Microsoft & Voxpopme: Powering Successful Ad Campaigns with Agile Video Insights

Microsoft teamed up with Voxpopme to identify influencer personalities that would resonate best with consumers for their ‘Real People’ advertising campaign.

Research Challenge

Microsoft has always been well aware of the influence research should have on the advertising process – running ad copy testing and in-market campaign tracking. However, for the global rollout of the company’s flagship ‘Real People’ campaign, the technology giant wanted to get closer than ever to consumers, sooner in the creative lifecycle, to choose the characters best-placed to showcase the innovation and power of Windows for PCs.

Both the research and ad teams at Microsoft wanted to know whether the talent options they’d chosen as their real people would resonate with consumers. Would viewers identify with the personalities of the people they planned to feature in their ads? Are their stories relatable?


Research Solution

To get these answers, and determine which characters would make ad campaigns most appealing, Microsoft partnered with Voxpopme to go beyond traditional quant research with agile qual.

The ad campaign was being carefully crafted to offer a glimpse into real stories from people doing work across industries and show how they each use Microsoft products to power their work and passions.

With Voxpopme’s end-to-end ‘Video Feedback’ solution, Microsoft was able to begin deeply exploring internal theories about character performance and determine whom they should feature in the ad campaigns. To test options, Microsoft shared screening videos with consumers, asking them to watch the lives and work of these amazing people.

Immediately after watching, respondents were asked to leave self-recorded videos describing their initial reactions to the person and their story. Next, Microsoft’s research team was able to leverage the automated video analytics in Voxpopme’s platform, instantly exploring all of the content collected by searching and filtering transcripts, key themes, and sentiment associated with the characters.


Client Result

Microsoft’s researchers used Voxpopme’s built-in editing tools to share this feedback with their ad team and agency – giving them more power to make decisions and cast the people they wanted in their ads based on the consumer story.

Two characters stood out as Microsoft had been considering using one for the US campaign and another for international markets. However, with the enhanced advertising insight delivered by consumer-recorded video, the researchers were able to highlight the strength of ‘Katherine’ – the character planned for international markets – demonstrating how well she connected with critical audiences. The result: Katherine was used in both domestic and global campaigns.

The additional context enabled Microsoft to optimise the ad content to avoid distraction from the campaign message. Furthermore, post-campaign testing showed how influential Katherine was with the final ad landing in the top percentile of ads tested within Microsoft’s ‘Real People’ campaign.

”In addition to helping us choose the right talent for our ads, we obtained additional context through the video feedback. This gave us some information we didn’t even know we needed – we also saw some initial hints at things that could easily derail the spot” commented Anne Sedgwick, Senior Research Manager at Microsoft.

While the research results can’t take credit for the stellar ad production, it’s no surprise that deeper insights and listening to the voice of the customer earlier in the creative lifecycle deliver content that outperforms typical advertisements, norms, and benchmarks.

Featuring case studies from ‘GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative’ companies, Insights That Work is your ultimate guide to understanding the process of producing pivotal insights with impactful business results. Download Insights That Work to read more case studies.

When Big Brands Take Social Stances: An In-Depth Analysis of Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad

Nike’s recent “Dream Crazy” ad with Colin Kaepernick went viral and sparked emotions, leading some to applaud Nike’s campaign and others to burn their shoes with the swoosh. Zappi & Voxpopme analyzed the benefits and drawbacks of the socially divisive campaign.

Editor’s Note: The new Nike campaign has been a hot topic since it was released last week, and not just in the world of marketing and insights. It was topic on my personal Facebook feed, with many research pros working to understand the strategy behind a campaign that at first seemed to be having a negative impact on the brand and stock valuation (both of which seemed to have bounced back after a few days) , so I asked my friends at Zappi and Voxpopme to field a study ourselves to understand the dynamics of the campaign among a general population. We launched the study at 5 pm ET on Thursday 9/6, and the survey and reports were complete by 9 am ET on 9/7.

The results are illuminating and help validate why a marketing powerhouse like Nike may have chosen a bit of the gamble with this campaign; the overall positives outweigh the marginal negatives, among some segments. 

This campaign will likely continue to drive discussion on multiple levels, but this study puts to rest one argument; Nike did indeed know what they were doing and found a winner because these data confirm it.

