Supermarket-ing Wars: Christmas 2017

Aussie Supermarket giants Woolworths, Coles and ALDI have all released their Christmas 2017 television campaigns.

All three retailers have worked with some super talented creative teams, so collectively they are already nothing short of wow-factor.

We took it to Australian shoppers to find out which ad really strikes a chord and makes them want to shop with a particular retailer this Christmas time.

We asked 1000 Field Agents their opinion on which ad they prefer.

If you haven’t yet seen the ads, take a look at what our Agents were presented with:

Woolworths – Share The Spirit of Christmas. Woolworths’ TVC celebrates the realities of the preparation and enjoyment of an Australian Christmas in the ‘Share the Spirit of Christmas’ campaign, by M&C Saatchi.
ALDI – The More The Merrier. Arguably the most original of the lot, telling the story of Doug, whose legendary knock in a game of backyard cricket lasts 40 Christmases, before he finally goes out to eat an ALDI Christmas lunch.
Coles: What We Love About Christmas. Coles’ TVC features a wide variety of Australians sharing what they love about Christmas, in a campaign developed by Big Red. Coles ambassador Curtis Stone shows up briefly at the commercial’s end.


Mobile Research Agency of the Year – WINNER!

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The MRMW Awards are a celebration of innovation and excellence in the market research industry and aim to recognise the hard work of individuals who have achieved significant breakthroughs in mobile market research.

The Awards are judged by an international panel comprised of experienced market researchers, respected thought leaders in the field of market research and MRMW Advisory Board members. Winners are chosen based on the judges combined vote, ensuring a fair and transparent selection process.


We were up against some heavy hitters including Watch Me Think, so we’re super-pleased that Field Agent has been recognised as an industry leader in Mobile Research.

Read more about the MRMW Awards here.

Shopping For Your Valentine [Survey]


Shopping for your ValentineField Agent went on-location for the most romantic of holidays: Valentine’s. Our survey of lovers across Australia paints a picture on what Aussies like to do to mark the day.

Valentine’s Day is big business. Australians spend about $791 million on Valentine’s Day and $91 million on flowers. Genevieve McCaskill,  Marketing & Events Co-ordinator at Flowers Victoria, said the average amount spent was $70 to $90 per transaction.


Of the survey respondents, almost half consider Valentine’s Day to be somewhat/extremely important (49%).

Those who are engaged consider Valentine’s Day as more important than those that are married or casually dating with 93% of engaged couples counting Valentine’s Day is somewhat / extremely important. 63% of those in a relationship (but are not engaged or married) consider Valentines Day to be somewhat/extremely important, whilst only 44% of those married place the same importance on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps this is an example that the so-called ‘honeymoon period’ fades as the relationship ages!

48% of woman consider Valentine’s Day somewhat / extremely important versus 53% of men. Anecdotally, this may be due to men showing appreciation for partners on this day (and the giving of gifts is traditionally something that men would purchase for female partners).




On average, men spend more than women with over 50% of men spending $50-$200 whilst women tend to make handmade gestures such as a home cooked meal or a chocolate on a pillow.

The gift that MOST would like to receive is to be taken out for a meal. 23% female & 20% male. Other popular gifts are weekend away (10%), flowers (10%) and movies (10%). Only 4% actually want chocolates or sweets!

Of course, it’s worth mentioning the lucky 1% who receives gift/s from $1000+ splurge!

Overall, bricks & mortar stores were the winners with 44% of lovers preferring to shop in a physical store. 24% opted for online shopping whilst 32% chose not to purchase store-bought gifts at all. Shopping tends to be from chain stores such as David Jones, Target, Big W, Kmart and Myer. The prominent source for online gifts is eBay.


Those who say they will share their Valentine’s Day experience on social media are most likely to use Facebook. Only a quarter say that they intend to share via social media; showing this is an intimate occasion for most. Most likely age group to share are those aged 25-34. Females more likely to share via social media than males (82% vs 18%). Perhaps as a status confirmation – If it’s on Facebook (AKA Brag-Book) it must be true!

