‘Vox Pops’ or ‘Voice of the People’ interviews (Man on the Street Interviews in the U.S.) are notoriously difficult for journalists and market research specialists alike. The toughest element is stopping people on the street and hoping they have time to answer a few questions. How many times have you ever stopped on the street for someone doing market research? Having recorded my fair share of voxes I know what it is like to be in a market researchers shoes and the tables have turned! I for one now stop for market researchers more than ever before.
Researchers can come in many forms, from students doing research for their dissertation, to charity workers trying to get their message across. So there is a battle on our streets for willing volunteers to stop and spare a moment or two. In order to suceed you have to be a little creative, particularly if you want someone to appear on camera. If you are looking to record vox pops have you thought about bright clothing? Waving at someone? Or donning a big smile? All of these can help you engage with people. In addition, have you thought about offering an incentive? A gift voucher or cash can go down well, or a gift from the company might be useful as well.
Where will you be conducting the research? Foot-fall is really important. You need lots of people going past and you need to aim for the right demographic for your research. Some respondents may want to talk about equality issues, but not finance, so do not feel bad if someone stops but has little to say on the subject.
If you are shooting video, there are a few ‘Don’t do’s’. Don’t shoot near heavy traffic, fountains, loud music or have flat brick backgrounds. These are on-streets videos and they need to look like the streets of your town or city. Having some iconic land marks for b-roll is useful for the edit as well. Plus make sure you change the background each time, you don’t want the same shot for every respondent.
Plenty to think about, and if you need any help, give Peter Shevlin at c60media a call – the number is on the contact page.
Good luck – and don’t forget – have fun out there, people do stop for big smiles!