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YAHOO! helps you pick a winner: the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge

current events / in the news / user experience / blog

College basketball fans can rejoice because March Madness is finally upon us. Cinderella stories and nonstop games for three weeks will keep even the most hardcore fans satiated. When the NCAA Tournament arrives, so too do the bracketology experts. This year, the stakes have been raised. Not only can you compete with your friends for bragging rights, you can also compete for a billion dollars of Warren Buffet’s money. When you submit your bracket, you might want to hold off on giving your boss your two weeks notice. If you know a little something about college basketball you might bump your odds of winning the bracket challenge up to one about in 128 billion, according to a recent Washington Post article. To say the... more

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She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny… E-Cigarettes ad bikini?

advertising research / health research / social marketing / blog / youth

In past posts, I’ve discussed the frustrating genius that is Blu’s “take back your freedom” approach to some of its advertising. I’m less than impressed, however, with the sex sells tactics that dominate a second line of ads. But not (only) for the reasons you may think. Working on smokeless tobacco issues over the past year, I’ve become increasingly aware of the delicacy with which we must communicate about products that, while not harmless, may be less risky alternatives for current smokers.

Blu E-Cig Bikini Ad

The same harm-reduction tension dominates the e-cigarettes debate. Whether e-cigs are a cessation tool or a catalyst for new users to start a habit of smoking is hotly contested. Earlier this week,... more

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Going for Olympic (Advertising) Gold

advertising research / in the news / behavioral research / current events / featured / blog

On the heels of the Super Bowl comes another win for advertising with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Whether people are setting their alarms to watch the events live or avoiding all spoilers until the primetime rebroadcasts, the Olympics are traditionally one of the most watched television events. The Olympics dominated the Nielsen top 10 rankings for the week of February 3rd, capturing the top 4 spots with the February 7th Opening Ceremony taking first place with 31.69 million viewers. The Sunday Prime Time, Saturday Prime Time, and Thursday Prime Time broadcasts completed the top 4 (1). With such viewership it is no wonder that NBC Universal announced in September 2013 that it had sold a record setting $800 million in advertising to a... more

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Is TV Advertising Always a Touchdown?

advertising research / behavioral research / current events / in the news / market research / featured / blog

With the Super Bowl this Sunday, the advertising world is abuzz with predictions on what to expect from the top spenders and advertisers. At least they can count on the fact that TV ads continue to be trusted, and probably will for some time. Newspapers and Magazines are still most trusted forms of advertising, with almost two-thirds (63% and 62%, respectively) of consumers trusting advertisements from those sources. Television is not far behind at 61% (1). TV ads are also cited as very influential, with 68% of consumers indicating that they always or sometimes take action on something after viewing a television ad. And despite the rise of digital ads, TV accounts for the largest amount of advertising dollars spent, with over $63 billion spent... more

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Better Data in Five Steps: UX Testing

eye tracking / research design / usability / user experience / blog

Last week, Jen wrote about resolutions for being a UX Champion. This week, I want to highlight five simple ways that UX research teams can improve the UX testing environment. Improving the testing environment in the following ways will ensure the validity of data and provide participants with a more pleasant experience.

  1. Don’t interrupt. The UX data collection process often relies on concurrent think aloud protocol. In this method, researchers ask participants to think aloud and narrate everything they are doing (e.g., reading, searching for links, interpreting graphics). This method is valued by UX researchers because it allows us to hear things like initial impressions of design features and experiences using site search and navigation. Users’ comments are very powerful when inserted into... more

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FMG Researchers Publish Research Evaluating the Validity of Key U.S. DoD Personnel Forecasting Measures

behavioral research / military research / survey research / youth / news

Arlington, Virginia – January 21, 2014 –Last week, past and present Fors Marsh Groupers Mike Ford, Jen Gibson, Brian Griepentrog, and Sean Marsh received word that their research entitled ‘Reassessing the Association of Intent to Join the Military and Subsequent Enlistment’ was accepted for publication in the Military Psychology. This is a great accomplishment for our research team and a significant contribution to the research literature.

As many of you that follow the Fors Marsh Group blog know, intent to join the military, or propensity, is one of the primary ways the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) forecasts the military recruiting supply. Although propensity has consistently been found to be the single best predictor of actual enlistment decisions over the past few decades (1),... more

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