Signs and Symbols in Qualitative              Analysis:Training Seminar on Semiotics and Ethnography                      ...
Anthropology and Market Research  Anthropology:  The study of cultures – what  people do and why….                       M...
Anthropology: Study of Culture Semiotics:                   Ethnography: Culture-bound texts…         Analyses… • Books, T...
Anthropology: Study of Culture• Why, why, why   – Semiotics      • Good for…understanding the language and cultural landsc...
Semiotics            The Theory                         5
What is Semiotics?• Study of signs and meanings   – Multidisciplinary roots      •   Anthropology      •   Philosophy     ...
What is Semiotics?• A sign…  – Anything that can be used to tell a lie… (Eco)  – Something which stands to somebody for so...
What is Semiotics?• What are the signs  here?                       8
What is Semiotics?• Or here?                     9
What is Semiotics?• Or here?                     10
What is Semiotics?    Signifier                                                            SignifiedExpressive elements:  ...
What is Semiotics?• Peirce’s Indivisible Triad   – Harvard logician (vs. linguist Saussure)   – A sign entails 3 correlate...
What is Semiotics? – What are the representamens, interpretants, objects in   this ad?                                    ...
How do signs work?• How do signs gain their meanings? (C.S. Peirce) 1. By Law or fiat: the arbitrary (referential) relatio...
How do signs work?• How do signs gain their meanings? 3. Indexicality: Object or word becomes a sign by virtue of juxtapos...
How do signs work?• Indexes, icons and symbols are not mutually  exclusive   – “Hey” as a greeting is both symbol (the wor...
The role of culture• We comprehend signs because we are culturally  competent…  – We know the conventions…     • How we ta...
The role of culture• Cartoons                      18
The role of culture• Cartoons                      19
The role of culture• And more cartoons…                       20
The role of culture• Cartoons  – New Yorker cartoons that violated crucial conventions                                    ...
The role of culture• We comprehend signs because we are culturally  competent…  – We know the cultural metaphors or values...
The role of culture• Conventions of art/of representation vs.  conventions of style                                       ...
The role of culture• What metaphors are  being invoked and  violated here?                       24
The role of culture• We comprehend signs because we are culturally  competent…  – We know the ideologies…broadly shared co...
The role of culture  – E.g., the specter of disease a century apart: what is different?                                   ...
The role of culture  – Nature vs. culture                         27
Semiotic Analysis• Semiotic analysis makes the unconscious explicit   – Decodes communicative events      • Advertising   ...
Semiotic Analysis• Seeing what is there and knowing what is not:  Paradigmatic analysis   – Saussure: Meaning is found in ...
Semiotic Analysis – E.g., speech styles are paradigmatic alternatives.        Paradigmatic axis  Intimate:           yo.  ...
Semiotic Analysis – So too in advertisements where visual alternatives are   paradigmatic alternatives                    ...
Semiotic Analysis   • Williamson (1978) Catherine Deneuve vs. Margeaux     Hemingway       – Ads signify because we know w...
Breakout Session• Identifying Conventions   – Organize yourselves by country of residence   – Using materials you brought ...
Semiotics            The Practice                           34
Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising• 3 premises  – Nothing exists in a vacuum (things, ideas, actions)  – No communicat...
Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising• For marketers and advertisers   –   Product positioning   –   Creative strategies ...
Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising• Interpretation   – Depends on our powers of cultural knowledge and     observation...
Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising                          What are the key values defining a category?              ...
Analytic Frameworks• Any number of frameworks have been invoked  methodologically as semiotic analysis  – Citing various l...
Analytic Frameworks• Le carré sémiotique: a structural opposition (see Greimas and  Cortés, 1979)           A       Relati...
Analytic Frameworks • The enunciative frame: based on the pragmatics of   language (see Defrance, 1988; cf. Jakobson)     ...
Analytic Frameworks• Layers of signification  signifier   denoted              connotations              values/codes/myth...
Advertising• The questions or objectives   – About categories      • What is the cultural discourse staked out by a catego...
Advertising• Implications for…  –   Positioning brand  –   Pitching new business  –   Taking a brand into new market  –   ...
Advertising                                                    Cultural Themes                                            ...
Advertising                                                      Pile of Ads• The process                                 ...
