Can't believe I missed this great Brandweek piece about agencies bringing in hypnotists to focus groups; and it's a practice with decades of history, too: "A former Grey exec, Solovay has been hosting such groups for a decade. Her clients include about dozen brands including blue-chip beer, soda and telecom companies as well as 20 different agencies."
Has anyone tried administering thiopental sodium -- the truth serum -- on focus groups yet? Gotta be cheaper than running the groups ("Four sessions cost about the same as a typical round of focus groups ($50,000-75,000).")
Salon.com, back in 1999: "It's an intriguing thought -- the fate of America's consumer brands resting on the dubious musings of a bunch of soporific focus group respondents."
Anyway, here's everything you need to bring the magic to your office:
Brandvisioning, the company mentioned in the article. The pitch: "BrandVisioning Whole Mind Ideation brings focus groups to a whole new level. BrandVisioning focus groups use the power of hypnosis to allow consumers to better access and report their feelings about a product, a service, or a piece of communication. We uncover the core insights and truths that encourage deeper connections to your brand."
Keith O'Neill, a hypnotherapist also mentioned in the article. From his website: "Hypnosis acts like a time machine. Through the process of “age regression”, hypnosis enables us to take respondents back to their earliest product and brand memories and the emotions connected to them."
Hal Goldberg (above) is a former Leo planner who's been doing hypno-groups for 35 years. Call 800-646-4041 for a free DVD of a hypnotized group in action. He's in both the Salon's and Brandweek's articles.
There's a blog full of marketing tips for hypnotherapy professionals (doesn't the idea that hypnotists need marketing tips feel kind of funny?)
F0r the DIYers among you, I went through Amazon looking for a few books that wouldn't be a waste of money. Judging by their reviews, these two seem to stand out as both professionally and accessibly written:
- Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors
- Conversational Hypnosis: A Manual of Indirect Suggestion
Check out this one on a different but related subject: