The Focus Group: Mister Squishy Essay

The Focus Group: Mister Squishy Essay

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The Focus Group was then reconvened in another of Reesemeyer
Shannon Belt Advertising’s nineteenth-floor conference rooms. Each
member returned his Individual Response Profile packets to the facilitator,
who thanked each in turn.The long conference table was equipped
with leather executive swivel chairs; there was no assigned seating.
Bottled spring water and caffeinated beverages were made available to
those who thought they might want them. The exterior wall of the
conference room was a thick tinted window with a broad high-altitude
view of points NE, creating a spacious, attractive, and more or less
natural-lit environment that was welcome after the bland fluorescent
enclosure of the testing cubicles. One or two members of the Targeted
Focus Group unconsciously loosened their neckties as they settled into
the comfortable chairs.
There were more samples of the product arranged on a tray at the
conference table’s center.
This facilitator, just like the one who’d led the large Product Test
and Initial Response assembly earlier that morning before all the
members of the different Focus Groups had been separated into individual
soundproof cubicles to complete their Individual Response
Profiles, held degrees in both Descriptive Statistics and Behavioral
Psychology and was employed by Team y, a cutting-edge market
research firm that Reesemeyer Shannon Belt Adv. had begun using almost
exclusively in recent years. This Focus Group’s facilitator was a
stout, palely freckled man with an archaic haircut and a warm if somewhat
nervous and complexly irreverent manner. On the wall next to
the door behind him was a presentation whiteboard with several Dry
Erase markers in its recessed aluminum sill.
The facilitator ...


... middle of paper ...


...rd),
resulting in double doses of an ultrarich and near-restaurant-grade
frosting whose central pocket — given that the thin coat of outer
frosting’s exposure to the air caused it to assume traditional icing’s
hard-yet-deliquescent marzipan character—seemed even richer, denser,
sweeter, and more felonious than the exterior icing, icing that in most
rivals’ Field tests’ IRPs and GRDS was declared consumers’ favorite
part. (Hostess’s lead agency Chiat/Day I.B.’s 1991–2 double-blind

Behavior series’ videotapes recorded over 45% of younger consumers
actually peeling off Ho Hos’ matte icing in great dry jagged flakes and
eating it solo, leaving the low-end cake itself to sit ossifying on their
tables’ Lazy Susans, film clips of which had reportedly been part of
R.S.B.’s initial pitch to Mister Squishy’s parent company’s Subsidiary
Product Development boys.)

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