Thanks to Zappi and Voxpopme for pitching in so quickly to help us explore this topic!

Since Nike released an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick last week, their stock has dropped and risen again, Nike shoes were burnt, a city mayor banned Nike products, even Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter.  And sales increased 31%. The ad was featured in the New York Times, People, and CNN among others.

Nike aired the ad on Thursday, September 6th, 2018 during the third quarter of the NFL season opener featuring former quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been a polarizing figure since becoming the first NFL player to stage protests over racial injustice during pregame performances of the national anthem.

Though the most recent socially divisive ad to face American audiences, Nike’s is not the first. From Target’s move away from gender-based signs to 84 Lumber’s 2017 Super Bowl Ad, socially divisive promotion has become a way of increasing virality, generating brand awareness, and promoting political beliefs.

Naturally, this has several obvious benefits and drawbacks. While it increases ties to those that support the message, it risks long-term alienation from detractors, as well as political boycotts and action from activists against the cause.

This raises the question; is creating this kind of ad a smart move for brands?

Zappi in partnership with Voxpopme tested the Colin Kaepernick ad on its automated consumer insights platform. The video ad was put through a second-by-second analysis to determine the effect the ad will have on the brand as well as how it stacks up compared to other socially driven ads. The ad was tested on over 500 people in the US and results were analyzed as a whole, by political party, by ethnicity, income, and athletic apparel purchasers. Of respondents, 39% identified as Democrats and 34% identified as Republicans.

The overall response to the message of the ad was overwhelmingly positive, even from the respondents who didn’t agree with the Colin Kaepernick partnership.  Some key themes that emerged from the video responses:

  • Inspirational
  • Believing
  • Dreams

Click here to see the people behind the data who found the ad inspirational


Do those supporting the ad outweigh those disliking the ad?

In short, yes. You can see in the image below. This ad performed above norms for all categories other than behavior change.

  • Motivational and Inspirational are big wins overall
  • Unethical, sad, exploiting: all these attract less than 10% association, and even positive words like patriotic and ethical are low on the list. More people have left the politics behind and played back human reactions – motivational, inspirational, memorable, happy, relatable, and so on.
  • This ad over-indexes on thoughtful and love. Also happy, excited, peaceful.
  • Beyond that, there are no notable swings. Uncool, disgust, hate: these aren’t far from the norm.


Does this ad work for Nike’s target audience?

It depends. Of all segments, this ad performed the best with Democrats above other political affiliations. Democrats like it more than Republicans: 80% Lovers (lovers are those who rated the ad between 8 and 10 on a love/hate scale) vs. 59%. Here’s a comparison of the reactions between the main parties.

  • Democrats are more inspired and think it’s more memorable or happy
  • Democrats find it relatable and think it’s for people like them
  • Republicans think it’s much more exploitative and unethical
  • Republicans see it as more political and aggravating

Filter this to black/African Americans and the number one positive driver is ‘for people like me’. Looking at behavior change, number one is ‘relatable’ and two is again ‘for people like me. Of the sample, 67% is white and 17% percent is black.  Black Americans love this ad more than anyone at (86%), Very high volumes of black Americans find this ad relatable (52%) and made for people like theme (39%).

Lovers (if you have bought Nike in the past year) is at 77% and 63% if not.

We asked specifically about the Kaepernick partnership and how that affects consumers perception of the Nike brand.

  • 42.7% said it improves their perception of the brand
  • 36% said their perception stays the same
  • 21.3% said the ad and partnership with Colin Kaepernick detracts from their perception of Nike

Click here to see the people behind the data who stated the ad detracts from their perception of the Nike brand


How will the ad ultimately affect purchase intent?

It seems the only way Nike is going is up. Respondents noted the ad will encourage them to purchase Nike products more, given how inspired they were by the message.

Even of those that said it detracted from their perception of the Nike brand, only about ⅓ said they would not purchase Nike as a result.  The others, while disagreeing with the partnership or thinking it will hurt the brand, specifically say they will continue to buy despite their feelings. 

