I begin the class by having the students work in their groups to create a list of demographics that can be considered by a company who wants to sell a product. I provide them with a small dry erase board and marker to use for this process. As they are working, I try to remain near the center of the room and listen to the discussions being had and the ideas being shared.
When the groups appear to be complete for the most part, I have a member of each group type their list on classroom computer, regardless of whether the idea has already been listed. This results in us creating the Demographics Wordle that gives a visual representation of the lists included by each group. The more times a word is included, the larger the font for that word will be in the image, and words only listed once will be the smallest. It is a fun way to let the students see how they compare to their peers and not make it a competition for which group had the most items on their list.
We then take a look at the wordle we created to look for trends and outliers. This helps some by validating ideas, and others by providing them with ideas they hadn't considered. It is important to review the concept of demographics as the first task the group must complete is to create a short survey to administer to adults and students alike. This means they will be collective information about which groups would be more or less likely to use the product, and thus will have a wealth of information at their disposal to plan and create the most effective advertising campaign possible.
After discussing what demographic information to collect in the survey, we then discuss what kinds of questions related to the product would be most helpful. Students list questions of all types, such as:
Would you be likely to try this product?
What about the product makes it appealing to you (or not appealing)?
Who do you think would be most likely to try this product?
I ask the students to work as a unit to create the survey, and to include at least 5 questions about the product in addition to the standard demographic questions we determined as a class.
Each group is provided with a laptop to put together the survey. The groups are given the remaining 30 minutes of the class period to complete the survey and get my stamp of approval. At the end of the class period, they are expected to print a copy of the survey and turn it in to me, like this Student Product Survey example. I also expect them to print a copy of the product image/blueprint to show to people they will give the survey to. I will then make the required number of copies for them to administer the survey the following day. I encourage the groups to come back at the end of the day to pick up the copies and get started right away, but do not make it a requirement.
In order to do a really good job using the information from the survey to guide the advertising design process, it is important to administer the appropriate number of surveys as soon as possible and compile the results.