Takes: question of the week

Who’d You Want to Be Stuck With on a Desert Isle?
Give them half a chance and people will talk your ear off on the topic of their desire to “get away from it all.” But it turns out (happily enough) that “it all” doesn’t include family members. In a survey conducted for Adweek by Alden & Associates, a marketing research firm based in Hermosa Beach, Calif., people were asked who they’d want as companions if they had to be stranded on a desert island. Inevitably, our pool of wisenheimer respondents couldn’t resist making reference to Gilligan, the Skipper et al, or to the likes of Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. But 55 percent opted for their spouses or significant others. A brave 5 percent preferred their kids as castaway companions, while 4 percent simply chose “family” and 2 percent wanted one or both of their parents. Men and women were equally likely to opt for their spouses, but women accounted for nearly all of those saying they’d prefer the kids. Awright, Mom! Not all the respondents gave such cockles-warming answers, though, with an unsociable 10 percent saying they’d rather be stranded all by themselves. Fine, be that way.


just different
Charting the Rise Of Techno-Pragmatism
Strong aversion makes for livelier news copy than mild indifference, so it’s no surprise that consumers’ technophobia draws ample attention in the media. And, as the chart indicates, enthusiasm for technology has waned in the past couple of decades. But the same survey, conducted by Roper Starch, finds little change in the percentage of people who say technology makes life worse. Rather, growth has come in a third category: people who say technology makes life “just different–no better, no worse.” That view was endorsed by 35 percent of the respondents in the current survey, up 13 percentage points from 1978. Roper’s analysis finds a “deepening pragmatism” about how technology affects daily life. If that’s correct,
marketers who divide the world into technophobes and technophiles must adapt to a more nuanced reality.