They willingly sacrifice a night with friends, family, lovers, the TV.
They're happy to give up an evening reading a good book, watching their favourite soap, having fantastic sex, enjoying a beer with mates, tucking into some good food, mucking around with their kids.
They’ve all done this before (whatever they might claim).
They turn up to some of the bleaker commercial estates in the land.
They don’t mind answering absurd questions (for anything up to two and half hours) about something they usually ignore or pay barely any attention to in real life.
They’re happy to talk (for anything up to two and half hours) about the stuff that interrupts their entertainment.
They’re happy to talk (for anything up to two and half hours) about the stuff that frequently insults their intelligence.
They’re happy to talk (for anything up to two and half hours) about the stuff they believe has no effect on what they actually buy.
They know they’re being paid to talk.
They do this in the company of a bunch of total strangers.
They don’t mind being spied upon through a one-way mirror by a bunch of people they’ll never meet.
And if they’re lucky they’ll get to eat some tawdry sandwiches.
So… knowing all this, how much do we really trust their views and opinions on the embryonic creative ideas we put before them in focus groups?