Monday, December 22, 2008

Finally Truth in Consumer Marketing Research

I always thought the aspirational target customers developed during consumer research were rather two-dimensional cardboard cutouts of imaginary people. Fortunately, Mitsubishi felt the same and decided to create “Paper Craft” versions of their researched customers and pair them up with the appropriate vehicle.

Make sure you checkout the numerous examples on Mitsubishi’s site. See them here.

What you’ll find is an exhaustive range of vehicles, most found outside the U.S. market. They really are pretty cool looking things. I have young twin boys and decided to download a couple vehicle cutouts to see how they looked after following the supplied instructions. It took me a little while longer than expected to put a car together. In fact, my wife was watching me and pulled the paper and scissors out of my hands to show me how it was done. I was told I was doing it all wrong and that her years of cutting paper dolls was the proper training for this. I was more than happy to oblige as I was finding this whole experiment rather tedious. So, please find a seasoned paper doll expert of your own if you try this at home (the result is the photo above, yes that's my own Mitsubishi eKWAGON, the easiest cutout I could find.)

The email newsletter I received that included a link to the cutouts, invited me to build one and email them a picture of my completed model. I am doing so and will see what comes back (so stay tuned.)

I personally love the black clad, dark grey shirt couple sporting the Lancer Evolution as their car of choice. I don’t know what your experience is but most Evo owners don’t look this cool. They usually are wearing a Sun Microsystems white t-shirt, khaki shorts, and Nike shoes. Oh well, it’s all about image and who really wants a cutout of some 35 year-old software engineer?

I have to admit though I did enjoy playing with these and the kids really found them entertaining, even though, they couldn’t push a paper cutout across the living room floor at 15 mph.

I recall years ago that Mini Cooper ran some print ads with paper cardboard cutouts in Wired magazine that I quickly punched out and put together on my desk at work. Yeah I’m a geek. Better get back to learning Ruby on Rails.

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