Augmented Reality Mirror

March 27th, 2015 in branding, emerging technology, Fashion, iPhone, market research, technology | Tagged , , | by | Leave a comment

L’Oreal Paris has designed an augmented reality makeup mirror, Makeup Genius, which uses facial mapping technology to allow users to virtually try products. The platform turns the front-facing camera of a smartphone or tablet into a virtual mirror and allows users to instantly apply makeup onto their own reflection in real-time.


Download the app here

With the launch of this app and other similar apps we could see a future in the augmented reality testing of other products. Cool!


Not Enough Ad Dollars for the Internet

March 23rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | by | 1 Comment


No doubt the advent of internet services such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have changed the way many of us communicate and view the world. While these services are deemed to “revolutionize” business, I don’t understand the hype in business fundamentals, since the financials underlying their business models, in themselves, haven’t changed much from traditional channels of marketing communications from a generation or two ago.

The goal of internet companies is, more or less, to pull Madison Avenue ad dollars from more traditional forms of print, radio and television media and direct these dollars to digital. That’s it. Oh sure, there are different ways to measure, or count, how much an advertiser has to pay these services for mediating their messaging, but so was the case when radio and television was invented and syphoned from print advertising revenue. New media, old model.

Yet, big advertisers only spend so much money a year in advertising, roughly $560 billion according to Zenith Optimedia. Digital can, and will, continue to pull these dollars away from big ticket broadcast television advertising, but it’s a zero-sum gain, as there are only so many ad dollars out there. The result? Trouble. Online ad spending is growing at an increasingly normative pace (about $130 billion now), with services such as Google and Facebook enticing fewer and fewer new users. i.e., like ad dollars, there are only so many people. At the same time, these brands’ market valuations continue to soar.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for soaring market values of firms that earn them, but the time is fast approaching for these digital behemoths to find a new set of business fundamentals on which to evaluate their revenue trajectory and subsequent future financial health. Agency media planners can send only so many ad dollars their way. They already sent Google half of this year’s online ad spend. Then what? Will they then develop a subscriber-based model such as Netflix, or will I pay to use Google or Facebook as I do for wireless at home? Will they become utilities like electricity and water? If so, still only a limited subscriber base, and hence valuations akin to your grandfather’s utility stocks, this is a diet these companies are not use to. This, or whatever else emerges, will take time; does Wall Street have the patience?




Get to Know W5 – Questionnaire

March 6th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Tagged , | by | Leave a comment

This monthly blog post will highlight one W5er with a fun questionnaire that will provide a snapshot of who we are as a company and as individuals. Today we meet Amy, a W5 brand ambassador by day, a yoga fanatic and running junkie by night (and full-time vegetarian and Texas Longhorn – hook ‘em!).


W5 SPOTLIGHT: Informing Product Development for Brand Extension

February 23rd, 2015 in market research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | by | Leave a comment

With historically low interest rates and strong corporate balance sheets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are very attractive in today’s marketplace. Sometimes M&A make sense (think AT&T & direcTV or Facebook & WhatsApp) and other times they can be quite tricky (think Quaker & Snapple or eBay & Skype). Conducting marketing research on the brink of M&A can be critical to future success of the brands involved. An apparel company recently partnered with W5 to uncover the opportunities and challenges presented by a newly acquired sub-brand. Check out the case study below to see how W5 approached this specific engagement.


Informing Product Development for Brand Extension

After a heritage outdoor equipment and apparel company acquired a specialized sub-brand, the company sought to explore opportunities for extending the brand equity of the sub-brand into the mass retail channel. Two specific products were in development and the client desired consumer feedback on the appeal and prioritization of benefits, features, and design elements for each.


W5 conducted a customized quantitative survey with a statistically robust sample of a target market for both the brand and specific products proposed. Though the brand successfully markets in the specialty channel, which is aspirational and often shopped among the broad target, consideration and shopping of mass retail was also important for this research. The research focused on product needs, benefit priorities, and reactions to how the specific products would be developed and marketed.


