Method – Focus groups with private and collective viewing of TV shows
The Need – A media company that provides engaging, science-based and up-to-date health information was developing a TV channel directed towards people over 55. They wanted to test-market spots for a news show on senior health.
Our Solution – We ran a series of male and female focus groups where the participants were segmented by age (55-60, 60-65, and over 65). We designed the study to gather both participants’ private reaction to the spot as well as their collective feedback. In the first part of the focus group we asked participants to watch each spot on their own via an iPad with earbuds, and then answer individual survey questions. We then watched the spots a second time as a group which was followed by a free-flowing discussion. We asked participants to describe their reaction to each segment and whether they understood it, what they liked and disliked about it, whether it held their interest, provided enough depth, and how they might use the information. We then asked everyone to rate the news anchor on his authority, trustworthiness, and approachability.
Results – By observing the groups the client quickly saw vivid and distinct differences among the different age brackets. The over-65 participants, especially the older women, loved the show and the show’s anchor. In fact, several said they wanted to date him. The younger men were totally turned off by the material because they did not consider themselves as aging and were insulted that this content was directed at them. After learning this basic insight, the client realized that the show worked well for older viewers but that they needed to develop different content for the younger audience.