Click here to see the people behind the data who will continue to purchase, despite their negative feelings about the ad

Summary of Results

  • The Nike ad performs significantly above norms in all other key metrics (brand feeling, brand linkage, claims, overall appeal, relevance, unique and difference, viral likelihood) – this is a successful ad for the masses
  • More than 40% of people give this ad a 10/10 on the love/hate scale
  • Haters (selected 0-4 on the love/hate scale) are slightly lower than average, but this isn’t significant. Almost half of all Haters give this a score of 0, generating some extreme kick back in a small slice of the audience.

This would have been a powerful ad with or without Kaepernick’s inclusion, as you can see by the second-by-second reaction.  When looking at the video feedback, most respondents didn’t even mention the controversy of Nike’s partnership with Kaepernick; the focus was primarily on the “dream big” inspirational message of the ad.

The second Kaepernick comes on screen, a division in those watching the ad occurs. One could argue this is a sign that the ad should not be published as it’s alienating a portion of its buyer base (in this case Republicans). However, it looks like the divisive reaction is precisely what actually made the ad stand out and become viral.

Platform provides brands with consumer-led video feedback: Q&A

Facebook and Instagram released tools designed to create a more social shopping experience with multiple opportunities for customers to both engage with companies and provide direct feedback on purchases. How big is video feedback set to become?

According to Voxpopme’s founder and CEO, Dave Carruthers, if you’re a brand today, consumers need to be your best friend and it starts with listening. Voxpopme is a service that provides top brands with video feedback from their customers, as the next evolution of marketing research – putting a face to anonymous data reports of the past.

To understand this model, and the impact of this type of digital technology on businesses, Digital Journal spoke with Dave Carruthers.

Digital Journal: How has the world of branding changed in the past five years?

Dave Carruthers: When it comes to branding, authenticity is key. The modern consumer is far savvier when it comes to seeing through marketing BS. If you are not authentic or your claims are not backed up, in a world where there is, unfortunately, increasing distrust and skepticism of the media, consumers will be quick to dismiss you. Brands need to connect in the most honest authentic ways possible, and on a consistent basis.

Personalization is also growing in importance. Consumers want product and services on their terms to fit their needs when they need it, and I think this is driven, in large part, by the rise of the on-demand and sharing economy.

DJ: Do brands need to take more notice of consumers?

Carruthers: 100% yes! Brands that listen to the demands of rapidly changing consumer preferences will win the battle for share of mind and share of wallet. The ever-increasing competition and availability of products and services has given consumers an abundance of choice when it comes to purchasing decisions. As a result, brands must differentiate themselves by building an emotional connection with consumers. Actively listening to and acting upon their wants and needs ensures they become invested in your brand, creating a brand-consumer bond that is difficult to break.

DJ: Why are Facebook and Instagram’s tools for a different social shopping experience valuable when it comes to customer feedback?

Carruthers: Social shopping is inevitably having a significant impact on e-commerce and, in-turn, the way in which customers are able to provide feedback on those purchases. Shopping in social channels such as Facebook and Instagram enables customers to share their thoughts with their network pre and post-purchase, in an instant. The immediacy of conversations in social enables consumers to quickly validate one another’s decisions and even build a community of advocates or detractors for brands – effectively amplifying shopper feedback and disseminating it with their peers.

DJ:L How does this align with Voxpopme’s perspective?

Carruthers: Similarly, Voxpopme has championed the amplification of customers’ voices since launching back in 2013. Our approach has coincided with the explosion of video on social, and it’s fascinating to now see video reviews of products and services shared so willingly on these channels. Video also serves to validate consumer feedback. Think about how many times you’ve read a review on Yelp or Tripadvisor and think “who wrote this?”. Video makes feedback instantly more credible and relatable.

DJ: How do these types of developments impact on brands?

Carruthers: For brands, there is now even greater pressure to engage with consumers in these very public channels that can make or break customer relationships. However, it can be difficult to harvest customer feedback from social platforms given the unstructured format of conversations, which becomes even more difficult if your brand is mentioned in a video without tags. For Voxpopme, that’s where structured video feedback and automated analytics can be used to get closer to customers and truly understand both positive and negative brand perceptions.

DJ: What is the aim of the Voxpopme platform?

