Quirk's Blog

Super Bowl fans plan to splurge for game day

The most widely watched sporting event of the year will draw an estimated 184 million viewers when the Seattle Seahawks return to the Super Bowl after last year’s win to face the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 1, for Super Bowl XLIX. According to NRF’s Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, average viewer spending will reach a survey high of $77.88, up from $68.27 last year, with fans planning to splurge on everything from game day food and new televisions to athletic wear and decorations. Total spending is expected to reach $14.3 billion.*

“With renewed confidence in the economy and the outlook Footballfor 2015, consumers are looking forward to some good old-fashioned fun with their friends and family to celebrate the big game,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers will take full advantage of the expected traffic from avid fans by making sure they have adequately invested in décor, party food and accessories and other Super Bowl-related inventory.”

Of the 75.8 percent planning to watch the game, nearly eight in 10 (79.3 percent) will purchase food and beverages, 10.8 percent will buy team apparel or accessories and 8.8 percent will splurge on new televisions to watch the game at home.

According to the survey, the nearly 43 million viewers planning to host a Super Bowl party should expect a full house as one-quarter (25.9 percent) of those surveyed say they plan to attend a party to celebrate the big game with friends and family. Bars and restaurants can also expect a good turnout on February 1 with more than 13 million viewers planning to head out to watch at their favorite local spot.

Nearly half of viewers (46.8 percent) say that the game itself is the most important part of the day, and nearly one-third (41.3 percent) of those planning to watch say that the most important parts for them are the commercials and hanging out with friends and family. Additionally, a record 11.9 percent of viewers this year say the most important part of the Super Bowl for them is the half-time show.

While all age groups agree the game itself is the most important part of Super Bowl Sunday, the survey also found differences among specific age groups when it comes to the importance of commercials, the half-time show and seeing friends and family. According to the survey, one in five (22.8 percent) 18-to 24-year-olds say the most important part of the game is the commercials, the highest of any other age group, and 25-to-34-year-olds say getting together with friends is the most important part of the day (15.4 percent), highest among all the other age groups.

While more than three-quarters (77.1 percent) of viewers say they look at Super Bowl commercials as entertainment, others feel that the commercials make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand (20.1 percent). For those who do not have favorable opinions of the commercials, many think the advertisers should save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers (16.6 percent) and 9.7 percent say the commercials make the game last too long.

“More viewers than ever are planning to tune in on game day this year as these connected consumers reach to multiple channels to join in with other fans and follow their favorite national brands,” said Prosper’s principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Beyond the game, viewers will use this day to catch up with friends and family and treat themselves to their favorite game day treats.”

Millennials will show their spending power this year for the Super Bowl: young adults ages 18-24 plan on spending an average of $95.92; those ages 25-34 and 35-44, however, will spend slightly more at an average of $101.54 and $102.82, respectively.

More survey details can be found here.

* Total spending is extrapolation of U.S. population ages 18 and above.


Posted in Advertising Research, Brand and Image Research, Consumer Research | Comments Off

Super Bowl commercial myths, exposed

football; american; american footbal; party; snacks; super bowl;

As Americans gear up for Super Bowl XLIX, many are looking forward to one thing: commercials. Data from Ace Metrix provides insights from the past five games, breaking down the biggest Super Bowl ad myths and facts. The study has tracked 263 Super Bowl ads in the past five years.

Myth: Sex sells. Many Super Bowl ads really turn up the heat (e.g. David Beckham for H&M).
Fact: Super Bowl ads with sexual themes can be a big turn-off for consumers. Sexy Super Bowl ads score about 8 percent lower overall than ads without sexy themes (average from last five Super Bowls).

  • Seven out of 10 GoDaddy Super Bowl ads (from 2010-2014) can be categorized as sexual. One of GoDaddy’s most memorable sexy ads is “Perfect Match.” Four percent of the survey respondents from that ad called it sexy.

Myth: Celebrities sell. Super Bowl ads are often celebrity-laden.
Fact: Celebrities can often be polarizing but when it comes to Super Bowl ads, ads with celebrities typically score.