Advertising                                                                                    Analysis       • The proces...
Advertising   • Who is the viewer?   • What is the modality?                             48
Advertising   • And who is the viewer here?   • Modality?                                   49
Advertising   • What are the signifiers here?                                     Wired Magazine, September, 1995         ...
Advertising   • Modality?   • Viewer?   • Expressive elements                           51
Advertising – Elements,   modality,   viewer?               52
Advertising   • Elements, modality, viewer?                                   53
Advertising• Pass 2: Tick tacking between levels by brand                Second pass at verbal                and visual e...
Advertising• Pass 3: Building brand by brand to cover a  category or audience                                   Recurrent ...
Case Study: Airlines (US, 90s)• 1997• Semiotics as “Competitive Analysis”   – Initial stages of pitch for Delta Airlines b...
Pitching Delta Methods   Focus on international business travel   Ads pulled in U.S. and London/Europe by agency    off...
Pitching Delta General      themes in international travel   Reach    (breadth of service, frequency)        Replete wi...
Pitching Delta                 59
Pitching Delta Travel    and Travelers: Implicit Assumptions   Travel    is freedom (new worlds, exploration)        Da...
Pitching Delta                 61
Pitching Delta Travel   is a journey   Discovery/self-discovery   Exploration/dreaming  A  plane is a place to think, ...
Pitching Delta Breakthrough       advertising: BA   Spare, surreal, poetic -- symbols of dreams and their    boundless n...
Pitching Delta                 64
Pitching Delta                 65
Pitching Delta Being     in control   Critical forbusiness travelers   Brands differ in what sort of control is conferr...
Case Study: Airlines (US, 2000)        • Update: 2000             – Shifting discourse on ‘what is travel’                ...
Case Study: Airlines (US, 2000) • And different voices                                       An Instrumental ActivityWe do...
Computer Ads• 1980s, US  – (video)               69
Computer Ads• 2002  – Macintosh: What has    changed?                          70
Breakout Session• Coffee advertisements                          71
Coffee Advertisements (US)                             72
Coffee Advertisements (US)                             73
Retail Environments• Recognizes   – Retail experience is a locus of exchange between consumer and     producer• The questi...
Retail Environments• Implications for…  – POP merchandizing  – Design of retail  – Services                        75
Retail Environments• Observational (expert analysis)• Often, in conjunction with consumer readings of  the environment   –...
Retail: Shopping for PDAs• ProtocolObjectives•   Understand PDAx in the retail environment•   Role of packaging, displays,...
Retail: Shopping for PDAs• Protocol    Observe    •Store layout          •How is PDAx positioned in store?          •Any p...
Retail: Shopping for PDAs• ProtocolBrowsing patterns around PDA technology (track consumers as they move)    •    Interest...
Retail: Shopping for PDAs• ProtocolConversations/Sales interactions    •     Language used by browsers and sales associate...
The Store Environment•   Design Character: 2 Paradigms (observed)    – Explore...        • CompUSA (Chicago, Boston)      ...
Signage and Location•   Ambiguous messaging         “Canon” signage above endcap display       Column in Staples: severely...
Signage and Location•   “Palm” is a generic name for the category, as in “Where are the    Palms?”     – Compare to signag...
Packaging•   Packaging is often inaccessible     – Behind glass in a case at CompUSA and Staples     – In “lock-up” (anoth...
Displays•   Dead Displays: Detritus on the counter     – Induces frustration and irritation         • Feel stupid when not...
Retail Environments: shoes• Enlisting the consumer in the decoding process   –   About shoes and their significance in lif...
Retail environments: shoesFavorite Stores (Take pictures if possible)Ok, let’s start with the store around here you would ...
Retail environments: shoesThe Store ExperienceIn general what kind of thoughts does the store inspire? What kinds of moods...
Shopping Today•     Ideally, shopping environments offer a cohesive presence;      favorite stores are coherent.          ...
Shopping Today•    Favorite, coherent stores               Polo Sport                            Bloomingdales       Beaut...
Shopping Today•     Banana Republic sets a current standard         Banana Republic                              French Co...
Shopping Today•     Environments evaluated in terms of coherence, favorites or not             Country Road               ...
Breakout Session: Coffee Places                                  93
Breakout session: coffee places• Objectives   – Marketing: design new service offerings for Starbucks     Bangkok      • W...
Breakout session: coffee places• What is coffee in Bangkok?  – Debriefing session     • What are the signifiers/what is si...
Breakout session: coffee places• Coffee in Bangkok  – How is this Bangkok    coffee and not?                              ...
Breakout session: coffee places• The artisanal form?   – Marketplace                                  97
Breakout session: coffee places• The marketplace: new traditions?                                     98
Breakout session: coffee places• Coffee in Bangkok  – What don’t we know?  – What does pure observation miss?             ...
Ethnography              The Theory                           100
Ethnography: What is it?• First back to the beginning …                                  101
Anthropology: Study of Culture Semiotics:                   Ethnography: Culture-bound texts…         Analyses… • Books, T...
Anthropology: Study of Culture• Why, why, why   – Semiotics      • Good for…understanding the language and cultural landsc...
What is Ethnography?• In-situ, about ‘lived’ experience   – In the home, store, office,   – In the kitchen, the den, the w...
What is Ethnography?• Participating as well as  observing   – Talk is crucial• U.S. News and World  Report (August 1998) d...
Anthropological EthnographyObservation*                                                         Participation*   Behavior ...
Ethnographic Goals                  The Insider                    PointAnthropological    of View   Goal for             ...
Ethnographic Goals• Why cultural meanings?  – Meaning because humans are semiotic spinners     • “The concept of culture I...
Ethnographic Goals• Why cultural meanings?  – “Culture” because meanings are extra-individual     • Data on habits, values...
Ethnographic Goals• Why cultural meanings?  – We need to know the insider meanings of actions, in    Geertzian terms: disc...
Ethnography              The Practice                             111
The Art of Ethnography• Get details, details, details, and more details   – Nothing is too small, build the meanings and t...
The Art of Ethnography• Rid one’s head of (cultural) assumptions     – Need to be asking ‘what is going on?’           • A...
The Art of Ethnography• Consider everything and everyone in the environment   – Utilize the fact of being “in-situ” (in ‘t...
The Art of Ethnography• For instance, to investigate kitchen cleaning, one  goes into consumers’ kitchens to watch them  c...
The Art of Ethnography• But, the details of what’s backstage helps to show  what kinds of ‘dirt’ are likely to be in the k...
The Art of Ethnography• Who and what’s outside of the kitchen also tells  the story.                            The chair ...
The Art of Ethnography• What’s central to kitchen and kitchen cleaning  may not have been what was expected …             ...
The Art of Ethnography                     Cultural                     MeaningWhat is a kitchen?              What is kit...
The Art of Ethnography• Get details, details, details, and more details   – Nothing is too small, build the meanings and t...
The Art of Ethnography• Rid one’s head of (cultural) assumptions     – Need to be asking ‘what is going on?’           • A...
The Art of Ethnography• Consider everything and everyone in the environment   – Utilize the fact of being “in-situ” (in ‘t...
Ethnographic Techniques• Observation   – Of actions, things, words   – Consider context – small and large   – Record, by h...
Ethnographic Techniques• Observation video example: what is ‘picking up  some beer?’                                      ...
Ethnographic Techniques• But observed human behavior must always be coupled  with cognitive meaning, otherwise what is it?...
Ethnographic Techniques• For beer, one needs to know:    – “What’s on my mind when beer shopping?”    – Who and what is th...
Ethnographic Techniques• Ethnographic Interviewing  – Enactments can be of help  – Talk-alouds can be a blessing         V...
Ethnographic Techniques• Video, audio, and photo diaries can mean:   – Data is produced, though you are not there   – Unde...
Choosing Ethnographic Diaries                     Audio                           Video                             Photo ...
Audio and Video Diaries• Ethnographic directions are crucial. Request:   – Details, remind that no detail is too small    ...
Audio Diaries• For example: Time and Banking …   – Karen, 36, small business owner:       • “So there were 11 people in li...
Photo Diaries                132
Video Diaries• Video example:  – Young, urban, beer drinking men …                                        133
Ethnographic Techniques• Ethnographic Interviewing  – General guidelines rather than a prescribed protocol     • Ethnograp...