Carruthers:We aim to deepen the connection between brands and consumers and help brands understand their crucial target groups at a much deeper level through video. We believe video is the best way to encourage customers to share feedback that is deep in meaning, rich in context and emotionally engaging. As a result, we’re continually creating and optimizing industry leading video feedback solutions to improve research methods for brands to collect, analyze and share consumer insights.

DJ: How was the Voxpopme technology developed?

Carruthers:Voxpopme was specifically designed to offer new methods of capturing consumer views and opinions through video responses, which are recorded straight from respondent’s digital devices.

Initially, the business strategy centered around the idea of a mobile app, with a panel of users that could be canvassed for video opinions by brands. Quickly though, this evolved into the development of a platform which allows researchers to seamlessly add video capture to any new or existing online surveys, communities, mobile apps, websites or social feeds.

At the same time, our engineering team replaced the time-consuming video analysis process with an advanced AI-powered automated analytics engine that categorizes hundreds of videos into searchable key themes in an instant. The addition of an inbuilt showreel generator also replaced the need for specialist video editing skills, meaning any user of Voxpopme can easily use our platform to amplify the consumer story, creating authentic connections between brands and consumers. We’re also working on the development of AI-driven capabilities to fully automate showreel production.

DJ: How do consumers interact with Voxpopme’s technology?

Carruthers: From the consumer’s perspective, there are many ways to interact with Voxpopme’s technology and use it to tell their own stories – where, when and how they want.

Many consumers will come across our open-ended video questions in the surveys they receive from the brands they love. Or they’ll be invited to take part in more qualitative style studies that could involve tasks like shop-alongs or in-home product testing. Our OnDemand video communities (which can be joined by downloading the Voxpopme app) also provide an opportunity for consumers in the US, UK and Australia to regularly engage in these types of video-first research.

Either way, the experience for the consumer is straightforward. They access your question(s), along with any further instructions, and are asked to record their response. Once ready, they simply hit record on the digital device they are using and begin to express their thoughts and feelings. Self-recorded videos enable responses to be collected simultaneously, anywhere in the world – delivering video insights at scale, across multiple markets.

The Secret Marketing Strategy: Listening to the Consumer

Everyone’s asking the same question – how do brands stay successful in the current competitive landscape? One thing is for certain, if you’re a brand, consumers are your best friend. Adotas presents a Q&A with Dave Carruthers to address these questions. 

Q: How does the relationship between brands and consumers need to evolve and what role does marketing have in this change?

A: The relationship between brands and consumers has undergone a huge shift in the past decade due to the internet and the democratization of data; the ability for a single consumer story to hugely affect a brands value has never been more apparent. There was a recent high profile United Airlines flight incident that went viral within hours, severely damaging the company’s reputation. When brands look at marketing, customers crave authenticity, they can see through BS, they expect personalization and they want it all on their terms – these are all macro trends brands must now consider as they create and evolve marketing strategies.


Q: When you say that brands need to be listening to their consumers, what does this mean and what are some ways that this can be done?

A: Listening to consumers is all about understanding their journeys and experiences with our brands, products, and services. More importantly, it’s about using this information to improve their future interactions with our companies to better serve their needs and increase the value we provide them. Multiple techniques can and should be used to build this picture. Often it will require a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, along with social listening tools to discover influential customer stories. Brands that close the loop by making customer-centric decisions are far more likely to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive markets.


Q: What is the benefit of bringing new technology to marketing research and why should companies not rely on strictly statistical information?

A: The beauty of new technology in market research is that companies no longer need to rely solely upon siloed quantitative or qualitative research. The platforms that are pushing the boundaries in research are delivering research that combines the depth of qual with the volume and statistical relevance of quant – at a speed that enables us to influence critical business decisions. Leaders in business, whether brands, agencies, or tech vendors are combining tools and forming technology partnerships to ensure they deliver customer stories that go beyond pure statistics. In doing so, they can appeal to both emotional and rational thinking stakeholders.


Q: How important has the explosion of video content and availability been to the industry?