W5 provided positive consumer feedback to the client on both proposed products, and communicated the consumer priority of features with reliable statistics and visual reporting. Initial assessments of consumers’ basic price sensitivity for the products were helpful for the client’s product development and channel strategy decisions. Additionally, direct consumer feedback on a variety of product options was appreciated and helpful in informing design and marketing plans not only for the tested products but for other projects in the pipeline.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact:

The “Social” Super Bowl

February 4th, 2015 in advertising, culture, data visualization, infographics, internet, Media, social networking, technology | Tagged , | by | Leave a comment

Super Bowl XLIX offered all the drama we always hope for out of one of the biggest entertainment and social events of the year. Aside from being the most watched Super Bowl – and TV show – in history, it was also notably the highest rated Super Bowl among adults age 18-49 in over 30 years. This is surely welcome news for all those companies that paid out a record $4.5 million for a 30 second TV ad during the Super Bowl.

All of those interested and invested in social media marketing were also likely equally pleased to hear that this year’s Super Bowl generated more social media engagement than any Super Bowl to date with over 265 million Facebook posts, likes, and comments and over 28 million tweets during the game. Interestingly, the appearance of hashtags during Super Bowl ads went down slightly this year compared to last year with 50% of this year’s nationally-run ads including hashtags compared to 57% of last year’s ads. So which of those hashtags actually resonated with viewers and inspired people to use them? According to MediaPost, the top trending hashtags of this year’s Super Bowl were #empowering from Microsoft, #bestbuds from Budweiser, and #likeagirl from Always.

In terms of social sharing, Budweiser was the big winner with it’s “Lost Dog” ad which had over 2 million shares on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. For more on the stats and winners of the “Social” Super Bowl check out the infographic below!


Get to Know W5 – Questionnaire

February 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | Tagged | by | Leave a comment

This monthly blog post will highlight one W5er with a fun questionnaire that will provide a snapshot of who we are as a company and as individuals. Today we meet Julia, a Heels fan whose spirit animal is a cross between a dragon and a unicorn.





January 27th, 2015 in market research | Tagged , , , | by | Leave a comment

Every once in a while, we like to share what we’ve been up to,  including how our research engagements have helped our clients achieve their business goals and some of the lessons learned. This case study highlights W5′s approach to a large scale consumer journey project that encompasses multiple retailers.

This project was a prime example of how consumer journey mapping can bring clarity to the consumer purchase process and identify opportunities for clients within.

Exploring Retail Messaging and Merchandising Strategies

W5 partnered with an advertising agency and their client, a national wireless carrier with a retail presence in thousands of locations across multiple retailers. The wireless carrier was in the early stages of planning their short and long-term retail messaging and merchandising strategy, and looked to W5 to provide consumer insight and help visualize the consumer shopping journey.


W5 designed a large-scale qualitative and quantitative research approach to map the consumer journey at their top retail partners. Online Discussions were conducted to capture a broad understanding of the category as well as perceptions of the shopping experience at each retailer. This was supplemented with Ethnography to observe specific points in the shopper journey and Internal Interviews with employees to understand the communication challenges within each retailer. A quantitative Online Survey capped the research, validating the key stages of the consumer journey and other hypotheses and insights.


W5 developed in-depth profiles and shopper journey maps for each retailer, highlighting key messaging and merchandising touchpoints. These insights and journey maps provided a foundation for the advertising agency and client to build a strategy to meet consumers’ needs by delivering new and innovative retail experiences at each stage in the purchase process.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5’s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact:

2015 Super Bowl

January 19th, 2015 in advertising, culture, Uncategorized | Tagged | by | Leave a comment

The Super Bowl’s commercial breaks are always a flashy affair. I have made sure to watch every one since moving to the United States, always talking through the game and asking people to quiet down during the breaks. Thankfully, there have always been a handful of friends with careers in Advertising so I wasn’t the only one! As the date approaches we’ve all been keeping watch of the updates, not unlike our football-loving friends who enjoy the games leading up to the championship.

NBC is seeking $4.5 million per 30-second spot, breaking FOX’s $4 million price tag of last year. Almost all the spots have been called. Anheuser-Busch is taking up a whopping 3 minutes and thirty seconds this year. Interestingly, Bud Light will have two ads from two different agencies (Anomaly and EnergyBBDO). Anomaly is also developing a Budweiser ad. You’ll be able to watch them online one week before the Super Bowl.

Avocados From Mexico also grabbed a spot. It would seem odd to advertise a warm-weather fruit in the middle of winter but but the company says Super Bowl is a big day for avocados, with more than 700 million avocados sold last year.

Also showing up for the first time is Carnival Corp (Carnival Cruise Lines, etc) who will show an ad directed by Wally Pfister who worked on The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception.

