Advertising on radio reached its peak in the 1940s. Recall testing was especially adapted to broadcast commercials and was applied widely. By 1948, Dr. Gallup had left Y&R to join with Dr. Claude Robinson, then head of Opinion Research Corporation, to start Gallup & Robinson, Inc., now The G&R Cooperative, LLC., the first advertising research firm.

By then, print testing had evolved to include pre-testing, where the test ad was tipped-in to a simulated magazine and evaluated using the Recall/Communication/Persuasion method. This method provided additional qualitative and quantitative data and also utilized more stringent controls than did recognition.

In the 1940s, Dr. Ernest Dichter introduced the concept of rapport between the consumer and the message or brand as a factor in driving sales. This was a marked departure from the emphasis on quantitative methods espoused by contemporary researchers, especially Alfred Politz, who sharply criticized Dichter for introducing so-called “pseudo-scientific” concepts. In retrospect, it is clear that copy research greatly benefited from the use of qualitative consumer interviews, personal introspection, and other motivation research techniques developed by Dichter.

Meanwhile, as an outgrowth of the radio research that he was doing at Y&R, Gallup founded another company called Audience Research, Inc., which specialized in radio and movie audience research. To study an audience’s reaction to a movie, Gallup’s venture purchased the exclusive rights to the Hopkins Televote Machine invented by a former Navy officer. Through a series of individually controlled rheostats, this machine could be turned by respondents to indicate liking or disliking as they viewed the movie. The company also obtained additional data using concept tests, cast recognition and ad budget alternatives to predict box office receipts. When television threatened movies’ existence, Gallup exited the business and sold the Hopkins Televote to Disney. The technique resurfaced years later at Audience Studies, Inc. (ASI).

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