Humour in Market Research

Rediscovering (not only your) Humour for Market Research and Brand Messaging

Humour is a difficult territory for brands and one where they can easily go wrong. How can market research help getting the messaging right – and does that mean quallies have to remember how to be funny?

Continuing our series of interviews with speakers of the upcoming Qual360 EU conference, we talked to Radhika Venkatarayan and Prasunika Priyadarshini from Karvy Insights. They chose a unique but also difficult topic for market research: Humour.

Qual360: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?

Karvy Insights: The core message of our talk is to understand how to humanize humour. Brands today are struggling to make a unique identity and they are using humour as a tool to connect and actively engage with the consumer. However, humour is easy to go awry, and brands don’t always get it down to a pat. The core aspect that our talk hinges on is to humanize humour- where we focus that the best insights are the ones where a brand is able to find what is funny within a key consumer truth.

Qual360: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?

Karvy Insights: We are living in times of trouble and turmoil. People also suffer from analysis paralysis and tend to overthink brand messages, often causing them to take offence.  Perhaps we have forgotten the art of laughing at ourselves or take ourselves too seriously. In the past we have seen brands using humour for their messaging, which has had a lasting impact on the consumer, leading to memorable communication and better call to action. We feel that we need to work towards winning back good-natured humour which can help brands, so our topic is also a rediscovery of sorts.

Qual360: What motivates you to join QUAL360 Europe and what are your expectations?

Karvy Insights:  While humour is a universal subject, our research topic (Using humour in crafting communication – what makes us Indians laugh) is very culture specific.  We feel that Qual360 is a global platform which will give us an excellent opportunity to showcase our framework and draw on the experience of the best minds in qualitative research from across the world. It will help us further sharpen the framework and make it more robust and universal in application. The platform will also provide for a mutually beneficial exchange of thoughts, diverse opinions and help us to get an understanding of other cultures as well. We are quite thrilled to be presenting and learning at Qual 360.

Qual360: There is a lot of talk about the current state of qualitative research. How would you sum up the current state of qualitative research? And what do you think QUAL360 Europe as a conference can contribute?

Karvy Insights: The world is becoming digital. With higher penetration of smartphones, internet availability, machine learning it has become easy to connect the brands with their customer. With the advent of new age technology, there are other alternatives to access data. However, we believe that Qualitative Research is very critical to the client business as it connects them with the voice of the consumer. Hence we feel that we as qualitative researchers need to acknowledge these changes and need to adopt different methodologies and work on innovative techniques. Integrating technology with qualitative research and data analytics will help us make it more relevant for our clients. In this context Qual360 as an international and a global platform can contribute by leading the innovation thought process and provide direction towards making Qualitative research as a key part of the client’s business.

Qual360: How must researchers/content creators prepare and innovate for the future?

Karvy Insights: Consumers attention spans are shrinking. This demonstrates that researchers and content creators have to focus on the key insight and cut out all the fat or stop being gimmicky while communicating with the consumer. Another area of growing concern is consumer’s data privacy where personal information if inadequately protected has a chance of getting misused. The content creators need to be cognizant of the same and develop new ways to promote or advertise products in the future.

Qual360: Thank you very much Prasunika and Radhika. We look forward to hearing more at Qual360 Europe 2019!


Join QUAL360 Europe 2019 on May 15-16 in Amsterdam

Qual360 Europe will feature leading brands like Formula 1, Givaudan, Sky Media, Land Rover, British America Tobacco, Alpro,, Pernod Ricard, Philips, Vodafoneziggo, Mast-Jägermeister, Arla Foods, BBC and many more for two days of talks, discussions, workshops and of course networking!

View Conference Agenda and Speaker Panel.

QUAL360 Europe 2019



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