London, 8 March 2012. World leading research consultancy TNS today announces a campaign to tackle the growing problem of Information Obesity. Brands are finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with consumers who are being overwhelmed by the amount of noise they are continually exposed to through both online and offline channels. Through understanding how people consume information, TNS UK’s campaign can help brands reach their audiences and target their messaging more precisely.

In the digital space where some brands are newer, less experienced entrants to the communications sphere, imprecise media targeting is leading to a resistance among consumers over what they perceive to be the invasive nature of some companies’ strategies. For example, the most recent Digital Life study carried out by TNS reveals that 61% of the UK population do not want to be engaged by brands via social media.

Given the inundation of noise online, coupled with the fact that offline channels have not in any form decreased, TNS wanted to identify a method for Marketers to understand the ways people consume information and therefore make their message resonate more effectively. Our Information Obesity analysis identified five eating plans consumers follow which represent a new way of profiling and understanding brand audience based on preferred approach to information consumption. They are:

  • Fast Foodies - Consume the easiest, sweetest and tastiest data they can find
  • Supplementers - Motivated by the wealth of information available and consume as much as possible across all areas especially digital
  • Carnivores - Refuse to consume anything but the meatiest chunks of information
  • Fussy Eaters - Think of these as the digital sceptics who are loath to consume information even via traditional means
  • Balanced Dieters - Maintain a healthy balance by never consuming excessively, these consumers source their information from a variety of media

These eating plans have precise implications for brand marketers as they can be used to predict consumers’ receptiveness to a particular Marcomms strategy. For instance, our research indicates that Carnivores prefer to shop at M&S, whilst Fussy Eaters are more likely to stock up at Asda. What’s the implication? M&S have the leeway to beef up their communications, giving their customers large, meaty chunks of information they can savour slowly, and Asda would do well to deliver their brand data in short flashes and offer online nuggets to appeal to Voucher-hungry hordes, with media such as Twitter updates resonating effectively.

To see which eating plan you are on, TNS has crafted an Information Obesity quiz which analyses your responses and places you into a precise segment which can be found here.

Discussing the Information Obesity campaign, Russell Bradshaw, TNS Marketing Sciences Director and lead researcher on the study said: “Information Obesity is a tangible way of looking at an issue of critical importance for brands: targeting in an age of information overload. By understanding the predominant eating plans which exist among their brand franchises, and consumers openly disposed to future usage, Brand Managers and CMOs have a strong tool at their disposal for maximising the reach, resonance and hence value of their marcomms campaigns.”


Notes to editors

About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

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About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at