A Consumer Deprivation Study


The Brief:  The consumerscape is changing. TV is becoming an old technology as companies like Netflix and Hulu begin to persuade consumers to “cut the cord” with their TV provider. To test out the extent to which consumers were really dependent on TV, we needed to do some type of in-home experiment.


The Research:  We went into the homes of five families and hooked their TV up to a token timer. Participants had to enter a quarter for each 15 minutes of TV they watched. If, at the end of 15 minutes, they did not enter another token, the token timer would cut the power to the TV. Participants were given a set amount of money to use over the course of the week.


The Insights: People found it difficult to moderate their TV usage. Some of the participants used their quarters when binging on things like sports. However, by using all of their quarters in the first half of the week, TV had to be rationed during the rest of the week.


The Implications: Rationing the amount of TV consumers watched was hard. Using all of the token and not being bale to watch programs, like Sunday football, showed just how dependent consumers are on TV, even with other options like Netflix and Hulu on the market.