And the winner is…results from our recent Oscar poll.

MSI_Academy_Awards_winnerAnother Hollywood award season culminated Sunday night with the biggest show of the year, the Academy Awards. From the red carpet parade of designer gowns to the over-the-top show production, from the “genuine” heart-felt (if not incoherent) acceptance speeches of the winners to the gracious applause from the losers – and not to mention Jennifer Lawrence’s embarrassing trip up the stairs – the Academy Awards brought its audience a wide range of emotions that only Hollywood can.

For those of us in the market research industry, the Oscars also gave us another chance to see how well the so-called experts could predict the winners. At MSI, we were curious to see how well our audience fared against the Nate Silvers and David Rothschilds of the world. We asked our social media followers a few questions on who they wanted to win, who they thought should win, and who they predicted would win in the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture categories.

With over 100 people responding, MSI followers on average watched 2 out of the 9 movies nominated for Best Picture. Over one-quarter (29%) did not watch a single nominated movie (if The Avengers was nominated that number would be much closer to 100%), but why let that stop people from making predictions or sharing their opinions? Does it matter that so many people did not watch these most of these movies? Would we see a bias towards Silver Linings Playbook, set locally in Philadelphia and starring hometown actor Bradley Cooper?

Let’s find out. Without further ado, here are the results (queue the music as we open the envelope)…

The Oscars Survey

February 24th is the biggest Hollywood event of the year. Although we’d like to think we’re above it all, let’s admit it, we’re all a little hopeful of an embarrassing trip up the stairs to collect the award or some incoherent babble we can laugh at in an acceptance speech. Really, who doesn’t love Jack Nicholson smirking in the front row or question why we all need to listen to the tight security guarding the results by PricewaterhouseCoopers? Celebrity, glitterati, whatever you call it, it’s completely superficial but yet we can’t help ourselves. It’s fun! It’s an event! We love movies!

So, unlike our usual efforts where we typically solicit opinions among people that are well informed on the topic, here we’re just interested in what you think. No movie going required. Just opinions.

The survey is available at and will be available through 7pm, Sunday, February 24th.

Chalk another one up for Beer Bloggles shameless pandering!

Check back after the awards when we compare our selections with the “experts”!

Hooray for Hollywood!



Valentine’s Day – An obligation

We were curious how our friends, family and clients planned to spend their Valentine’s Day. So we did a quick informal poll with a little bit of humor. Remember this is not science and while we completed 150 interviews we won’t even discuss the inevitable margin of error.

So here are some of the highlights of our quick little poll…

“I do it for her,” probably not surprising, men are much more likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day solely to keep their partner happy. This may explain why women are more likely to claim “Oh is this Valentine’s day week.”


Older folks were more likely to state they actually look forward to this day. Assuming age is an indicator of longer relationships – this suggests that familiarity does not breed contempt.


Many of our followers are traditionalists – they celebrated by flowers, candy and other types of gifts followed by a dinner out yesterday. There was some time shifting to weekend celebrations.

Romance beyond the living room didn’t appear to be on the agenda yesterday. Men clearly see an opportunity to share a good bottle of wine with their partners, but there was little indication of amorous activities from men or women. At least no one admitted getting tipsy and seeing what panned out. Further, only 1% participant indicated a romantic getaway was in order.

V_day_getawayWe should note that reading 50 Shades of Grey either alone or with your partner was ignored by all. We’re not sure but this may be an indication of the literary sophistication of our audiences.



Candies and Flowers or Die Hard Movies – How will you spend Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's_dayWe were sitting around earlier this week talking about our plans for Valentine’s Day. MSI’s plans ran the gamut from the full blown traditional flowers, candies and dinner out to the “I hate hallmark holidays”. So we wondered what other people were planning to do on the eve of this occasion (one which some of us love while the rest of us – well you get the point).

So in our continuing efforts to have a little fun in the “This is not science” area of our Beer Bloggles, we decided to ask our friends, families and followers to tell us what their plans are. We have put together a very short (and somewhat humorous) survey on your plans for Valentine’s Day. So take a moment and let us know your thoughts.

The survey is available at and will be available through tomorrow evening.

And check back on Friday when we publish the results.



Big Data Scientists – Fact or Fiction An Interview with Dr. Mark Hayward, University of Texas

Big_Data_MSIRecently I have read a number of articles about Big Data Scientists. Actually, they have been about Scientists, Analysts, Researchers, etc. Nobody knows what to call them, so I’ll use the term “Scientists.”

And similarly, no one seems to agree on where they come from (or where they should come from). The arguments range from IT, Business Analysts and Statisticians to Social Scientists. As I read these debates, my gut reaction was to believe the best data scientists will come from the social sciences.

Super Bowl 2013: Year of The Big Bang Ad Theory

Superbowl_TV_CommercialBased on a light traffic commute to work and an abundance of parking spaces available in the office park, a feeling permeated that Super Bowl 2013 had been widely viewed. Based on one’s gut, this is a logical conclusion since the day which follows Super Bowl Sunday is the single most called out sick day of the year by workers. In fact, a petition has been sent to the attention of the Federal Government to consider letting hundreds of thousands of Super Bowl viewers take the following Monday off.

As marketing research professionals, one yearns for more tangible evidence. To meet that end, old school secondary research was attainable in the form of TV viewership data. Would U.S. ratings for Super Bowl 2013 be larger than classic finales such as MASH, Dallas (aka Who Shot J.R.) or Cheers? Could Super Bowl 2013 surpass other highly rated Super Bowls or sports events like the Olympics? Is it possible that more people watched Super Bowl 2013 than Michael Jackson talking to Oprah, Gone with the Wind, Roots or even the Bob Hope Christmas Special? Super Bowl 2013 might be big but could it be larger than the aforementioned events?

Introducing Beer Bloggles


As part of our continuing blogging efforts we decided we wanted to have a little more fun with some of our blogs. But we couldn’t exactly figure out how to generate some fun yet interesting topics. Steve Levine suggested we go out every couple of weeks and brainstorm over a drink and some noshes. We tried it and Beer Bloggles was born.

So MSI will start a series of rather lighthearted but topical/interesting blogs under the name Beer Bloggles. This weekend we’ll start with a quick Super Bowl survey. I mean we’re all in marketing right? So let’s match wits. Vote on the most recalled brand and the best brand advertising. Let’s see if we agree.

MSI will launch a little survey site on Sunday evening after the Super Bowl. We’ll have both MSI staff and you (our social connections) complete a quick two minute survey.  Look for the link on our social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and we’ll publish the results by Monday afternoon.

Enjoy the weekend,