A: The explosion of video has been significant. As a society, we’re creating and consuming more video content than ever before and you only have to look at your favorite social media platform to realize this. However, it is the self-recorded style, and scalability of this content that is most critical in research. By leveraging consumers’ tendencies to share raw, genuine footage of their daily lives, researchers are able to overcome the traditional barriers to video. In the past, one would’ve had to organize a focus group at high cost, with a small number of respondents, at a specific time, date and location. Whereas now, by adding video questions to surveys and communities, or capturing content through on-demand video feedback communities, we can capture hundreds of consumer-recorded videos, anywhere in the world, in minutes. Combining this with automated analytics and sharing tools means researchers can benefit from the richness of video and find and share influential video insights with stakeholders


Q: What does it mean to humanize market research and how does this play into the future of the customer experience?

A: For too long, we have been overwhelmed by an abundance of data. This has resulted in many major companies focusing on reporting scores, rather than sharing true customer stories. Humanizing our research and/or customer experience programs is all about seeing the stories behind these scores, be they CSAT, NPS or Customer Effort. Agile video tools achieve this by adding a qualitative lens to deepen customer understanding and bring dull data and charts to life. Engagement is also a critical part of humanizing insight. For customers, modern tools enable them to share their own experience, in their own words to provide unfiltered context. This, in turn, proves to be far more engaging, and human, when shared internally – influencing even the most senior stakeholders in any business. Video will play a critical role in humanizing the approach and solutions like VideoCX will be the drivers behind the future of CX.

Voxpopme Announces Four New Partnerships

DelviniaDigsiteInvoke Solutions, and Protobrand now offer their clients seamless access to video feedback

Birmingham, UK [16 May 2018] — This week Voxpopme adds four new partnership integrations with leading technology platforms Delvinia, Digsite, Invoke Solutions and Protobrand. These integrations indicate the growing demand for better storytelling and humanizing research data.

Delvinia is the first to offer Voxpopme video insights in the Canadian market through their AskingCanadians panel. Delvinia’s Methodify platform offers companies automated custom research solutions for faster, more agile research, now made even more powerful by the inclusion of video feedback.

Digsite welcomes Voxpopme to its agile qualitative Sprints and online communities. This integration enables brands and agencies to quickly incorporate video quotes and clip reels into their research reports, delivering rich insights and rapid iteration in a single study.

Invoke Solutions offers qualitative feedback at quantitative scale, enabling clients to make a decision in 90 minutes. This offering is now made even more powerful with the inclusion of video-based input to get deeper insights from consumers in real-time.

Protobrand is powering their Meta4 Insight methodology with video-based open response questions to elicit deep-seated System 1 responses. These System 1 videos yield richer and more emotional data compared to traditional open-end questions.

These new partnerships add to Voxpopme’s already impressive roster, including the Fuel Cycle Exchange and Zappistore integrations which allow for seamless integrations of video insight to communities and automated, agile methodologies respectively.

Voxpopme’s market-leading video analytics help brands see the people behind the data, driving customer-centric decisions through video research. Users can identify key themes in consumers’ feedback, helping achieve a depth of understanding unobtainable through text.

“The growth of our strategic partnerships indicate a major shift in the way brands and researchers make data-driven business decisions. It’s now more important than ever that brands understand their customers more deeply, and we’re proud to be powering industry-leading partners who understand the value of video insight and see the growing demand for real, human feedback.” Dave Carruthers, CEO & Founder of Voxpopme.

Tech-Insights Companies Zappi and Voxpopme Announce Partnership

London, UK – ZappiStore welcomes Voxpopme to its automation platform, offering Zappi users the option to enhance their insights with Voxpopme video response add-ons. Going live in the US and UK imminently, and 10 more markets by June 2018.

Users of ZappiStore’s Creative suite will now be able to add open-ended video responses, with access to Voxpopme analytics for a deeper, personable way to obtain insights.

Voxpopme’s market-leading video analytics help brands see the people behind the data, driving customer-centric decisions through video research. Brands can identify key themes in consumers’ feedback, helping achieve a depth of understanding unobtainable through text.

Ryan Barry, CRO at ZappiStore commented: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Voxpopme. With Voxpopme, we welcome to the platform deep context and rich meaning through video, helping our clients truly understand their customers.  Voxpopme puts video at the forefront of research studies, not only making market research faster and cheaper, but also using modern functionality to make research better.”

