How Online Interactions Impact Time-to-Make-a- Plan Moments

How Online Interactions Impact Time-to-Make-a- Plan Moments

Online interactions are increasingly shaping how people make a plan for their next trip. New clickstream data from Luth Research’s opt-in panel and mindswarms video surveys provide a snapshot of what a real traveller’s time-to- make-a-plan moments actually looked like. Check out the Think with Google study here.

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By Tom Bassett

Mobile’s Role in a Shopper’s Purchase

Mobile’s Role in a Shopper’s Purchase

Online interactions are playing an increasing role in influencing a shopper’s ultimate purchase decision. But how much so? New data from Luth Research opt-in panel and mindswarms mobile video surveys show just what this means. Hint: You need to be fast, and relevant. Find out more in this Think with Google study here.

Ad Testing: 72andSunny and the “truth” campaign

Ad Testing: 72andSunny and the “truth” campaign

Following up to their successful truth campaign, American Legacy Foundation and 2014 Ad Age Agency of the Year, 72&Sunny, needed to test their creative to see what resonated with today’s teens. mindswarms put the new ad concepts in front of the teens, and had them record their responses via smartphones. The results? Positive vibes win out over negativity.

72andSunny, a Los Angeles-based ad agency working with the anti-smoking campaign, truth, used mindswarms to get reactions on three new concepts for teen-targeted anti-smoking ads. truth’s ads of the early 2000s drove a generation of potential smokers to rebel against Big Tobacco. A new generation of teens, however, required a new approach. 72andSunny wanted to field a test of their new campaign before launch.

Mobile Video Surveys

mindswarms mobile video surveys give ad-campaign testers access to high-quality video responses across a wide geographical area without the hassle of traveling. More importantly, they allow direct and intimate entry into the varied world of individual opinion, free from the group-think that’s characteristic of some traditional research methods. Participants respond from the comfort of their own home, while researchers can view responses in between office meetings. With these benefits in mind, 72andSunny partnered with mindswarms to create a survey that would net them the insight they needed to confidently go forward with a bold, new campaign.


In their survey, mindswarms and 72andSunny collected video responses from 42 participants across a carefully curated demographic range in three metropolitan cities – Detroit, Birmingham, and Pittsburgh. Respondents were exposed to the ads and asked to discuss the efficacy and resonance of their messages, and react to the ad campaign as a whole. From the comfort of their homes, respondents provided 60-second answers to 14 thoughtful, pointed questions, generating over 550 minutes of consumer video – video showcasing a degree of personal, private reactions unachievable in focus groups. All possible in a week’s time.


Question responses were reviewable by 72andSunny and mindswarms’ project managers as they filled, meaning that each individual video was accessible after a respondent submitted their responses. Responses filled a shareable matrix for easy viewing, allowing agency planners and clients to watch each respondent’s answers to every question (by row), or to watch each question’s varied answers across respondents (by column). Beyond the stated answers, the nuances in these video responses – of body language and tone of voice — speak volumes, and allow an in-depth analysis beyond that of old-fashioned ad testing.
Nearly tfive hours of unfiltered consumer honesty, and all the richness of its subtlety, were delivered to 72andSunny via a cloud-based study link (each video response including a transcript), giving them the answers they were looking for.
72andSunny’s ads revolved around the concept, „Be the Generation to End Smoking,” and utilized the emphatic tagline, “Finish It.” Included in the campaign was the promotion of shareable content on social media and ads showing how Big Tobacco shamelessly uses celebrity smokers as unpaid advertisers for their product.

Dr. Lautman – Professor at Wharton’s MBA program – on Mobile Video Surveys

Dr. Lautman - Professor at Wharton’s MBA program - on Mobile Video Surveys

Wharton MBA adjunct professor Dr. Martin Lautman appreciates the benefits of big data. But when it comes to diving deeper in order to understand consumer emotion and how people really feel about something, he sees mindswarms mobile video surveys offering the most credibility. You can watch our interview with him. here.

