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Finding an effective way to create engagement amongst business partners, client teams, and consumers can be challenging – especially when you have less than one week to do it! How do you glean in-depth results on a tight timeline without sacrificing on depth of information?

A top beverage company was interested in an innovative and quick-turn way to facilitate conversation with one of their quick service restaurant (QSR) clients. Specifically, they needed insights into the personal lives and needs of diners at a specific QSR chain where their beverage products are sold. They wanted to better understand what these consumers look for in dine-in and take-out experiences from the quick service restaurant. 

C+R set out to uncover who this key diner was, ultimately delivering—in under a week—a video reel for the beverage company to share at a workshop. The video reel allowed our client to help their QSR partner to immerse into the lives of their target consumers. 


A major beverage company came to C+R for help in bringing to life the diners of a QSR chain where their products are sold. The company was interested in better understanding who these diners are on a personal level and what they look for when dining in and ordering meals to go from the quick-service restaurant. Additionally, the client team wanted to engage with diners first-hand to increase empathy and better understand their needs. 

The company needed the results quickly, as they planned to present them at a workshop that they were facilitating with their quick-service restaurant partner. The workshop was scheduled for less than one week from when C+R took on the project. 


Due to the need for quick results, C+R decided against preparing a traditional PowerPoint report. Instead, we asked our creative multimedia team to create a 15-minute video sizzle reel. This sizzle reel featured five sections - each comprised of video submissions from the participant diners who answered five discussion topics. The C+R multimedia team combined video clips for each participant’ to create a well-rounded and personal look into the consumers’ lives. 

Along with providing a visual story of their diners to share at their workshop, the sizzle reel gave our client and their QSR partner a better overall understanding of who their consumers are. For example, the company discovered more about the consumers’ environments and heard directly from them on how they feel about the restaurant, their dining experiences there, and their suggestions to increase diner engagement.

These discoveries ultimately led to insights into how our client and their QSR partner could change/optimize the fast food restaurant. The team learned that diners place a high importance on quality, convenience, and friendly staff. Each of these factors plays into the overall experience at this particular fast food restaurant. Suggestions to further optimize the fast food restaurant revolved around discount deals and providing a fun, family environment for consumers.


In order to gain depth of information in a short period of time, C+R used an online qualitative discussion board to host a quick-turn video ethnography project. Typically, an online discussion occurs over the course of several days and includes numerous questions and projective activities. However, due to the time limitations (less than one week), we utilized the online discussion board as a host platform for the diners to answer questions via video uploads. 

Our client wanted to explore differences across three diner segments based on the frequency that they ate at their QSR partner: core diners (frequent), light diners (occasional) and new diners.  Over the course of several days, participants uploaded short videos answering questions related to the client’s specific areas of interest, including participants’ homes, what they value, and—most importantly—how they interact with fast food restaurants broadly, and our client’s QSR partner specifically. 

This FlashQual video ethnography method proved successful in various ways:

  • The videos that were generated provided rich quotes, vivid images, and facial expressions that highlighted participants’ words
  • Participants were able to complete the activities far quicker than by writing extensive responses to projective activities and questions
  • We were able to integrate our online platform with our client’s video account. This allowed a quick and seamless way to transfer the videos from the discussion directly to the client 

After all participants had posted self-recorded videos answering key discussion questions, we invited select participants to a series of live, follow-up webcam focus groups. The participants were selected based both on how well they answered the initial series of questions (we chose only ‘star’ respondents) and on their diner type (frequent, occasional, and new). 

This client was focused on being as hands-on as possible to really understand their target audience. To this end, the client team interviewed respondents during the online focus groups, which allowed them to dig deeper into areas of interest from the discussion board and also to create a relationship between themselves and the diners. Allowing the client team access to these webcam focus groups provided additional valuable insights that they took directly to their workshop. 

Because the client needed results in less than a week, and because they wanted to truly capture who the diners are on a personal level, C+R opted to deliver the results via a video sizzle reel. Our multimedia team created a comprehensive reel showing diners in their natural environments as they answered questions. 

Ultimately, our client walked away with firsthand insights and an engaging video reel to start a dialogue with their QSR partner, as well as actionable optimizations to better address the lives and needs of their consumers. 

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