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Fun With Marketers

Cultivate strange tastes and seek out product trials.
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That's it, really. Ideally, get a group of friends together (make some first, if necessary) and join focus groups. Many market research companies will pay testers and survey-takers, if very modestly, making this a hobby well-suited to lifestyles full of leisure and empty of money, such as that of the North American university student. Your answers and claims will need to be unexpected but believable. Careful, coordinated and conscientious efforts may succeed in bringing utterly unwanted or unsuitable products into local markets -- parkas in Ghana, books in Utah, that sort of thing.

Medical trials pay much better, but mucking about with them would unfortunately be an extremely evil thing to do.

This has no doubt been done before, but what hasn't?

Monkfish, Nov 18 2000

(?) Gattaca -- Flash site http://www.gattaca.com/
This is how cool mucking with medical trials is. [reensure, Nov 18 2000]

Pine Cone Research http://www.pineconeresearch.com/
They pay 5$ a completed questionnaire. I've gotten two in the last month or so. <And I don't make any money from referring people> [StarChaser, Nov 18 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) A similar rant on the subject http://www.fxpal.xe...follies/jamming.htm
I didn't consider the fun of enlisting others to skew the results! [rmutt, Nov 18 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Books in Utah? That's not exactly dolphin in tuna.
reensure, Nov 19 2000

       Sorry. The Utah bit was just a freak sequence of typos.
Monkfish, Nov 20 2000

       Perhaps you misspelled "evolution books in Kansas." HTH.
rmutt, Nov 21 2000

       I'm not keen on putting myself up for product trials (unless it's Glow in the Dark Beer of course) but I do indulge in Torment the Street Corner Questionnaire Person on occasion. They look so sad as they stand around in busy shopping centres being ignored by one and all. See their hang dog expressions turn to pathetic eagerness as you make eye contact and their hopes of fulfilling their daily quota of completed questionnaires suddenly soar...only to be crushed as you demand cash in return for your valuable marketting information...and then trampled in the dirt as you lecture them on the ethics of selling on information for a profit which was given freely. Hey, it's a hobby!
DrBob, Nov 21 2000

       Jam the Marketeers: Do this *and* get paid. I've got paid up to $200 for 1.5 hrs. Usually it's $60 or so. It depends on how specialized the area of research is. Call up all the market research companys in your area and tell them you want to sign up for focus groups. When they 1st sign you up they will ask you a bunch of questions. Be creative: but make your answers inclusive & vague when you can be, the more categories you can be in, the better. You watch a lot of TV, like beer, like everything! Let the questioner lead you. Give the answers you think they want. Be vague if you are not sure want answer they. Leave your answers open. Like Q: "What kind of beer do you drink?" A: "I like different kinds... I like X..." Q: "Do you drink Y?" A: "Sure"... They *want* to put *you* in a focus group. They don't want to waste their time calling someone else to qualify them. They are not supposed to use someone who has done a a focus group in the last 6 months. Once in the group, jam away. Tell them the marketing idea is insulting to your intelligence. Tell them it makes the product look stupid. Send them down the wrong avenues. But make it logical.
kgb, Dec 14 2000

       Mr. Rogers works hand in hand with the KGB -- The Dead Milkmen
AfroAssault, Jan 07 2001

       I've done this. It's a blast. Another thing I like is playing with the heads of telemarketers. I don't get pissy with them--I mean, they're just doing a job, and they probably hate it, too--but I do have fun. Like if some old lady calls from Olan Mills and wants to know if we'd like to have portraits taken, I'll let her do her whole spiel and then I'll say something like, "Do you do nudes?" Okay, that's not my best one, but it's a quick example, just so you get the idea.   