  • While celebrities make appearances in one-third of all Super Bowl ads, only one of the top 10 highest scoring ads of the past five years includes celebrities. RadioShack generated the fourth highest scoring ad of the 2014 game and fourth highest scoring for the past four years. The ad featured not one but a full cast of characters from the 1980s to effectively make fun of itself and announce a new launch of the stores. The celebrities in this case – Hulk Hogan, Mary Lou Retton, Alf, Chucky, Cliff from Cheers and a slew of other time-stamped characters – were used to parody the company rather than to endorse the brand or leverage current day celebrity power to earn brand buzz.


Myth: A brand’s Super Bowl ad must be funny to get attention.
Fact: Last year, there was only a two-point (0.3 percent) difference between Super Bowl ads with humor and those without humor. While humorous ads can be a big win with consumers, going for an emotional story can also be a winning path. In fact, many of last year’s top Super Bowl ads chose non-humorous paths.

  • Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” and Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” went emotional to gain consumer attention, earning the second highest scores of last year’s Super Bowl. However, RadioShack’s “Good Bye 80s” (a humorous ad) came in fourth with Doritos’ ads not too far behind.


Myth: Super Bowl ads are over-hyped.
Fact: On average, over the last five games, Super Bowl ads actually score over 3 percent higher than every day ads. Last year, 2014 Super Bowl ads scored 4 percent higher than the average 2014 ad.

  • It’s quite common for some Super Bowl ads to become the best in their category for the entire year. For instance, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” is the highest scoring Beer ad of all 2014. Likewise, Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” was the highest scoring luxury auto ad of last year.

Posted in Advertising Research, Brand and Image Research, Consumer Research, Market Research Findings, Television Research | 1 Comment

Transforming outdated stores: a strategic marketing investment

Remodeling retail stores boosts sales to new customers by almost 50 percent new research from Monash University has found. According to a report by Marketingmag.com.au, the study, conducted by Tracey Dagger and Peter Danaher of Monash University’s department of marketing, found that after remodeling the retail environment, sales to new customers increased by up to 44 percent, while sales to existing customers increased by 7 to 10 percent. These additional benefits persisted for at least a year following the remodel.

Other findings included:

  • new customers to the remodeled stores increased from 13 percent to 17 percent;
  • new customers visited the remodeled stores 16 percent more than before; compared with a 2 percent increase for existing customers; and
  • new customers increased their spending by 14 percent, whereas existing customers did so by 7 percent.


New customers had much higher perceptions of the remodeled stores’ retail environments shopping (including atmosphere and layout), service quality and customer satisfaction than existing customers. But the study found no difference in short-term behavioral intention.

Dagger recommended that managers view store remodeling as a strategic marketing investment rather than “a necessity to endure.”

“The in-store experience continues to have high relevance; retailers must keep their appearance modern, fresh and in line with that of competitors. The look, feel and mood of a firm’s retail or service environment are unique and crafted purposefully to contribute to the brand and ultimately, its profitability,” she said.

On average, retailers remodel their stores every seven to 10 years.

The researchers collected information at two different retail stores before and after remodels in order to draw their conclusions.

Study one looked at an equipment retailer and service provider in a worldwide industry worth $100 billion annually. Its store remodel involved moving the retail servicescape into a previously unused area of the store including opening the store via a different door. It took about one month to complete.

Before the remodel, immediately after and 12 months after, customers to the store were given surveys to complete either in-store or return via postage paid envelope. 1666 customers were surveyed.

The second study looked at a large department store in a shopping mall of a major metropolitan city, with combined annual sales of more than $3 billion. This store’s remodel was much more significant than the first, as was its data collection method.

The store’s outdated decor underwent an eight-month transformation including a redesigned store layout, new lighting, floor coverings, decor, furniture, fixtures and fittings, upgraded fitting rooms, parents room and employee areas, redecorated and painted walls and ceilings, remodeled kiosks and retrofitting heating and air conditioning systems.

