In a unique, same-day study, Vision Critical conducted an online survey of 400 people from across the UK to measure their emotional reactions while watching the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. They were shown a five-minute video montage of footage and simultaneously clicked on words to describe their feelings as they watched (see methodology below).
Media Testing in the Field: The Royal Wedding, April 29, 2011
Overall, respondents reported feeling high levels of happiness and pride while watching the footage. However, there were significant gender differences in the reactions. Women reached much higher levels of both happiness and pride, with the peak of their emotional reaction coming at their first glimpse of Kate’s dress.
“Unsurprisingly, women are more excited than men,” said Vision Critical’s Senior Vice President of Research for the UK, Mike Stevens. “But their happiness doesn’t peak at the key romantic moments—the vows or the kiss—it actually comes when Kate’s dress is first glimpsed in the car.”
For men, boredom prevailed over happiness and pride. Pride was still plentiful however—heightened during the Royal Guard marching and the Lancaster Bomber fly-past. The military displays and national anthem were points of peak pride reactions among men.
The audience reported a sense of annoyance at two significant peaks during the footage—when Prime Minister David Cameron spoke about the couple and Prince William’s stepmother, Camilla Parker Bowles entered Westminster Abbey.
“Perhaps most remarkable of all is the near-complete absence of anti-royal sentiment,” Stevens explained. “With a nationally representative sample of a few hundred people, we would normally encounter this much more. In fact, it’s the Prime Minister who provokes the most negative emotions—and with the exception of Camilla—members of the Royal Family are seen in a positive (or at worst neutral) light.”
Vision Critical conducted this research using Media Testing – a web-based media screening platform designed to help researchers capture responses to audio and video content. Instead of relying on traditional dials, where respondents merely like or dislike what they hear and see, Media Testing allows participants to choose their emotional reactions as they happen, on a second-by-second basis, allowing for a profound examination of audience response.
Emotions covered in this survey were: engaged, interested, excited, confused, bored, amused, annoyed, happy, tearful and proud. 398 respondents – spread evenly across genders and age groups – completed the survey during the evening of April 29th; respondents were members of Vision Critical’s online research panel Springboard UK.
About Vision Critical®
Vision Critical is a global research and technology firm that creates software and services solutions for over 600 clients, including one third of the world’s top 100 brands. The company has offices across North America, Europe and Australia as well as a Global Partner Program that provides other research companies and consultants with access to top-of-the-line technology. Its Sparq™ product is the most widely adopted community panel platform on the planet.