Dove+Men comes back to the Super Bowl this year building off the same concept of five years ago. After a four-year hiatus, BMW also comes back to the Super Bowl but is being very quiet about the spot.  Coca-Cola has also been quiet about their ad, but I’m hoping it will be as disruptive as last year’s “America the Beautiful.”


Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” was arguably the best played campaign last year. The same competition will be going on this year. I hate seeing the same things over again (Puppy + Bud Light again? Groaaan), but am actually pretty excited to see what ‘the people’ will come up with.

GoDaddy (yawn) will also be appearing, this time with a puppy and a competition…looking at you, Doritos and Anheuser-Busch.

I’m looking forward to seeing Loctite’s and Skittles’ spots and the repercussions of Wix’s spot. Will probably go for the guac when the car ones come on.

I’m hoping McKinney is directing Nationwide’s spot but I’m hearing it will be Super Bowl expert Ogilvy+Mather. It would be nice to see some NC rep in the Super Bowl this year.

Tech trends

January 16th, 2015 in emerging technology, internet, technology | Tagged , , , | by | Leave a comment

Technology and the way people interact with devices have always been in our DNA here at W5. We continue to be intrigued and curious to understand, and help our clients understand, the role of technology in consumers’ lives. As we become more and more connected and the Internet of Things (IoT) infiltrates more and more objects – from cars and homes, to watches and belts – people’s expectations, perceived value and barriers to adoption will shift. Anticipating these shifts will be advantageous for companies looking to secure market, and wallet share moving forward.

The CES, Consumer Electronic Show, is a hot bed for innovation. This year’s show features products from Mercedes-Benz F 015, a self-driving concept car, to LG’s multitasking Twin Wash washing machine and everything in between. While some products are closer than others to hitting the marketplace, the bigger question is which products will actually be meaningful to consumers? In this video, Google Think speaks to Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist and Director of Research at the Consumer Electronics Association, Ryan Barnett, Partner Technology Manager on Android Wear; Henry Newton-Dunn, designer on Android; and Avinash Kaushik, Google digital marketing evangelist to get their take on the big trends and what they mean for businesses.

Beyond the Tech Trends: A CES 2015 Recap highlights key questions companies should consider as daily life continues to be reimagined including:

  • Are we there for customers in the moments they need us?
  • Are we gathering the right data and insights and getting smarter and better with each customer interaction?
  • Are we embracing speed as a value in everything we do?
  • Can we reimagine our business to create breakthroughs?

Check out Google Think’s full article here.



December 15th, 2014 in market research | by | Leave a comment

It’s time for another Case Study! Here at W5 we like to share what we’ve been doing, including recent research studies that have helped clients achieve their business goals.

Evaluating consumer input before introducing a new idea is vital to its success. Whether a new product, ad creative, or brand, concept testing helps gauge consumer interest, uncovers how ideas are perceived, and determines the influence of this idea on consumers’ likelihood to engage, shop, or purchase.

Considering a research study’s objectives and goals, timeline, and budget, W5 employs various approaches to concept testing. In the case study below, W5 used Proto-Monadic testing, where participants evaluated multiple stimuli.


To keep up with changing marketplace dynamics in consumers’ pet care and dietary demands, a leading advertising agency developed three variant approaches to advertising their category-leading pet specialty retail client’s brand. The agency partnered with W5 to explore consumer reactions to the advertising approaches and ascertain which resonated with consumers and how.


W5 conducted online survey research with a balanced sample of consumers who shop the client’s stores, their pet specialty competitors’ stores, and grocery and mass channels for pet products. In addition to exploring consumers’ general category retail brand perceptions, W5 tested the three (3) advertising approaches in a proto-monadic design featuring both independent and comparative evaluation. Key metrics included appeal, relevance, brand fit, believability, and consumer likelihood to purchase at the client’s stores versus those of competitors. The survey enabled additional exploration to clarify key takeaways and summaries of each approach and its description, along with rationale for evaluation results.


W5 confirmed all three (3) approaches resonated with consumers, but one – more focused on pets as part of the family – was most appealing. Incorporating emotional themes and messaging drove consumer preference. Both quantitative statistics and qualitative open-end responses supported this conclusion, and peripheral study data around consumer prioritization of their pets’ well-being further validated an approach to brand positioning and messaging that combined both rational and emotional factors.

Spotlight is a special feature of the W5 Blog showcasing W5 consultants’ approach to designing marketing research studies, creating engaging deliverables, and informing strategy. For more information on W5′s approach to qualitative or quantitative research contact: