Calling Margaret Mead: Ad agencies are hiring anthropologists and ethnographers to study and film consumers in their natural environments to see what...
|Scooped by Joachim Scholz, PhD|
By Eadaoin Candon:
The directors of Ogilvy and Mather advertising agency, Gilding and Shapira are both ethnographers. They head a group of researchers who follow consumers for hours/days at a time, filming them in their native environments. Their aim is to capture what consumers actually do with products rather than what they say they do.
Limitations of research tools, such as focus groups, which can be influenced by vocal members, can be overcome with ethnographic research by its duration and emotional engagement. However, ethnography is expensive, time consuming and doesn’t always provide clear guidance to a client accustomed to quantitative research methods.
Gilding carried out ethnographic research for Miller Lite and drew differences between Miller Lite and Bud Lite drinkers through video-recording and eavesdropping on drinkers. The data gathered resulted in a series of ads that scored highly for entertainment and empathy, but were not successful in driving sales.
The gap between knowing how consumers behave and actually utilising this information to drive sales will have to be bridged to get the most out of ethnographic research. Companies must use the insights they gain from ethnography to tap into consumers’ emotions, to send a message that resonates with consumers and results in sales.