Motivational research is based on Freudian interpretation; socially unacceptable needs are channeled into acceptable outlets; product use is motivated by unconscious forces in-depth interview about product usage compared to representative sample information The campaign for Esso "put a tiger in your tank"
Motivational research is appealing because of cost efficiency ( small group interviewed) and insights, intuitive sense Motivational research became big in the 50's under Ernst Dichter an archetypical European shrink. According to Dichter humans were immature irrational and insecure with erotic desires Dichter claimed women smoked more when they viewed erect cigarettes in the hands of other women. He also recommended increasing the size of the original Barbie's boobs "Be smart, get a fresh start with Ivory soap," because bathing, in its old ritualistic, anthropological sense, is getting rid of all your bad feelings, your sins, your immorality, and cleansing yourself, baptism, etc. (Ernst Dichter, describing his first motivation research study) Read more about Dichter and sex in advertising in this Economist article Sex and Advertising: Retail Therapy Dichter fell out of favour in the 60's but Louis Cheskin continued with motivational research. Today it continues to be re-invented as psychometrics- factor-analysis, multidimensional scaling and data clustering Read an article from Sept 07 at Motivational Research? But motivational research is attacked by many because of power to manipulate and over emphasis on analyst's conclusion and influence of Freud and sex Validity of Motivational research is enhanced when combined with other research techniques One neo Freudian Karen Horney proposed three type of people: compliant (those moving towards others), detached (those moving away from others, aggressive (those moving against others) ; compliant people in studies gravitate to name brands; aggressive prefer strong masculine named products
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