The study also compared another of the retailer’s stores as a control store, since the remodel caused significant disruption to the store during the eight months and to account for external factors including seasonality, advertising and promotions. The control store was in a similar suburb, of a similar outdated condition, with similar products, sales and customers.

Rather than handing out surveys to collect a sample, the study used data from the retailer’s loyalty program, of which 70 percent of customers are a member, to collect a census of all transactions 12 at both the treatment and control stores for 12 months before remodeling, eight months during and 12 months after (May 2010 to December 2012).


Posted in Brand and Image Research, Consumer Research, Data Collection/Field Services, Retailing, Shopper Insights | Comments Off

Photo recap from Cocktails with Quirk’s in Boca Raton!

We’ve had a blast hosting Cocktails with Quirk’s, a series of free events for researchers to network with their peers in a casual, comfortable environment. Our next party will be on Monday, February 23, in the New York Marriott Brooklyn Bridge Expo Hall after the first day of The Quirk’s Event.

But before we jump into 2015, we wanted to share some photos of our Boca Raton, Fla., event, which took place at the Biergarten on October 20th in conjunction with The Market Research Event.

Many thanks to Nelson Davis of AIP for photographing the event. Click here to view the rest of the photos.


Cocktails with Quirk's Cocktails with Quirk’s



 Cocktails with Quirk’s Cocktails with Quirk’s

Posted in The Business of Research | Comments Off

A little holiday humor

Quirk’s would like to wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season.

Santa MR

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New study shows Millennial support for expanded Thanksgiving Day shopping hours

A recent LoyaltyOne research shows there are three kinds of American Thanksgiving Day shoppers:

  • fifty percent who say all-day  retailers' sales flyers and brochureshopping hours on Thanksgiving Day are a bad idea that detracts from the traditional celebration;
  • thirty-three percent who say stores being open all day Thanksgiving is a great idea that provides more time for holiday gift shopping; and
  • seventeen percent who can’t make up their mind.


In the all-important Millennial demographic (ages 18-34), attitudes about stores being open all day on Thanksgiving shift dramatically compared to the general population (ages 18-55+). No less than 50 percent of consumers age 18-24 say all-day shopping on Thanksgiving is a great idea. That support dropped only slightly to 48 percent in the 25-34 year-old age group.

Iconic retailer Macy’s plans to launch Black Friday shopping at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, which is down from 8 p.m. last year and from midnight in 2011. Other leading retailers are following suit and even one-upping in the case of JCPenney’s 5 p.m. opening. Against this backdrop, LoyaltyOne, a global provider of loyalty marketing services and customer analytics, obtained opinions on extended Thanksgiving Day shopping hours from 1001 U.S. consumers in a nationwide survey taken in October 2014. The consumer views provide a window into the likelihood that all-day holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will become a reality.

“Savvy retailers put the customer at the center of all their decisions,” said Fred Thompson, LoyaltyOne retail practice leader. “Although opening on Thanksgiving Day may lead to incremental sales that day, retailers could risk upsetting their most loyal customers who routinely shop their stores year-round. Retailers should identify who their best customers are and respond with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales strategies accordingly.”

Some other key findings from the research based on various consumer segments include:

  • thirty-seven percent of men say being open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea, compared with twenty-nine percent of women;
  • sixteen percent of consumers age 55 and older say that open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea; and
  • forty-percent of consumers in the South say all-day store hours on Thanksgiving is a great idea, compared with 32 percent in the West, 29 percent in the Midwest and 26 percent in the Northeast.


LoyaltyOne’s nationwide survey of 1001 U.S. consumers on extended Thanksgiving Day shopping hours has a margin of error, which measures sampling variability of +/- 2.6 at the 90 percent confidence level.

