Y&R Gets to Know Middle America at the Local Level

Sep 05, 2017

Today, Y&R North America launched an eight-week long cultural immersion project aimed at better understanding the life and core values of people across middle America.

Frequently lumped into stereotypes or overlooked entirely by marketers, Days Out: The Middle is an in-depth qualitative research project from Y&R eXploring that takes a closer look at the nuances and human experiences within the region. The project will take place September 10 - October 29 in Memphis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Phoenix.

Y&R eXploring’s proprietary approach to consumer insights takes the research out of the focus group and into the world, in search of the simple human truths that connect brands and people. From urban centers to the rural outer reaches of each location, strategists will spend two weeks living as residents of each city to gain insights into how people feel and live.

The project will focus on gaining authentic insights into the lifestyle, community and family dynamics of American audiences across the heartland, as well as their relationships with the brands they use.



Days Out will follow the teams as they find jobs, join communities, get to know families and experience local life. In return, these insights will enable work that better reflects and connects with people across this consumer group.

“Our immersive approach in these communities allows relationships to guide our insights and gives us a deeper understanding of life in Middle America beyond its politics, ideologies, and stereotypes,” said Dick de Lange, Chief Strategy Officer of Y&R North America. “To create relevance with this target audience, it’s important to not simply look at people through their data points, but really get at the heart of who they are through a more connected and thoughtful approach. Through eXploring, we can witness what is important to families, experience the challenges they face, understand what they value and most importantly, discover what connects us all.”

The team will be documenting their experiences throughout their time in each city on the Days Out website and on Instagram