Design of Experiments in Advertising

How Two Guys From the Gold Country Are Changing Advertising Forever [the broken link has been removed] by Robert X. Cringely

James Kowalick and Mario Fantoni, two guys who say they can show you how to use science to design ads that cost less while being 10 or more times as effective as doing it the old way.

Their secret is the Taguchi Method, which is a technique for designing experiments that converge on an ideal product solution.

“I taught over 300 courses for industry where we designed cars and electronic devices, but it wasn’t until one day I took over my wife’s kitchen and used Taguchi to perfect my recipe for vanilla wafer cookies that I realized how broadly it could be applied,” Kowalick recalls. “It took 16 batches, but by the end of the afternoon I had those wafers dialed in.”

It is great to see the application of Designed Experiments increasing. I am reminded of an article by my father, William G. Hunter, from 1975: 101 Ways to Design an Experiment, or Some Ideas About Teaching Design of Experiments. Examples of the topics of the designed experiments his students performed:

  • taste of stewed chicken
  • toys child chose to sleep with
  • quality of ground malt for brewing beer
  • distance football was kicked
  • absorption characteristics of activated carbon used with municipal waste water

I am also reminded of a fun article I ran across a few years ago: Three Romeos and a Juliet: – Our early brush with Design of Experiments.

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