TBWA\Dublin, has launched a new cultural research panel in the Irish market called 100 Voices.
The new research panel helps clients access consumers’ viewpoints across multiple markets in a fast, cost-effective manner.
The panel, recruited for reach, diversity and insight, spans over 45 countries. Each panellist is an articulate and regular participant in our in-market cultural investigations.
According to Mandy Leontakiankis, CSO at TBWA\Dublin, the panel goes beyond standard qualitative research and initial discovery, by using design thinking empathy techniques to gather culturally relevant and sensitive perspectives.
Since it was first set up, she says 100 Voices has been used for multi-market positioning and behavioural change projects, co-creation workshops, rapid testing and most recently, as a Crisis Counsel to chart and predict COVID rebound attitudes and behaviours.
“A year ago, we made the decision to anchor our agency in one simple principle: empathy. We knew that a timeless value would be a North Star for both ethics and effectiveness, no matter what changed around us,” says Leontakiankis.
‘Empathy’ in our context, is simply a commitment to breaking out of our own echo-chamber. It also means dispensing with ‘fake’ anything – news, trends or assumptions and making the radical and uncannily simple decision to make sure we know what’s true,” she adds.
“As brands are vigorously cancelled over their failure to keep pace, or lauded for their cultural astuteness and participation, an insistence on bespoke, global and sensitive research has stood us in good stead. 100 Voices is our direct channel to this approach,” she says.
“What we didn’t know, was that the pressure on ‘empathy’ from private enterprise would escalate in the way it did. The global pandemic raised the volume on every kind of human crisis worldwide, almost overnight. Suddenly it was no longer ‘worthy’ to have discussions about sensitivity, as a boundary around the personal and professional was brought to its knees,” says Leontakiankis.
“100 Voices is a potent tool for positioning. It allows us to test competitor work for a realistic sense of distinct spaces, consumer sentiment beyond the dry focus group and our own creative output in a fast, unique and scalable manner. This tool enables pace and reach: recently pulling together 102 individual perspectives in 37 markets across the world, on a specific category, in only 48 hours. Our TBWA network helps us to widen that reach – as global perspectives inform local futures in a very real way,” she says.
With the global Covid-19 pandemic in full-flow, she points out that 100 Voices has unearthed many insights for brands and policy makers around the world.
“Our panellists has seen us humbled, moved and informed by hundreds of conversations through Zoom groups, voice-notes and video submissions. It has enabled us broach the nuances and implications of race, class and gender in countries where the issues are more disguised. Representation on our panel is a focus: across race, gender, culture and outlook and we’re able to dial up in-country samples per client ask,” she says.
“Things have changed, but one constant remains true: it is still our job to reflect reality so that our clients can connect. And this can’t happen in a vacuum.
“Brand communications are often ignored or rejected. We’ve ideated with our panel on how to find salience for our clients. Salience teaches us new things, including that TV commercials that make the simple error of even reflecting a 2019 vista of maskless, socially ebullient scenes are achieving a new kind of ‘old-fashioned’, not to mention irresponsibility. Live testimonials from around the world helped us caution and prepare our clients early,” she concludes.