Challenge: “We Have a Winner!”

Put the design team’s ads concepts to the test – with the very people who will buy what they sell.


Seek first to understand. Stephen Covey preached it, and we live it! When our client was about to embark on a statewide all-out marketing campaign involving a hefty media buy, we recommended multiple focus groups to test three ad concepts – and to challenge the concept the design team preferred. The campaign was focused on those who are uninsured, living below the poverty level. McFarland set up focus groups in three markets (two urban, one rural) with the state’s highest number of uninsured residents. This approach aligned with the client’s budget, and resulted in 27 participants who met the demographic requirements aligned to the campaign target market.


We have a winner! The participants, across all geographic markets, chose the same concept as their top pick. Each session drew out valuable feedback that better informed the campaign communication and imagery across the board, and challenged some assumptions that would have taken the campaign off the mark.

Client Feedback

The campaign resulted in participant enrollment that exceeded the client’s goal ahead of schedule, and was achieved below budget.