“It’s fantastic to be partnering with ZappiStore. Like Voxpopme, ZappiStore has led the way when it comes to the automation of research methodologies by delivering rich insight, at speed and scale, for leading brands. Our commercial, technological and cultural goals are very much aligned. This has made it easy to craft a cross-functional integration that maximises research value through the addition of video insight and analytics to ZappiStore’s powerful platform.”  Dave Carruthers, CEO & Founder of Voxpopme

About ZappiStore:

ZappiStore delivers Insight through automation. By automating manual processes behind market research, we enable clients and agencies to capitalize on the cost and time efficiencies technology unlocks. We aim for these efficiencies to empower consumer insight by bringing it in the business decision process early and often.

About Voxpopme

Voxpopme is the world’s #1 video insight platform with an impressive global client list of brands and agencies. We help businesses and brands see the people behind the data to drive real customer-centric decision-making. Our unique technology lets clients capture customer videos at speed, analyse at scale and share with ease. With Voxpopme, every data point used to make decisions can be backed up by the real human story.

FUEL CYCLE Leverages Voxpopme’s Video Research Capability To Unlock Deeper Customer Insights

FUEL CYCLE has partnered with video analysis specialists Voxpopme to help marketers and researchers quickly capture customer feelings and sentiment to gain strategic advantages.

ARTICLE FIRST PUBLISHED BY FUEL CYCLE, LOS ANGELES — OCTOBER 23, 2017 — Video enables researchers to capture six times more content and 65 percent more themes than traditional survey methods. However, analyzing videos has previously been an extremely time-consuming process, preventing businesses from gaining the unique insights made possible by video research. To remove these barriers, leading market research and community intelligence platform provider FUEL CYCLE today launched a new video capture and analysis capability that reduces the amount of time required to analyze videos from days to minutes.

In partnership with Voxpopme, a video research innovator that makes it easier to capture video insights, analyze them at scale and present key findings, FUEL CYCLE’s new video solution gives brands instant access to transcribed, quality-assured, and time-coded video data. Marketers, researchers, and business managers can easily create visual reports and highlight reels of key findings that can be used for meetings, brainstorming, and boardroom presentations.

Video enables brands to capture and analyze customer experiences and emotions at a deeper level, including in-store behavior, ad campaign testing, product sampling, and more.

Video can be captured by mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop devices right from the FUEL CYCLE platform, without the need to install plugins or additional mobile apps.

Video analysis results include:

  • Transcription—Lightning quick transcribing of spoken words just minutes after a response is recorded, with the ability to create word clouds to reveal key phrases.
  • Theme Explorer—Automated organization of content into key topics to find the best video snippets, with easily accessed time-coded transcripts and advanced thematic analysis.
  • Sentiment Analysis—Determine the attitude of respondents, creating a sortable and searchable picture of how users answered questions.
  • Advanced Search & Filter—Explore all transcribed results and reach key insights quickly, with the ability to pass searchable additional data or add custom tags to individual videos that allow similar responses to be collated.

“The most successful businesses today capture intelligence from any medium—whether that be surveys, text, or videos,” said Rick Kelly, Vice President of Products at FUEL CYCLE. “Our integration with Voxpopme enables our customers to quickly generate insights from the thousands of videos shared on our platform each year.”

Voxpopme launches new ‘Moments’ app for agile video diary studies

Video research innovator Voxpopme today launched a new, dedicated app-based qualitative solution, specifically for diary studies, called Moments.

Available for iOS and Android, the Moments app will enable researchers to seamlessly run video diary studies by inviting consumers to respond to questions and tasks via videos recorded across any number of days and weeks.

Researchers invite respondents to the app by providing a unique study code. This grants access to questions, further instructions, media links and survey links – making in-store shop-alongs, product experiences and more possible in any diary study.

Studies using Moments can be deployed instantly, with flexibility regarding length of video response, duration of study and recruitment. Researchers will also benefit from Voxpopme’s automated analytics, enabling ongoing in-app engagement between researcher and respondent based on real-time insights.

Moments complements Voxpopme’s array of video capture solutions which provide agile end-to-end video tools for both qualitative and quantitative researchers through innovative technology-driven research solutions.