When Dr. Lautman, MBA adjuntc professor at Wharton, asks his students to come up with business concepts, he knows an important part of the process is customer feedback. But before discovering video ethnography, this was a challenge. How would his students gain access to real-world customers within an academic setting, and how would they get responses in time?

mindswarms mobile video ethnography has changed all of this. Dr. Lautman reached out to mindswarms, and asked them to help his students develop mobile video surveys. This alone was educational, with students learning the importance of asking the right questions in the right way, and also best practices for gleaning insights from the videos. Plus, the students were easily able to get responses within the semester.

The feedback students got from real-world consumers was formative: Beyond the respondents’ words, the students were able to see facial reactions and subtle nonverbal cues, providing valuable insight into consumer emotions and motivations. Wharton believes this guided his students forward, putting together the needs they’d identified with what consumers say. “This is where the great insights come from,” he said.

Perhaps the best result of all: Several student projects went on to get real-world VC funding. It doesn’t get more successful than that. Hear Dr. Lautman’s insights here.

How mobile has redefined the consumer decision journey

How mobile has redefined the consumer decision journey

The consumer journey, from I-need-some-ideas through I-want-to-buy-it, is increasingly guided by the smartphone.This means retailers need to show up in a useful way online in order to help guide that decision. How can you do this most effectively? You can check out the Think with Google study (powered by mindswarms) here.

Mobile Video Surveys Reframe Global Qual

Mobile Video Surveys Reframe Global Qual

Rob Klingensmith, Chief Strategic Officer of Marcel Worldwide, worked with mindswarms to collect consumer insights in 5 different countries for Luxottica, makers of the world’s iconic Ray-Ban and Perso brands. He discovered mobile video surveys are redefining global qual, opening doors for companies to efficiently and affordably test foreign markets.

In The Past

Up until relatively recently, global qualitative research was out of reach for a lot of companies and occasions. Yet, many companies are looking to expand globally and have very little understanding of how their products or services may fare in foreign markets. Historically, executing a global qualitative research study in multiple countries could run companies anywhere from US $300,000 to US $600,000, making it cost-prohibitive for a lot of businesses. In addition, global qualitative research could often take at least three months, and even six months or more, to complete. The result is that global qualitative research was not even a realistic option for many companies and/or research occasions.

A New Frontier

[Mobile video surveys allow a broader range of companies access to global qualitative research, quickly getting feedback from consumers around the world, in their native language, in situ. In addition, mobile video surveys’ flexibility enables global research to be applied to a wide variety of occasions from early stage need-finding in R&D through prototype testing, packaging testing, and all the way into marketing and advertising]


On assignment with Luxottica in Italy – makers of some of the world’s most iconic eyewear brands like Ray-Ban and Persol – Marcel Worldwide needed to gather insight on attitudes towards the different brands, globally. Based in France, Marcel Worldwide’s Chief Strategic Officer – Rob Klingensmith – had a specific list of countries he needed to gather consumer insight from. He was also faced with a very tight timeline in order to inform Marcel’s upcoming campaign.

Rob’s team worked closely with mindswarms to identify the right type of consumer in five countries around the world. Each respondent was asked to respond in their native language to seven survey questions via mobile video. Those responses, translated by a dedicated project manager, were fed back to Marcel Worldwide where the study helped shape the creative brief and key messaging platform.


Luckily I knew about mindswarms from my days in San Francisco when they were a start-up. There would have been no other way to get global qual insights in time to inform our work, with the budget we had.

~ Rob Klingensmith, Chief Strategic Officer

The insights that Marcel Worldwide gathered not only created the foundation for their work across multiple brands, but also helped the client feel more confident in the messaging. Thanks to mobile video, the clients could literally see for themselves that the messaging was addressing real consumer insight versus speculation gathered anecdotally through organic internal channels. Marcel Worldwide reaped the benefits of this innovative method, and they see it as a paradigm shift that opens up so many possibilities for the future.


