From Deprivation Research To Deprivation In Advertising
One consumer research technique that has been getting a lot of attention lately is deprivation research. It is a technique where something a consumer uses a lot is taken away, and then the researcher notes how they react both physically and emotionally to this deprivation over a period of time.
An example would be to recruit a Starbuck’s consumer and then take away their ritual morning latte for two weeks. Then you would record their behavior and their feelings over that time frame as their brand loyalty was being tested.
If done right, this type of research can really hone in on why people buy what they do and what can be done to enhance a specific product’s benefit delivery and/or marketing efforts.
What I find interesting is how this research technique has been used front and center recently in advertising campaigns to highlight consumer passions for products and brands.
The most widely known example is the Burger Kinger “Whopper Freakout” campaign. A recent Wall Street Journal article by Suzanne Vranica demonstrates how the technique was used to do both the research and then to form the centerpiece for the campaign.
My favorite line from this spot from the “Whopper Freakout” campaign is at the end, where a couple of interesting patrons suggest they may need to change the name to “Burger Queen”, now that the Whopper is no longer on the menu: