Students Do P&G Market Research in Europe

October 16th, 2013 by CCAD News
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By Anne Saker

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Taylor Bense, Moataz Ahmed, Jim Lutz, Emily Geering, and Kathering Young take a break during their visit to the Louvre.

CCAD Advertising & Graphic Design senior Moataz Ahmed spent his study abroad trip talking to Parisian strangers in the Metro about their laundry. Industrial Design junior Lauren Purkhiser spent hers learning the intricacies of packing from Europeans who travel daily.

For these two students and six others, studying abroad in London and Paris for 10 days in July was an immersion into the world of product research for Proctor & Gamble, a consumer company with global reach.

“We weren’t just going to see these places,” said Purkhiser. “We were actually going to work and practice our craft there.”

Jim Lutz, chair of the Advertising & Graphic Design program at CCAD and leader of the market research trip, worked with the clay street project, a think tank within P&G in Cincinnati, to build the academic edge: getting the students to compare P&G products at home with similar P&G products sold in Europe.

Ahmed and Advertising & Graphic Design senior Veeraya Smithiphan asked people how they felt about laundry as a part of their study of the Tide detergent brand, called Ariel in Europe.

At first, Ahmed’s French was rusty. “But it’s really amazing how you start picking it up again when you’re immersed in a culture,” he said.

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Lauren Purkhiser with a member of the Queen’s Guard in London.

Purkhiser teamed with Advertising & Graphic Design junior Emily Geering to study the P&G brand Cover Girl. They noticed that European women love makeup, and they carry giant totes to keep everything on hand.

“My life isn’t nearly as on-the-go as that,” Purkhiser said, “so we started looking at that lifestyle of living out of a bag.”

Though some natives waved off their questions, Geering said most were willing to help.

“Most people were nice, and they didn’t mind talking to us at all,” she said.

Back home again, the students presented their results to Steve D’Amico, director of the clay street project.

The trip had plenty of touring and adventure, and the necessary visit to the Louvre was emotional for Geering. She once wrote a CCAD paper about Winged Victory of Samothrace and fell in love with the classical statue. When she finally saw the marble up close, she shed happy tears.

Trip participants included Industrial Design alumnus Matthew Wehrenberg (CCAD 2013) from Brecksville, OH (Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School); Advertising & Graphic Design seniors Moataz Ahmed from Powell, OH (Rocky River High School), Taylor Bense from Fairport, NY (Fairport High School), Veeraya Smithiphan from Bangkok, Thailand (International Community School), and Colin Wendt from Westerville, OH (Westerville North High School); Industrial Design senior Katherine Young from Mason, OH (William Mason High school); Advertising & Graphic Design junior Emily Geering from Mason, OH (William Mason High School); and Industrial Design junior Lauren Purkhiser from Akron, OH (Harvey S. Firestone High School).

 

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