows would be analysed, the researcher will be making notes at each stage. He will try to identify the factors which affect the thought process of the creative executives while coming up with the Ad. The researcher should make it a point to not interfere at any stage of the creative process and act as a passive observer.

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Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

3. In-Depth Interview For the In-Depth Interview, prior appointments would be taken from the advertising executives. These interviews would be face to face and semi structured. The interviewer should build upon the answer given by the executive so as to get a more detailed perspective on the topic. Some of the questions which the Interviewer can ask are: Questions for Advertising Agency Executives: Profiling of the person 1. What is your name? 2. Do you work on the creative side or the non creative side of the agency? 3. For how many years have you worked in the agency? Questions related to Sexual Objectification of Women 4. In recent years, do you think there has been a rise in the Ads which show women as mere physical objects? 5. Is there a pressure from the client side to have such Ads? If yes, why is it so? 6. Why do you think that the creative people within the Advertising Agencies are coming up with such concepts? 7. What are the various measures within your agency to screen Advertisements? Do you think there is more that can be done? 8. Have you ever worked on a campaign which was sexist against women? Did that Advertisement get the Final Approval? Why do you think people viewed it as sexist? 9. What do you think are the possible reasons for the higher number of such Ads cropping up in the recent years? 10. Are there certain social contexts which have changed because of which many more such Ads are coming up? If yes, what are these changing contexts? Questions for the General Consumers 1. What is your name and Age? 2. Have you in recent times come across any advertisements which have been sexist against women? If yes, which ones? 3. Do you think there has been an increase in such Advertisements in recent times?

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Qualitative Marketing Research

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4. Why do you think such Advertisements are increasingly coming up? What could be the reasons behind it? 5. Are there changes in society which these Ads are only reflecting? If yes, what are these societal changes? 6. After seeing any such Ad, has your purchasing behaviour for that particular product changed? How?

Data Analysis Plan
For Data Analysis, wherever possible the observations would be counted. This is done to present a better picture of the different features of the said phenomenon. The Focussed Group Discussions and In-Depth Interviews would be video recorded. These video recordings could then be viewed later so as to edit or make additions to the notes. Interviews were taken with executives from different agencies and from different positions within the management; this would help remove the biases. Summaries were created for the Interviews and Focussed Group Discussion. During the observation, it was analysed as being a social process. Such an observation can help understand the relationship within the various stakeholders and their impact on the entire process. After this, we will try to fit in the entire data in a conceptual framework. We shall try to borrow a framework from the Psychology and Social Study Literature. Based on the framework, we shall reorganize the data under various labels. If labels are not already present, we shall create new ones. The various reasons for such Ads increasing across various media channels maybe divided into several buckets or labels. These labels or reasons are then looked upon from the point of view of the conceptual framework. We can also try to have visual display of data through graphic representation, conceptual maps, photographs, videotapes and poster. Then we will try to position our results in the broader analytical framework, drawing connections and relating them to a particular theory.

Expectations from the Study
The Study can help us understand the various reasons underpinning the increasing instances of sexism against women in Indian Advertisements. We shall try to analyse these reasons from the point of view of a particular theory in Social Sciences. The Study can help us understand some of the social factors and the contextual changes within our society which has led to increasing number of such advertisements coming up. It can also help us understand if there are enough screening process within the Advertising Agencies to ensure that such Advertisements don’t get a go ahead. Based on the social factors and reasons obtained from this study, we can re-design a new study to better analyse these reasons in depth. These changing contexts can be further

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Qualitative Marketing Research

Individual Assignment

analysed from a more social point of view rather than an advertising point of view. A new study can be designed as a basis for that.

Bibliography
1. Source for Article- http://www.businessworld.in/news/finance/shameful-sexist-ford-car-ads-spark-outragein-india/835791/page-1.html, accessed as on 19.9.2013 2. Debra Harker; Complaints about Advertising: What’s really happening?; Qaulitative Market Research: An International Journal 3. Jean Kilbourne, Steve Lysonski, Michelle Miller, John Ford and C McDonald; Sexy vs. Sexism in Advertisin; International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2005, pp. 113-124

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