Posted in Advertising Research, Consumer Research, Customer Satisfaction, Demographics, Public Opinion/Social Research, Retailing, Shopper Insights | Comments Off

New study shows the significant role of promotions in driving sales

RetailMeNot, Inc., which operates the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers, released the findings of a November 2014 study it conducted using Google Consumer Surveys. The study, which also includes other third-party research, unveils the six stages of the consumer shopping journey and demonstrates how promotions have a significant impact at each stage along the way. Promotions are shown to impact decisions including when and where to shop, how much to spend, what to buy and whether or not a shopping cart is abandoned. Additionally, the study reveals how retailers are able to drive results by leveraging promotions and distributing them via marketing channels like RetailMeNot.

“Research continues to reiterate the positive impact that promotions have on both consumers’ decision-making process when considering a purchase and in helping retailers achieve their revenue goals,” says Michael Jones, SVP of Retail and Brand Solutions at RetailMeNot, Inc. “By leveraging RetailMeNot’s marketplace platform, retailers win by increasing customer loyalty, building brand affinity and driving incremental sales both online and in-store.”

Promotions trigger both in-store and Online Shoppingonline purchases

Of those who are deal seekers, promotions triggered in-store purchases for 91 percent of shoppers. Similarly, 89 percent of deal seekers said a promotion triggered an online purchase.

Promotions have an impact on consumers’ decisions on where to shop and what to buy

Of online shoppers who use promotions, 82 percent sometimes, frequently or always consider promotions when planning what items to buy, and 81 percent sometimes, frequently or always consider promotions when planning where to shop.

Additionally, consumers reported using promotions to plan purchases in advance. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of in-store shoppers and 66 percent of online shoppers said promotions were used to help plan a trip to the store several hours, days, weeks or more prior to making a purchase.

Promotions help reduce shopping cart abandonment

Consumers most often abandon shopping carts due to cost-related reasons. Survey data shows that 78 percent of cart abandoners have sometimes, frequently or always looked for a promotion before abandoning their cart over the past year, and 68 percent have sometimes, frequently or always used promotions to return to their abandoned cart and complete their purchase.

Post-purchase, promotions positively affect loyalty, brand advocacy and the likelihood of future purchases

Sixty-eight percent of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers online coupons or promotion codes; 68 percent are likely to tell a friend about a company that uses online coupons or promotion codes; and 50 percent are more likely to buy a product or service at full price later from a company that offers online coupons or promotion codes.

Promotions drive incremental revenue for retailers

Retailers have much to gain from the steady demand for promotions by consumers. Based on the analysis of a third-party, one department store retailer with thousands of locations across the United States found that on transactions involving a RetailMeNot coupon, 18 percent of total coupon sales were incremental. Additionally, RetailMeNot customers spent and visited the retailer, on average, 30 percent more than non-RetailMeNot customers. The same retailer also found that customers who go in store for the first time with a RetailMeNot coupon increase their spend over the subsequent six months by 52 percent.

Access the full study for more information.


The findings of the study are based on four surveys conducted using Google Consumer Surveys between August 22, 2014, and August 29, 2014, among a sample of the U.S. adult Internet population. The survey about the online shopping journey reached 1,107 online shoppers among 3,506 initial respondents. The survey about the in-store shopping journey reached 1,110 in-store shoppers among 2,686 initial respondents. The survey about online cart abandonment reached 1,064 online cart abandoners among 3,297 initial respondents. The survey about in-store cart abandonment reached 1,149 in-store cart abandoners among 1,641 initial respondents (Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding).


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Pre-Halloween infographic: It’s all about the candy

As consumers load up on the best candy for this year’s round of trick-or-treaters, they may be focusing in on brands highlighted by a recent study on the most influential candy brands on Twitter.

StatSocial analyzed the followers of the largest candy brands on Twitter to provide the demographic and lifestyle information about these users. StatSocial founder and CEO Michael Hussey explained that the study gathers this information from public sources like Twitter and 60+ other social sites, including blogs, to understand who they are and what they like.Candy Brands Ranking

Posted in Consumer Research, Retailing, Social Media and Marketing Research | Comments Off

‘Key life moments’ spur Millennials to use public libraries

Earlier this month my co-worker handed me an article discussing the results of a recent Pew Research Center Internet Project study titled “Millennials still checking out public libraries.” A proud member of the “me” generation and public library advocate, the title was all the convincing I needed to read on. The article reports on the study’s latest work, which pulled together research on the role of libraries in the lives of Americans.