I’ve been in this business over 15 years. Mobile video surveys have dramatically changed the way we think about global qual; it’s not just for special occasions anymore. And global qual is not just the province of only the elite brands and companies with deep pockets.

~ Rob Klingensmith, Chief Strategic Officerr

How micro moments are reshaping the travel customer journey

How micro moments are reshaping the travel customer journey

There’s a lot of planning that goes into traveling. And people increasingly turn to devices for help. Here, Think with Google (powered by mindswarms) reveals the consumer trends shaping these travel micro-moments, how they affect the travel customer journey, and why they matter for travel brands. Check out the study here.

How to Seal the Deal with Mobile Video Surveys

How to Seal the Deal with Mobile Video Surveys

What happens when you need consumer insights within a matter of days? Check out how mindswarms helped a leading holding-company-owned N.Y. advertising agency new business group craft mobile video surveys that delivered compelling results.They won the new business. And they’re now big fans of mobile video ethnography.


A leading holding-company-owned N.Y. advertising agency new business group received a call most agencies dream about: a major national FMCG food brand was interested in having a conversation in a few days time. This potential brand currently had an ad agency. Reading the tea leaves, the agency knew the brand would be in play, and wanted to seal the deal before word on the street created a situation where a furious pitch process would be ignited, bringing dozens of other agency contenders into the mix.

The Solution

A 15-person mindswarms survey. Bingo. 7 questions per person gives you over 90 minutes of video responses (respondents each have Although the conversation was positioned as a preliminary chemistry check, the agency brought its “A” game, aiming to close the deal in the first meeting. The agency reached out to mindswarms to craft a consumer research strategy that would deliver compelling insights in a matter of days. Using mobile video surveys with a national sample of respondents, several methodologies were employed. (1) Missions: qualified consumers were sent to a grocery store where they recorded their impressions of the frozen foods section, as well as specific brands within it. (2) Prompt & React: respondents were prompted (with a link to video and PDFs) to the character-based advertising campaigns the client had created over the years, and asked to respond to the perceived relevance. (3) Show & Tell: consumers were asked to show the contents of their freezer to get a glimpse inside a typical respondent’s frozen food choices, thereby revealing the actual truth of what their freezers contained (vs. what people might report in a focus group, or quant study). Plus it allowed the client and agency to see the cluster of brands their core consumers actually bought. Those insights were packaged into a curated, edited short video, along with some informed points of view meant to generate health strategic conversation.1 minute to respond to each question). You have a national or global sample of people answering very specific questions about the client’s brand or product that you can bake into a presentation or even edit into a quick video. Heck, create a pitch manifesto for your approach based on the insights gathered, and leapfrog those other agencies. Responses “ship as they fill” so you and everyone on the pitch team reviewing responses as they come in. You can start to inform your internal teams about the consumer POV and use it to influence the way they think about creative, media, and every other aspect of the pitch.


By bringing to life key insights about consumers’ relationship with the client’s brand and its advertising in a matter of days, nationally, the agency was able to engage the client in an informed preliminary strategic conversation about how to potentially manage and leverage some of the brand’s historical communications assets and equities. While the client was expecting an informal first meet-and-greet discussion, they were impressed by the agency’s ability and initiative to gather insight rapidly, across a broad geography.

The agency won the business in the first meeting and has continued continued to use mindswarms for other successful pitches. The agency has also introduced mindswarms to its existing client base as a strategic research tool to craft creative briefs and campaigns, to not only help drive agency relationships deeper inside its clients’ organizations, but to create new relationships more broadly within their clients’ companies.

mindswarms Partners with Carnegie Mellon HCI Masters Class

mindswarms Partners with Carnegie Mellon HCI Masters Class

In a pilot study at Carnegie Mellon University, students enrolled in Human Computing Interaction Masters program used mindswarms video mobile surveys to get feedback on their idea storyboards. The responses they received from consumers were illuminating, helping them determine which prototype to develop, and enhancing their learning in a real- world way.

