Unusual research for unusual advertising, mixing methods and minds

Date of publication: June 15, 1986


A striking new advertising campaign was produced for Benson & Hedges in France. Seven advertisements were prepared, and research was needed to establish, first, whether this campaign projected the image desired for the brand, and if so whether it was indeed viewed as a coherent campaign; and second, which of the seven advertisements would be most appropriate for the campaign. A secondary, but very important, question was whether it would be possible to advertise both the mainstream and the low tar products within this particular campaign. Since the research questions covered both smoker motivation and visual effectiveness, it was decided to use a number of qualitative research techniques, in conjunction with semiotic analysis of the advertisements. The paper discusses details of the methodology, and the areas in which each research process was found most valuable.

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