See the infograph below for the full results:



Want to see stats like this_FOOTER


Selling to Football Fans: How Brands Win With 3 Game-Changing Plays

How Brands Win At Football header

With AFL and NRL Finals season days away, Field Agent is opening up its playbook. This article describes and illustrates 3 ‘game-changing plays’ for better serving football fans. Mobile audits and research allow companies to be where the action is happening, as it’s happening, throughout football season. So let us demonstrate the ways we help companies better serve customers and outperform competitors…when the game’s on the line.      

We take football seriously here at Field Agent. Very seriously.

It’s that time of year when our office starts buzzing with conversations—and even a little trash-talking—about our favorite teams, you know, how “this is the year we win the Premiership.”

But there’s another reason we take football seriously. Starting in August, many clients rely on us to win their own football competitions: the battle for football fans and the dollars they spend on merchandise to enhance their football-viewing experiences.

For nearly four years we’ve been equipping brands, retailers, and agencies with the information and insights to better serve their customers, refine their in-store executions, and outperform their competitors.

We do this especially during critical shopping events such as Finals season, when fans throughout the country flock to stores to purchase supplies for game-viewing parties, backyard barbecues, and of course, attending the big game itself.

We want to share a glimpse inside our company playbook, and briefly describe 3 ways Field Agent helps companies win during football season.

Play #1. Mobile Audits take you inside stores throughout the football season, so you can be closer to your products and in-store promotions.

Have our retail partners properly executed our football-themed in-store displays and signage? Are our products actually on store shelves as shoppers stroll by, or are they out-of-stock and unavailable to purchase-minded football fans? Do our products reflect the correct promotional prices to entice the spending of football fans?

Companies often bring such questions to us, particularly during critical shopping seasons. Geography separates brands from the retailers that sell their products, resulting in limited vision inside stores. But Mobile Audits provide vendors a fast, affordable means for monitoring their products and promotions at-retail.

To illustrate, this weekend we sent 30 auditors—we call them agents—to 30 different stores across the country. We asked them to take pictures of football-themed products and in-store displays:

Promo display

Companies use such images, which we verify through a multi-step quality control process, to monitor display placement, product availability, product pricing, and so on.

And because our agents are also retail customers, your customers, a mobile audit is also an ideal opportunity to gather consumer insights—quickly and affordably.

Companies also use these audits to collect qualitative insights from shoppers. As one agent commented, “I like the theme [of the display]. I’m a huge football fan! It definitely appeals to me to grab some Pringles to snack on during the game.”

This football season, mobile audits are your eyes and ears inside stores.

Play #2. Mobile Research allows you to be where the action is happening, as it’s happening. From man caves to backyard barbeques, companies can “be there” throughout football season.

Through the powerful combination of mobile technology and crowdsourcing, Mobile Research allows companies to be on-location with football fans—wherever they may be. In living rooms or stadium seats, we put companies directly among consumers, as they’re using specific brands and products.

During Football Final season last year, our sister company Field Agent USA visited the homes of 250 fans. We asked a variety of questions about their game day behaviours—as they were happening, and not, as with traditional research, days, months, or years after they had happened.

For instance, we asked agents to identify what activities they were participating in during the game. At 24%, “grilling food” topped the list, followed by “mixing alcoholic beverages” (18%) and “eating takeaway food.’” (12%).

We also asked agents to take pictures of their game day food spreads:

Food Spread

And because mobile research utilises smartphone technology, agents can also shoot video as well as still images.

Throughout football season, mobile research is a nimble and powerful means of collecting in-the-moment consumer insights—anywhere, anytime.

Play #3. During the biggest games of the year, whether it’s the AFL or NRL Grand Final, Mobile Research captures real-time information to help companies make better decisions and monitor performance.

Last year hundreds of companies looked on as Field Agent USA, conducted its thrilling Game Day Brand Wars campaign. We tracked, in real-time, what beer, soft drinks and chip brands fans were consuming during the Super Bowl.

Our ultimate goal was to determine which brands took home Most Valuable Player awards for best Super Bowl performance, and companies watched in anticipation as live results streamed onto our website.

Bud Light (13%), Coca-Cola (26%), and Tostitos (21%) won their respective categories. More than 500 agents ultimately participated in our inaugural Brand Wars.

Our Brand Wars campaign illustrates how mobile research may be used to collect real-time, up-to-the-minute information and insights during the biggest games of the football season.

Want to know what football fans think about your new commercial, the one airing during Friday Night Football? Mobile research can tell you. In real-time.