The overall consensus: Millennials still frequent libraries. As a group, Millennials are just as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months. The study points out that the reasons Millennials engage with public libraries are often based on “key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision.” This really rings true for me. I associate libraries with many specific life moments: group projects in high school, resource papers in college and job searches using the free Wi-Fi in my early 20s.

The study also reports that Millennial Americans are more likely to have read a book in the last year than those 30 years old and above. As a member of a seasonal book club (members all under 30) I wasn’t surprised to find that my peers are reading. The survey results I did find surprising? Sixty-two percent of Americans under 30 years old agree that there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the Internet.” By comparison, only 53 percent of older Americans said they believe that. Apparently my technology-loving peers are looking up from their screens more often than I thought.

The report calls younger Americans’ engagement with public libraries “complex and sometimes contradictory” and it is easy to see why. Millennials may frequent libraries and find value in resources outside of the Internet but they do not place a high priority on libraries. Only 19 percent of Millennials surveyed say their library’s closing would have a major impact on them and their family, compared with 32 percent of older adults.

Check out the full report here and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Posted in Consumer Research, Market Research Findings | 1 Comment

Americans to spend more on spooky traditions

Editor’s note: The complete NRF 2014 Halloween Consumer Spending survey can be accessed here.

Ready … set … scare! According to National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics shows that more Americans than ever are planning to purchase costumes. More than two-thirds (67.4 percent) of celebrants will buy Halloween costumes for the holiday, the most in the survey’s 11-year history. The average person will spend $77.52 this Halloween, compared to $75.03 last year. Total spending on Halloween this year will reach $7.4 billion.*

Halloween is currently one of the fastest-growing consumer holidays. Party-goers will splurge on spooky and fun garb to wear this year as $2.8 billion will be spent on costumes overall with $1.1 billion on costumechildren’s costumes and $1.4 billion on adult costumes. Costumes for furry family members will also be high on the list, with Americans planning to spend $350 million on pet costumes.

Candy and greeting cards alike will be popular items this season, as consumers will spend $2.2 billion on candy this year and 35.9 percent of people will be sending Halloween greeting cards. With Americans planning to spend $2 billion on decorations for the frightful holiday, life-size ghosts, pumpkins and festive décor will be aplenty on lawns and doorsteps throughout the country.

Consumers will celebrate the holiday in many different ways, but topping the list of planned activities is handing out candy (71.1 percent), while others will decorate their homes and yards (46.7 percent), and dress in costume (45.8 percent). One-third of Americans will throw or attend a party (33.4 percent), which is up from last year (30.9 percent).

Much like last year, consumers will hit the stores and the Internet early to get the first pick of costumes and candy. According to the survey, nearly one-third of celebrants (32.1 percent) say they will start their Halloween shopping before the first of October. And, while 43.3 percent of celebrants kick off their shopping in the first two weeks of October, 24.6 percent will wait until the last minute and shop the last two weeks of October.

More consumers turning to social media

While the bulk of Americans will look for costume inspiration online (34.2 percent), in a retail store or costume shop (33 percent), Pinterest is a growing source of inspiration this year. The survey found 11.4 percent of Americans will turn to Pinterest for costume ideas, up from 9.3 percent last year. Young adults will drive the most Pinterest traffic: 21.2 percent of 18-to 24-year-olds will turn to the popular site for ideas, as will 21 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds.

For some consumers the U.S. economy is still top-of-mind. According to the survey, 18.8 percent say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. Specifically, nearly two in five (19.7 percent) of those impacted will utilize their creative skills and make their own costumes rather than buying a new one this Halloween.

NRF’s 2014 Halloween Consumer Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,332 consumers was conducted September 2-8, 2014. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

* The total spending figure is an extrapolation of U.S. adults 18 and older.

Posted in Apparel, Consumer Research, Public Opinion/Social Research, Retailing, Social Media and Marketing Research | Comments Off