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Here’s your latest kicked sandcastles:

  • The100: Presentation structure, innovation constraints and arm swinging
    Recidivism in a Recession As the whiff of recession continues to float through economies, Mark Ritson’s 9 steps marketers should take to avoid the dark times ahead are, in modern parlance, pretty flipping useful. “The companies that maintained ad spend, or even increased it, during a recession saw little advantage during the hard months of …
  • The100: Cynicism, Value and Häagen-Daz
    Tips from Uncle Les This 30 min talk from Les Binet about how to tweak your marketing plans in these uncertain times is a must watch. Not only does it provide a magnificent summary of where we find ourselves today, it also examines multiple factors that everyone should be aware of: The stoical cynic Martin …

Well done on the 100 email; it’s by far and away the best thing I get in my inbox every week and allows me to shamelessly pass off your horizon scanning as my own.

  • The100: Trends, lists & the Namib Desert

    The100: Trends, lists & the Namib Desert

    Welcome back! Anyone else relate to this? Anyway…  An AI experiment from the Bali tourist board Whilst machines like ChatGPT are learning to be human, Ian Leslie argues that the problem is humans are becoming like machines. It’s a marvellous piece, stuffed full of examples. He says: “We should refuse, in whatever game we’re playing, …


  • The100: The Best of 2022

    The100: The Best of 2022

    Well, well, well, that’s another trip around the sun completed. Which also means our annual Watch Me Think tradition to mark the occasion: The top 10 most clicked articles from The100 this year.  Strap in – keep your arms, legs, feet and antlers inside the vehicle, and enjoy the ride. In 10th McDonald’s Famous Orders …


  • The100: Critical ignoring, subject lines and supportive penguins

    The100: Critical ignoring, subject lines and supportive penguins

    The best of the best Jeremy Bullmore is the mother, father and extended family of all advertising legends. And, luckily for us, he’s released his archive. In amongst the tanzanite is a speech Bullmore gave whilst President of the Market Research Society: Research, of one kind or another, provides the basis for most of the …


  • The100: Cognitive empathy, broken Nudge theory and Lisbon’s toilets

    Nudge, nudge, hoodwink Tim Harford wrote an excellent piece in the FT called ‘What nudge theory got wrong…’.  A collective intake of breath from the behavioural scientists out there: If your problem is basically that fallible individuals are making bad choices, behavioural science is an excellent solution. If, however, the real problem is not individual …

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  • The100: Generational generalisations, poisonous creativity & Haribo grapes

    Told you it was dynamite I had the pleasure of chatting with Tom Goodwin for an hour earlier this week. It was for a podcast we’re releasing soon. There’s some dynamite quotes, not least this, on data:   I think what happened when we became immersed into a world where there was lots more technology and …

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  • The100: Algospeak, logo debranding and polite elephants

    Context is everything  Adam Ferrier writes about why creativity always loses the battle against indifferent consumers.  If you (or your company) pre-test creative work you need to read this. In fact, you need to read it anyway, especially if you use focus groups.   While we’re strong advocates of research and the commissioning of qualitative and …

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  • The100: Clients vs agencies, reality checks, and pillow fights 

    Ask-a-Researcher Is there a better combination than when something is both useful and fun? Didn’t think so.  That’s why we asked a few of our researchers (who have walked the hallways of Cadbury, Kraft, Mondelez, Fonterra, PepsiCo, Unilever and Alberto Culver) to discuss some topical research related questions. Kind of like an advice column for …

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  • Insight Led Consumer Closeness Programmes

    (It’s about winning, not the taking part) *(47 year old man makes meme – my apologies) Consumer closeness projects aren’t just about watching or speaking to people on video.  There, I said it.  You may be surprised to hear that from me, as a founder of a video based market research company, but after running …

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  • The100: Data visualisation, designed systems, and marble runs

    Ear candy The Right Honourable Lord of Marketing, Russell Davies, was interviewed as part of Google’s excellent Firestarters series. On data, he said (45:00):  “The data gold rush era is declining. We’ve never had more data about our customers and we understand them less and less […] People with intuition and empathy will get disproportionate …

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  • The100: Storyhunting, the future of work & research bashing

    De/Im-parting wisdom Tom Callard (soon to leave advertising agency BBH) wrote about the 50 things he’s learned in ad agencies. The whole list is great, but my highlights are: Trust your gut, but also try to prove it wrong.  Hunt for revelations, not ‘insights’ (thanks Richard Huntington). The consumer might not give you the answer, …

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  • The100: The illusion of research, what is brand and Sriracha sauce

    “When in doubt, read Bullmore.” Tom Darlington starts us off this week with a must read for anyone in Marketing on the brilliance of (Jeremy) Bullmore.  Not only has he covered every topic, but he has done so with clarity, brevity and fertility – qualities often lacking from modern discourse on the subject of brands, …

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  • The100: Strategic questions, shopping trolleys and Air Horse One

    I’m back. You didn’t notice. That’s ok 🙂 Neither did anyone at Watch Me Think towers (which I take as a compliment). On a side note, if you need any tips on hiking in the UK, pub lunches, theatre, museums and cinema, then I’m all topped up on that 😉 What is insight? Thanks to …

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  • The100: Logo throwbacks, marketing mistakes and Vikings

    Have the last laugh The use of humour in advertising has nosedived over the last 15 years. As of 2020 just 34% of adverts were funny or lighthearted, down from 53% in 2004. And the bottom line isn’t laughing either. Recent studies have shown humorous adverts tend to be more effective, and have a significant, …

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