Interested to know how your brands and products are performing at backyard barbeques across the country? Mobile research can show you that as well.

If you need results as events are happening, mobile research can track the consumer attitudes and behaviors that matter most to your business.

Get in the Game  

Whatever your ‘need to know,’ mobile audits and research provide a direct link to your products, wherever they are, and your customers, wherever they are. And because Field Agent offers solutions in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods, this football season companies can get in the game—and win it—more easily than ever.

How Brands Win V2

McCormick Foods – Case Study


The Challenge McCormick Foods is highly regarded in the Australian food industry as a manufacturer of herbs and spices, recipe mix meal bases, marinades and instant packet sauces as well as other key brands such as Aeroplane Jelly and Keens Curry and Mustard.

McCormick Foods engaged Field Agent™ for a two-part project to gain an understanding of shoppers and consumers of store bought marinades. Part 1 focused on how and when consumers use marinades, their thoughts on store bought versus home-made marinades and how store-bought marinades could be improved. Part 2 was targeted to the same Agents who completed Part 1. Each Agent was asked to go into a Coles supermarket and purchase two flavours from the new ‘Marinade-in-a-Bag’ product range so they could go home, cook with it and provide real-time insights on the ease of use, packaging, flavour enjoyment, and insights into new potential flavour developments.

Part 2 of the project also allowed McCormick Foods to collect photographs of the finished meal Agents had cooked on the plate. An in store photo to confirm display in the store and a photo of the products purchase with the receipt were also included.

The Project

Field Agent™ was used to survey 180 consumers (Agents) from across Australia who participated in Part 1 of the McCormick Foods marinade research. Once on the shelf each Agent was asked to purchase any 2 of the McCormick ‘Marinade-in-a-Bag’ products, take a photo of the product on the shelf in the supermarket, take a photo of the purchased product with receipt, cook with the marinade, take a photo of the finished meal and complete the survey ‘in their home.’

Each Agent was asked questions based on:

  • Which brands of marinades they mostly purchase
  • Time of year they mostly cook with marinade products
  • Where they mostly purchase meat for marinating
  • What improvements or feedback they had
  • Would they purchase this product again
  • Would they recommend this product to friends or family
  • What other flavours would like to see
  • Rank possible new flavour names
  • What they thought of the packaging; was it easy to use and open
  • How convenient it was to use versus other marinade products
  • What they liked/disliked about using this product
  • What flavour/s would they like to see in a marinade range
  • How long did they marinate for
  • If they followed the recipe on the pack or made their own
  • Which flavour/s of marinades they mostly purchase

The Results

McCormick received invaluable consumer feedback on their new ‘Marinade-in-a-Bag’ product to help drive further development of the range. Verbatim comments provide additional information on the target market behaviours, values and attitudes toward cooking marinated meat at home as well as further insight into market demands and trends.

“McCormick Foods was keen to use The Realise Group’s new Field Agent iphone technology to understand more about what consumers considered when purchasing marinades and how they used them in their home. The results we received from this 2 part project gave us data that provided a real insight into the marinades market and how consumers used our new ‘marinade-in-a-bag’ product Capturing real time images of how consumers cooked with our marinades in their home was critical. These images gave us the ability to see into people’s homes and to better understand what’s important toconsumers when using a marinade product. Now that we have seen the benefits of what this cost effecitve tool can do we’re keen to consider it for use it in future projects to access main grocery buyers across Australia.”

Marketing Innovations Manager, McCormick Foods

Sample of Agent comments

“It’s easy & convenient to use, put the meat in the bag the night before and it’s ready when you get home from work. No washing up and minimal waste.” Happy Valley, VIC

“Loved that I could do it all without getting my hands dirty or have to wash dishes afterwards.” Cranbourne, VIC

“I would recommend as it’s quick and easy & something I would keep in my pantry.” Wangaratta VIC

“Fantastic flavour and easy to use when busy.” Nedlands, WA

“Very convenient. Usually marinating involves getting very messy. Putting the meat into the bag meant no mess.” Buckety, NSW