Dave Carruthers, Founder & CEO at Voxpopme commented:

“Video diary studies have long been a vital tool for qualitative researchers looking to understand the daily lives of consumers. Voxpopme Moments, the latest addition to our growing suite of video solutions, is designed to turn this tried and tested method into an agile solution. Moments will allow video diaries to be launched immediately and, when paired with our instant analytics, it will enable real-time analysis and engagement with respondents.”

Voxpopme announces video partnership with Kantar

Voxpopme today announced a partnership with Kantar, the world’s leading marketing insights and consultancy company, bringing scalable video insight to Kantar clients through its market-leading technology.

Addressing a growing client need for speed and impact in market research, this partnership with Voxpopme provides Kantar with the tools to connect with consumers across the world via video feedback. Kantar will use these new capabilities in researching marketing challenges such as product testing, brand positioning and communication testing, shopper insights and customer experience.

Kantar can now integrate short video responses and interactions from consumer surveys, tap into Voxpopme’s on-demand communities to capture instant feedback, and effectively make use of video from qualitative groups, interviews and ethnographic research for enhanced human storytelling. Voxpopme’s full suite of analytical and sharing capabilities rapidly bring data and consumer insights to life and provide a visually rich way for clients to hear directly from consumers through features such as:

  • time-coded transcription
  • thematic coding
  • sentiment analysis and
  • customisable showreel creation.

Kantar also benefits from Voxpopme’s freshly announced collaboration with Affectiva, providing facial coding to detect both the engagement levels and emotional states of respondents throughout their video responses.

The partnership further emphasizes the upward trajectory of videos use in research, thanks to technological advancements and Kantar’s passion for developing a unique and complete understanding of people, across the world.

Simon Falconer, Kantar Global Innovation Planning Director, commented:

“At Kantar, we are huge believers in the power of video and wanted to partner with a company that shared this vision and made the process of working with video easy. Voxpopme brings industry-leading technology, a proven track record and a global team that can match our ambition and high standard of delivery to our clients.”

Dave Carruthers, Voxpopme CEO, commented:

“We’re thrilled to partner with Kantar at a group level.  We’ve been collaborating with individual brands under the Kantar umbrella for some time and have witnessed the appetite for video from their clients.  We expect this demand to grow exponentially and this partnership will make it even easier for researchers across the globe to put their customers at the heart of decisions with fast, effective video research.”

Seeing things through the eyes of consumers

Mobile technology and fly-on-the-wall digital video research are proving to be a breakthrough in understanding the behaviour of previously difficult-to-reach consumers

For 50 years researchers have known that the research we do isn’t always the research we need. Results may take weeks or months. When we respond to surveys, we hold back or make ourselves look good or misremember. We know a lot about middle-class households in rich economies, but much less about how people work and live in the developing world.

Mobile and video technology is changing all this. For example, the idea of the vox pop isn’t new – companies send out a film crew to accost random consumers in the street. The cost and the time of editing the footage meant that results are expensive and may take weeks to reach the people who make decisions. But, because those people know next to nothing about the interviewees, the voices they hear are a poor basis for decision-making.

In contrast, when Channel 5 wants to do a vox pop, it asks members of the public who take its conventional surveys to use their webcams to do their own vox pops. Within 48 hours, those responses have been transcribed, analysed for sentiment, edited and delivered, ready for the weekly editorial meeting.

Tom Beasley, Channel 5’s viewer insight manager, uses the clips to support his traditional audience research, helping schedulers and commissioners to understand what’s behind the viewing figures. “We might be trapped in our own little bubble, so we want to get the opinion of the public,” he says. “Everyone in the meeting wants to find out what the viewers say, even if it’s not always what they want to hear.”

Previously, these opinions were gathered using surveys that contained what the researchers call “open text” – a box, usually at the end of a list of questions, in which you can say anything you want. Open text can be useful in the same way as vox pops are. Surveys often ask only about things the company thinks is important, completely missing the other important information about what we love and hate.

But, confronted with the survey equivalent of a blank sheet of paper, Channel 5’s viewers tend to freeze: “The viewers often give one-word answers, or say ‘it was good’ or ‘I didn’t like it’,” Mr Beasley says.