       I figure it sort of makes their day. I've gotten lots of laughs. It's got to be a drag getting yelled at and hung up on all the time, so the way I see it, I'm sort of performing a public service.
rachele, Jan 20 2001

       Heh...I once had some free time and was bored, and a telespammer called me selling vinyl siding. I played with him for 45 minutes, asking questions, 'Hold on, I want to write this down', and so on...Finally, I said 'Ok, I'll take this <most expensive> type in this color, blah blah blah...' Could almost hear him wetting himself as he asked for my address so he could send someone over to estimate..."<Yadda yadda yadda> apartment 2210." "Apartment? You live in an apartment? Why didn't you tell me!?" "Not my job to do your homework, Sparky." <click>   

       That was wonderfully satisfying...
StarChaser, Jan 20 2001


       YES! Fabulous--and hilarious.
rachele, Jan 20 2001

       I once confused marketers without even intending to. Several years ago I was dragged into a booth and asked my opinion about two different cola drinks. I actually preferred the one that was sweeter and smoother, and said the other was harsher and more "acidy." A couple of months later, New Coke was launched. Sorry, folks, I guess that disaster was partly my fault. If they had asked me the right question (i.e., "Should we re-formulate Coke?"), I like to think I would have given them the right answer.
beauxeault, Feb 22 2001

       In order to significantly thwart surveys without agreeing on a policy with friends every time, one would have to agree beforehand to have some well-defined, but random-seeming preference -- for example, to choose the question that is the lexically latest in the alphabet from multiple choice questions.   

       "New coke" over "Coke"? Of course!
Best US state for middle-income families raising kids? Wyoming.
Are you very opposed or very much in favor? Very opposed.
No or yes? Yes.
jutta, Feb 22 2001

       I've heard it claim that the New Coke fiasco was due in part to the fact that people prefer a *taste* of the sweeter, smoother drink, but if they're going to drink a whole can the tarter Classic Coke is better.   

       If so, [beauxeault] can feel a little less culpable, for better or worse.
egnor, Feb 22 2001

       As long as we are talking about how to subvert unwanted marketing...I recently heard it suggested that you take all of those pre-paid return envelopes (they arrive with every credit card offer) and send them back with nothing filled out. This way the company pays for the postage for nothing. Stuff the envelope with other useless junk mail and it may arrive at the company with postage due.
blahginger, Feb 22 2001

       Even better is to put sheets and slabs of steel, iron, rocks, or other heavy stuff. Then they have to pay several dollars in postage on delivery. By the way, that came from /.
oooga, Feb 23 2001

       I've been doing the junk mail thing for a while. Most of them have a 'if undelivered return to...' address on the back. If you cross your name through on the front and write 'Not known at this address' before you post it back this not only rids you of tedious junk mail but also seems to get you removed from their mailing lists. Result!
DrBob, Feb 23 2001

       I used to put all kinds of stuff in pre-paid return envelopes. They sent me junk mail (when I had a "No Junk Mail Please" sign on my mail box) and I sent them junk. It started small - the wrapper from the chocolate bar I was eating when I found the offending item. Things got silly from there: orange peels, floor sweepings, cheese, sand. In each one was a small note that read "No junk mail means NO junk mail."

Then there were the "Addressee Deceased, Return to Sender" incidents...
sirrobin, Feb 23 2001

       <grin!> Unabubba, I like that idea...in the US, though, it seems that the post office will not honor the prepaid postage thing if it's on something outrageous. There were incidents where people were pasting them to bricks and mailing them, and things were done over it.   

       I've several times crammed a bunch of junk mail into a prepaid envelope and sent it back to them, after stripping off everything with my name on it. I'm sure they just dump the overstuffed envelopes without opening, but it should at least cost them a bit more in postage.
StarChaser, Feb 24 2001

       I was once a Nielsen family for a month. I used the opportunity to heavily promote my favorite shows claiming that I not only watched the shows, but taped them, taped the re-runs, distributed the tapes to my friends, sold them over the Internet to viewers in foreign countries, etc.   

       I suppose that didn't really 'cultivate strange tastes' but my tastes do seem to run counter to what's popular.   

       In retrospect, another wasted chance to raise the ratings for public access porn.
calixton, Jan 21 2002

       My parents have one of those homescan things. I tell it that I buy a 3 pound roll of rebar tie wire every week. Hmm, I wonder if this is why the hardware stores keep closing down around here...   

       Maybe I should go back to scanning the same porno fill over and over again every day.   

       If a telemarketer calls, you're supposed to ask for their phone number, and promise to call back. Find out their time zone so you can do so at 5:45, and talk to them as long as possible.
ye_river_xiv, Jul 31 2006


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