Today I’m going to show you a shitty ad campaign that has gone on way past it’s expiration date. But here’s the catch: You can only respond using emojis. Because I’m trying to force a narrative that I’m fun and hip, while also gleaning no useful information about the quality of my product from this panel of people I’m paying for.
Oh no, wait. That’s what Chevy is doing.
Look, focus groups are stupid and useless. As Jordan McDeere once told us, these things have a fantastic history of success at failing to predict success. Searching for “focus groups failures” bring us nearly two millions results. And many of these thinkpieces actually pre-date internet thinkpieces, going back to the early 2000s. This has been the opinion of places like Bloomberg, for at least a decade, and yet here comes Chevy to prove them wrong.
The most common complaint about focus groups is that the opinions they get aren’t honest. And why would they be? You bring people in, give them food or water or money for their time. How could they say anything but nice things? And that’s before you limit their responses to emojis. But then you don’t even limit their responses. They follow up their emoji response by explaining why they chose it. You’re undercutting your whole premise less than 10 seconds after you announced it!
And these statements you’re making, of course they’re going to garner positive responses. You’re not asking them to rate how the car actually works, or if these features stand the test of time. If you told me a new toaster had built in 4G LTE WiFi, I’d send you the emoji of me handing you a bunch of money. But what about the first time that WiFi fails to work as advertised? Or when I find out you failed to tell me about the cost of having said WiFi? Or that you have a history of lying about the MPG of my new toaster? Then I’m sending you a shit emoji.