They can be Delphic-like in their observations about life, and sometimes more Alf Garnett than Socrates when it comes to their prejudices, but Dublin taxi drivers do have an opinion on everything from Brexit to Bono. And in the world of marketing and advertising, other people’s opinions count.
With this in mind, the Dublin agency Rothco has created a short mini-series featuring the world’s taxi drivers, kicking off with taxi drivers in Dublin who give their views on what love actually means as they drive headlong into Valentine’s Day this weekend.
Rothco’s “Taxi Driver Report”’ will explore topical issues, using taxi drivers to channel public opinion, and will feature taxi drivers in places like New York, London and Bangkok giving their opinions on everything from brands and business to matters relating to culture and all filmed through the rear view mirror and an iPhone.
According to Rothco’s chief strategy officer, Emer Howard, “there’s lots of great research out there, and lots of great research partners doing it. We wanted to add something different – something complimentary that scratches below the surface to find human truth, perhaps in a more creative way. We’re using taxi drivers from around the world as a conduit of public opinion, to get a refreshing and real-world point of view that might just help us change the fate and fortune of brands and their businesses.”
She says that over the last twenty years, Rothco has been building client strategies and their ensuing work on the opinions of real people. Part of this strategy has be driven by conducting vox-pop style interviews of consumers, then editing them together to give clients a real-world perspective on their brands and their problems.
“Early on, Rothco started to use the belligerent, obstinate, contrary taxi driver that people all know and love, to show their clients what the public really thought of their brands. They captured all that they have to say on video, from the back seat, before editing their opinions into a short film,” she adds.
So, why taxi drivers? “Taxi drivers know their stuff and they’re not afraid to express their opinion. Have you ever tried to disagree with a taxi driver on a matter of public opinion? It’s hard to argue with someone who has already done their own 1,000 respondent in-depth qualitative study on a nationally representative sample -even if their respondents didn’t know they were being researched,” says Howard.
The short films have launched on Rothco’s website and social media channels and will run throughout the year. Click here for a link to the series page.