Steven Dow previously of the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (now at UCSD), decided to engage mindswarms. In this pioneering pilot study, he asked mindswarms to help students develop a mobile video survey, designed to elicit responses from consumers on their early-stage prototypes. This method was coined “using crowds in the classroom” and was implemented during the Testing stage, in which student innovators had developed a concrete idea and were ready for feedback on their storyboards. It was thought that students might benefit from the authentic and rapid responses that mobile video surveys provide, giving them information that would help them shape design solutions.

Under guidance from mindswarms, the students received a series of one-minute video clips from consumers. They then processed the feedback and presented their reactions in class. It was a positive experience. Many students praised the mindswarms methodology, one student saying, “I can’t think of other better ways to get a lot of user input very quickly.” Students also found the diverse points of view useful, as well as the quick turnaround, and one group of students said it helped them “direct and improve” their design prototype.

Carnegie Mellon University distributed this press release citing the benefit of mindswarms partnership on the project.

Amplify Your Pitch with Mobile Video Surveys

Amplify Your Pitch with Mobile Video Surveys

Four days away from a pitch to a major national bank, BBDO wanted to gauge consumer impressions and attitudes about banking, with an emphasis on the client’s brand. They knew that having authentic and timely consumer video insights to share with the client would amplify their pitch’s power. The result: they won.

The Situation

The call comes in from the pitch consultant with multiple agencies on the long list. Everyone is excited but, at the same time, you realize you’re up against some serious contenders and statistically you have a 1 in X chance of making the final round. You need to get the biz dev wheels turning fast. You’d love some qualitative research to have a POV to start informing the creative brief, but OOP expenses are strictly managed by the CFO and every group is asking for funding. Focus groups are seen to be too traditional or you can’t afford a national sample; plus, time doesn’t permit because you have one week to get the next round of pitch material together.

Perfect occasion for mindswarms; perfect occasion for high quality mobile video surveys.

The Solution

A 15-person mindswarms survey. Bingo. 7 questions per person gives you over 90 minutes of video responses (respondents each have 1 minute to respond to each question). You have a national or global sample of people answering very specific questions about the client’s brand or product that you can bake into a presentation or even edit into a quick video. Heck, create a pitch manifesto for your approach based on the insights gathered, and leapfrog those other agencies. Responses “ship as they fill” so you and everyone on the pitch team reviewing responses as they come in. You can start to inform your internal teams about the consumer POV and use it to influence the way they think about creative, media, and every other aspect of the pitch.

I walked into the agency at 9:00am on Monday morning with a deck full of films, photos and verbatims. Heroic.

~ Gordon McLean, SVP Group Planning Director, BBDO NY

How They Did It

Working with mindswarms mobile video surveys, BBDO quickly locked down the recruitment specs. They wanted a 20 person survey with an equal spread across gender, race, and geographic location, while also specifying other key needs; brand awareness, and regular use of the brand’s banking services. Mindswarms immediately created a screener to ensure that candidates met all basic demographic, geographic, and psychographic requirements. Recruitment began hours later. Together, BBDO and mindswarms developed the survey questionnaire for participants. Conducted asynchronously over mobile devices (or webcam) via mindswarms, the survey began the same day BBDO reached out to mindswarms. As the survey ran live over the weekend, a mindswarms Project Manager reviewed all responses as they completed, replacing any respondents with bad AV or incomplete answers free of charge. By Monday morning, the participants had completed the survey, netting BBDO one hundred forty minutes of consumer insight to pick and choose from to both inform and complement their pitch.


BBDO was delivered a cloud based study link that allowed for download or online viewing of all video responses. Using that study link in the pitch, BBDO showed a board with twelve choice participants, including their photos and summaries of their responses. To accentuate specific points, BBDO played poignant video responses for the client. Mobile video surveys helped anchor BBDO’s creative strategy in genuine consumer insight (vs agency staff speculation), making the client much more receptive to their ideas. In the end, BBDO won the pitch.