McCormicks3a McCormicks3b




Supermarket – Case Study


Supermarket Benchmark Survey

We recently asked a group of shoppers from our 15,000 Field Agents* around Australia to visit one of five supermarket brands on new year’s eve (2012) to demonstrate how our Field Agent iPhone App can assist businesses check merchandise compliance, stock levels, price and more within their stores and the broader industry. Each person who accepted a supermarket assignment in this case study exercise was asked to do so only if they were the ‘main household supermarket shopper’ and doing a ‘supermarket visit’ at any time during the day on New Year’s Eve, 31st December, 2011. While doing this supermarket shop they were asked to answer and do the following:

1.  Take a photo of the 2 litre Original Coca Cola bottles in the soft drink isle.
2.  What is the price of the 2 litre Original Coca Cola?
3.  Take a photo of all products in your trolley or basket before checkout.
4.  How long did it take to be served when you joined the queue at the checkout?
5.  Was the staff member who served you neat, tidy and presentable?
6.  Rate the friendliness of the staff member who served you at the checkout.
7.  Rate your overall satisfaction of your shopping experience today.
8.  Which option best describes your soft drink purchasing habits?
9.  Were there any items you intended to purchase that were not available today?
10.If so, what items were you unable to purchase today?

* registered shoppers with the iPhone App ‘Field Agent’ on their iPhone.

How did these brands compare against each other?

Sample Photos of Products in Trolley/Basket

(a)  ALDI
ALDI – Qld, Burpengary, 31 Dec 2011, 4.22pm
ALDI – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 12.16pm
ALDI – Vic, Preston, 31 Dec 2011, 11.34am


(b)  Foodworks
Foodworks – Vic, Narreewarren, 31 Dec 2011, 2.20pm
Foodworks – Vic, Sunbury, 31 Dec 2011, 6.59pm


(c)  IGA
IGA – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 12.35pm
IGA – Vic, Murrumbeena, 31 Dec 2011, 7.55pm
IGA – WA, Lynwood, 31 Dec 2011, 3.15pm
IGA – WA, Mt Lowley, 31 Dec 2011, 12.08pm


(d)  Coles
Coles – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 11.47am
Coles – WA, Erskine, 31 Dec 2011, 2.20pm
Coles – NSW, Sydney, 31 Dec 2011, 11.44am
Coles – NT, Palmerston, 31 Dec 2011, 12.19pm
Coles – Vic, Wheelers Hill, 31 Dec 2011, 7.53pm


(e)  Woolworths
Woolworths – Vic, Baxter, 31 Dec 2011, 1.07pm
Woolworths – Qld, Chermside, 31 Dec 2011, 11.29am
Woolworths – Vic, Mulgrave, 31 Dec 2011, 6.32pm
Woolworths – NT, Palmerston, 31 Dec 2011, 1.38pm


Supermarket Industry Benchmark Data

45% of customers waited more than 1 but less than 2 minutes to be served whilst waiting in a checkout queue.

34% of staff at check out were rated as ‘extremely friendly’

18% of shoppers found there were items unavailable they had intended to purchase.

52% of customers rated the overall shopping experience as ‘great’.

Sample Product Photos

Coles, Doncaster, VIC 3.24pm,, Dec 31st 2011.

Woolworths, Chermside, Qld 11.28am, Dec 31st 2011.

IGA, Castlemaine, Vic 5.40pm, Dec 31st, 2011.

Foodworks, Naree Warren South, Vic, 3.20pm, Dec 31st 2011.

Coffee Benchmark Survey – 5 Australian Coffee Companies

We recently asked our 15,000 Field Agents around Australia to visit one of five coffee companies we randomly selected to demonstrate how our Field Agent™ iPhone App can assist you understand customer service standards within the coffee industry. Each person who accepted a coffee assignment was asked to visit the specified cafe and order a cappuccino or latte (no size specified). Whilst in the cafe they were asked the following questions:

1.  Did the staff member suggest a larger size to you?
2.  Were you asked for a food item with your order?
3.  Did the team member ask you for your name?
4.  How long did it take to wait for your order?
5.  Take a photo of your coffee before you drink it.
6.  Based on the taste of the coffee, would you return to this company for a coffee in the future?

How did these brands compare against each other?

Industry Benchmark Data

Sample Coffee Photos

Coffee Club, Perth, WA
McCafe, Frankston, VIC
Mrs Fields, Sydney, NSW
Starbucks, Woolloongabba, QLD
Gloria Jeans, Hobart, TAS