An application of the duo-trio just noticeable difference technique in determining the central theme of an advertising campaign
Christensen, Neil H.
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The purpose of this paper was to develop a technique which would determine the central theme of an advertising campaign. In the study, five product categories were included: premium beers, non-premium beers, filter cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and colas. In each category, three products were selected on the basis of their sales volume and national distribution. The test method employed was the duo-trio test. Two hypotheses were tested in this study: Hypothesis 1: Regular consumers of this product field can identify taste differences in competing products and thus taste should be used in the advertising of some of the products. Hypothesis 2: Regular consumers of this product field cannot identify taste differences in competing products and thus psychological factors, not taste, should be used in advertising the products. Therefore, if the taste tests revealed no significant differences in taste, psychological advertising was suggested. However, if the tests did reveal significant taste differences, then it was suggested that the advertising be built around that unique taste. The testing in this study was in two phases. Phase one was directed toward determining how present users of the product category rate the products in question. This was done in case psychological advertising was suggested. Phase two was the actual taste testing of the products to determine if taste differences were present. When the tests were completed, hypothesis one was accepted for the filter cigarettes and Schlitz Beer, while hypothesis two was accepted for the non-premium beers, the menthol cigarettes, the colas, and for Budweiser and Miller Beer. Because of limitations in both time and money, not all products in a category could be tested. Therefore, the results of this study are not as important as the actual working of the technique. To get reliable results, all com petition would need to be tested and actual access to advertising mediums would be needed. Thus, this paper serves as only a pilot study that has worked on a limited basis, but which needs to be tested in actual market conditions before proof of reliability is established.