New analysis technique

A new technique developed in the u.s. can pinpoint the psychological appeal of one brand over another, says one of the social scientists behind Personal Drive Analysis.Karen Olshan, executive vice-president and director of research services at BBDO Worldwide in New York,...

A new technique developed in the u.s. can pinpoint the psychological appeal of one brand over another, says one of the social scientists behind Personal Drive Analysis.

Karen Olshan, executive vice-president and director of research services at BBDO Worldwide in New York, says central to pda is a comprehensive menu of 74 personal drives such as indulgence, ambition or individuality.

‘People are often attracted to brands because of their psychological reward,’ says Olshan, who has a doctorate in social psychology from Rutgers University.

‘We had the what and the who, but pda gives us the why of a brand,’ she says.

Olshan says although the bulk of the research for pda was completed over two years in the u.s., it can work in other countries, although she is careful not to generalize about its applicability beyond American borders.

Susan Bardwell, director of research and planning at McKim Baker Lovick/BBDO in Toronto, says there is no reason why pda will not work in Canada.

Bardwell says although the agency has considered the technique for some of its clients, and there has been an internal presentation of pda, no one is using it yet.

Using pda, bbdo can determine how personal drive imagery varies across brands, and where a brand’s equity lies.

So, within a category, it becomes possible to establish which imagery is aligned with a single brand, and which is shared by more than one brand.

Olshan says fees for using pda depend on the client’s target audience.