Dave Carruthers, founder and chief executive of Voxpopme, which provides Channel 5’s video surveys, as well as working with companies such as Barclays and Tesco, says: “We find that video interviews give six or eight times as much content as open text and we’re capturing emotion too. Seeing consumers saying things in their own words is far more compelling internally than statistics alone. It has the emotional value to go with the rational value of big data.”

Selfie vox pops also reach decision-makers more quickly. For example, Voxpopme uses crowdsourcing to transcribe the responses so they are searchable within ten minutes of being recorded. Digital video can be delivered and searched in hours, rather than waiting for a final edit. When interviewees are part of an existing panel, they can be selected by age or background.

When volunteers share their phone’s location data, researchers have an idea who has seen an advertisement, even a billboard, and can match it to their subsequent shopping behaviour with greater accuracy
When volunteers share their phone’s location data, researchers have an idea who has seen an advertisement, even a billboard, and can match it to their subsequent shopping behaviour with greater accuracy

The impact of AI

Nevertheless, in vox pops we’re still explaining how we feel. Realeyes, a company created by researchers into artificial intelligence (AI) at the University of Oxford, takes this a step further by using AI to watch our response and automatically measure our emotions when we watch advertising. Peter Haslett, director of customer development at Realeyes, says: “People are not good at pointing out ‘that works’ or ‘I am engaged’.”

Quantifying a response in this way has the advantage that it generates reportable numbers. So when volunteers watch advertisements for clients, such as Coca-Cola or adidas, the application automatically recognises fleeting facial expressions. It can spot which moments grab and retain audience attention, and creates scores that compare with a reference database of 8,000 advertisements to predict the engagement and emotional impact that drive sales.

Letting people do their own research using video and mobile is cheap enough that we are learning much more about how different types of communities live

Using a 300-person test, the company claims it can predict advertising that will have a high sales lift with 75 per cent accuracy and videos which will encourage high charity donations to an accuracy of 67 per cent.

Helping to research our unconscious emotions, or those we feel uncomfortable communicating out loud, are potential future applications for the technology that underpins Realeyes. “Detecting emotions could be used for medical research – how do we feel about what the doctor is saying? Or education – are students confused or inspired?” Mr Haslett explains.

Emerging market research methods

Putting people first

Letting people do their own research using video and mobile is also cheap enough that we are learning much more about how different types of communities live. By combining passive measurement, video and mobile technology, weseethrough has conducted research in the last 12 months in countries such as Ghana, Egypt, Brazil, Nigeria and Vietnam. “We are interested in collecting actual behaviour. We try to get people to record video for us for hours, even days,” says Duncan Roberts, weseethrough’s chief technology officer.

The company specialises in domestic subjects in difficult-to-reach locations and communities that researchers have been forced to ignore in the past. It has done this by asking volunteers to use Google Glass, the futuristic spectacles with cameras, which were a commercial failure, but great for ethnographic researchers.

The glasses film constantly and when a subject enters a room, or at particular times, Google Glass automatically asks them to talk about what they are doing and why. The resulting stream-of-consciousness videos have been a revelation in the head offices of clients including Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s and IKEA that have witnessed the everyday lives of customers through their own eyes.

Among the highlights was a Brazilian housewife who uses her husband’s toothbrush to scrub the shower, before replacing the toothbrush in the mug, or a Nigerian mother explaining that it’s difficult to open packaging while simultaneously cooking by torchlight and holding a baby.

According to Liam Corcoran, vice president of advertising and audience measurement at Research Now, many more of us will passively take part in research in the future thanks to mobile devices.

For example, for decades researchers such as Research Now have tried to evaluate how effective advertising is based on a guesstimate called “opportunities to see”, which relies on information we remember or report in diaries – which newspaper we read, which television programmes we watch, our route to work in the morning.

But when volunteers share their phone’s location data, researchers have a much better idea who has seen an advertisement, even a billboard, and can match it to their subsequent shopping behaviour with much greater accuracy.

At weseethrough, Mr Roberts speculates that in the future we might also be paid to share our mobile and video data with researchers, for example from home security video cameras. In his experience, when the goal of the project is explained clearly, subjects have been happy to share surprisingly intimate video logs of their personal lives. “We do an awful lot of censorship,” he adds.