Looks like people are lying in vital COVID-19 market research…

Forget the second wave of stupidity folks, the third wave of stupidity is gaining momentum in Australia. Suburbs with no recorded COVID-19 cases are rapidly running out of bog rolls again, as TPHS* spreads its deadly tentacles.

The third wave of stupidity is here…

Yet, despite my recent vigorous research into what humans fear most, the fear of running out of bog rolls doesn’t appear anywhere – on any list in the world.

On this list, it’s public speaking – even more than the fear of dying.

On this list, the biggest fear of Americans is “corrupt government officials” – which doesn’t really need any commentary under current circumstances.

On this list, it’s social phobias people fear most.

Damn I dropped my last roll…

So if the fear of running out of bog rolls is not a stated fear in any research, yet the biggest fear as demonstrated by current human behaviour is running out of bog rolls, one has to ask the question:

Can you trust market research results?

If you’ve worked in market research you know the answer to the question is “yes“. But, the research adage of “what people say versus what people do” is applicable, more often than not. It’s why there is a skill to framing questions when doing market research, which I won’t go into today.

Though my old boss David Ogilvy, who was a big fan of research, said this: “I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.

Maybe the next omnibus survey will reveal some new pandemic-related fears?

Though I doubt the fear of running out of alcohol will be a problem – home delivery of alcohol is booming – and there is no shortage of production. It seems the populace is happily getting sloshed in lock down, without leaving the couch.

Which reminds me, I need some more red wine – better check local same-day delivery services – cheers…

*Toilet Paper Hoarding Syndrome

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