A ABEPHISTORY OF MARKET RESEARCH IN BRAZIL
NATIONAL STAGE (1942 UNTIL THE END OF THE 90'S)
This phase extended from 1942 with the creation of IBOPE (Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics), the first research firm in Brazil, to the end of the century, when multinational market research groups started operations in Brazil, putting the country in the global operations of this market. Next, three stages of development of market research in Brazil during this period will be detailed: The first companies. Expansion. Transition.
The First Companies - 1940's and 1950's
Since the beginning of the 1930’s, radio was the most important communication and advertising vehicle in Brazil, a country of continental dimensions where most of the population was illiterate and lived in rural areas.
According to Carrilho (2005), ‘Radio was a medium that, at that time, revolutionized the sale of products mainly starting in 1931... This is a time when about 60% of the capital allocated to advertising by companies is applied in radio in the form of advertising and program sponsorship. The main advertisers are department stores, restaurants, snack bars, syrups, medications and food products.’.
Radio, albeit unintentionally, ended up interfering in the history of market research in Brazil. At the beginning of the 1940’s, Auricélio Penteado, a partner of Kosmos radio station in Sao Paulo, sought to better understand the listeners and measure his radio audience. To this end, he went to the U.S. to contact George Gallup, bringing back in his luggage some research techniques. As a result, he discovered that Kosmos radio was in last place in audience.
At that time, despite the importance that radio already had, little was known about its reach and impact. Advertisers and radio stations did not have tools to evaluate their investments. In this scenario, Auricélio Penteado decides to leave the Kosmos company and, on May 13, 1942 he founded the first research company in Brazil, IBOPE – the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, with the objective of safely measuring, through scientific methods, radio audiences.
According to Gontijo (1996), the first work developed by Ibope was a ranking of newspaper advertisers. In addition to radio audience, based on the Gallup methods, a study of consumption measurement was developed, based on the model of consumer panels done by J.W. Thompson in the US. Eduardo (2003) also states that Ibope started bus research in the country.
In the beginning, although offering relevant information to the market, Ibope struggled to gain credibility. It received praise when results were pleasing, but fierce criticism when they ran counter to the broadcasters’ expectations. Gontijo (1996) says that Auricélio began to give stamps so that his interviewers could mark the homes visited – proving the number of interviews and, on one occasion, took the questionnaires to the Sao Paulo Advertising Association to prove the rigor of his method.
In 1945, IPOBE opened a branch in Rio de Janeiro and soon moved the headquarters to the then capital of the country. In November of the same year, it conducted its first election survey, a study in the city of Sao Paulo on the presidential elections of that year, starting the offer of public opinion surveys that appeared in the name of the company, but were not done until then due to the unfavorable existing climate during the dictatorship of the New State of Getúlio Vargas. This study showed a lead for Eduardo Gomes over Dutra in the city (67% to 33% in favor of Gomes).
During the entire 1940’s, Ibope was the only independent company specialized in market research and opinion operating in Brazil.
However, consumer product companies and advertising agencies also were seeking to find out, in their own ways, through internal market research departments, information on the consumer market. Also in 1942, Gessy Lever, an English cosmetics and food company, opened a research department. Since it opened in the country, Colgate also developed much research internally. In 1948, McCann-Erickson opened in Rio de Janeiro, accompanied by their research department.
In September of 1950, at the urging of Assis Chateaubriand who wanted to expand his already powerful media group, the ‘Diários Associados’ (Associated Newspapers), officially enters the air in Sao Paulo on TV TUPI, the first TV broadcaster in Latin America, showing the new ways to the communications and media market and generated a new boost for research. During the early years, television had a highly restricted viewing audience due to the high cost of the sets. However, TV Tupi already sold advertising space to some advertisers.
In 1954, Ibope proposed a new service based on the new media, called the Bulletin of Television Service of Sao Paulo with 18,000 addresses registered of homes with television sets.
During the 1950’s, three new research companies are created:
· IPOM (Institute of Opinion and Market Research) - founded in 1952 by International Research Associates to service the accounts of Exxon and the America Embassy in Brazil under the direction of the American researcher Monroe Mendelsohn, IPOM served as the school of important Brazilian researchers such as Octávio da Costa Eduardo and Arthur César. In 1969, a new director took charge of the company, a French paratrooper during World War II named Maxime Castelnau, who previously worked in the marketing sector in Brazil. Castelnau, together with Paulo Pinheiro, developed TV audience research and consumer panels.
· INESE (Institute of Social and Economic Studies Ltd.) - founded in 1955 by Octávio da Costa Eduardo, after leaving IPOM. It was the pioneer in introducing new methodology to Brazil, such as car clinics.
· MARPLAN (Research and Market Studies) - company originated in the Research Department of McCann-Erickson, created in 1948. The company’s highlight was developing the ‘Marplan Studies’ on the reading habits of newspapers and magazines by different segments of the population that, starting in 1960 and until today, became essential information for advertising decisions in print media. It was also where Alfredo Carmo began his career, one of the most brilliant researchers in the history in Brazil.
Together with Ibope, these companies battled each other and took turns meeting the demands of the few international groups that used research, like Johnson & Johnson, Coca Cola, Vick and Anakol Laboratories, Exxon and Shell.
The launch of new companies and new research techniques increases in the following decades, accompanied by the development of the consumer market and companies.
During these first decades, the top researchers who stood out the most in this activity in Brazil were Monroe Mendelsohn, Octávio da Costa Eduardo and Auricélio Penteado.