Ethnographic Techniques• Ethnographic Interviewing  – Does not have to be one-on-one     • Naturally occurring social grou...
Ethnographic Techniques • Ethnographic Interviewing       – Elicit real stories            • Often start with generalities...
Ethnographic Techniques: In Sum• Always remember: data are produced, not  gathered.  – Method of recording creates the dat...
Ethnographic (Cultural) Analysis• Cultural analysis is key     – Happens while in ‘the field’     – During field breaks (e...
Cultural Analysis-   The analytic search for cultural meaning is iterative     - One participant observation experience do...
Cultural Analysis• How to?  – Go back to the questions as if from another planet     • What is going on here? What is this...
Breakout Session• A (multi)cultural analysis of coffee   – What is coffee?   – Partner interviews using photo ‘props’ …   ...
Wrap Up: Utilizing Ethnography• Ethnography should really be used when ...   – The issue is one of discovery …what is ‘x’?...
In The End• There were  the ads…               143
In the End• There was the  retail  environment…                  144
In the End• …And the search for coffee in Bangkok                                          145
In the End             146
In the End• And the ethnographic  method                         147
In the End             148
Thank You            149
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Signs and Symbols in Qualitative Analysis [Presented to RI in 2002 by PRACTICA LLC]

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  1. 1. Signs and Symbols in Qualitative Analysis:Training Seminar on Semiotics and Ethnography Presented to: Research International March 2002 Bangkok p r a c t i c a g r o u p llc 2 0 7 e. o h i o # 3 7 0 c h i c a g o 6 0 6 1 1
  2. 2. Anthropology and Market Research Anthropology: The study of cultures – what people do and why…. Market Research: The study of consumers – what they do and why…. 2
  3. 3. Anthropology: Study of Culture Semiotics: Ethnography: Culture-bound texts… Analyses… • Books, TV, movies • Habits, values, beliefs • Objects, e.g., clothing shared within culture • Advertising Through… • Retail • Observation, in situ interviews, diaries, video documentaries Brand positioning, creative strategy development, merchandising, new product development 3
  4. 4. Anthropology: Study of Culture• Why, why, why – Semiotics • Good for…understanding the language and cultural landscape staked out by a category (important for new product pitches, competitive brand advertising analysis, marketing of global brands); inquiring about impact of place on purchasing and creating a brand. • Emphasizes and relies on cultural categories or values that are in play in advertising, merchandizing or media. – Ethnography • Exploring not refining • Good for…bringing audience to life; understanding new or emerging categories (e.g., internet appliances, SUV’s 12 years ago); new products, e.g, febreze; brand positioning • Emphasizes and relies on lived culture of consumer and product (not psychological needs, states or traits) 4
  5. 5. Semiotics The Theory 5
  6. 6. What is Semiotics?• Study of signs and meanings – Multidisciplinary roots • Anthropology • Philosophy • Linguistics • Cultural studies• Sign = word, object…anything that is used to stand for something else – Communicative ‘currency’ that we use tacitly, everyday – That we can decode because we are culturally competent 6
  7. 7. What is Semiotics?• A sign… – Anything that can be used to tell a lie… (Eco) – Something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity… (C.S. Peirce) – Ceci n’est pas une pipe… 7
  8. 8. What is Semiotics?• What are the signs here? 8
  9. 9. What is Semiotics?• Or here? 9
  10. 10. What is Semiotics?• Or here? 10
  11. 11. What is Semiotics? Signifier SignifiedExpressive elements: Referent meaning: Color Denoted object or idea, Words Communicative Images codes, Tactile Cultural symbols, Scent Ideologies Sign cf. Saussure Grounded in a Cultural System A sign consists of the Signifier, the material object, and the Signified, which is its meaning. These are only divided for analytical purposes: in practice a sign is always thing-plus-meaning. Williamson (1978) 11
  12. 12. What is Semiotics?• Peirce’s Indivisible Triad – Harvard logician (vs. linguist Saussure) – A sign entails 3 correlates….the object represented, the characteristics of the sign itself (representamen), and the structures by which the representamen is contextualized and understood (the interpretant) Interpretant Representamen Object 12
  13. 13. What is Semiotics? – What are the representamens, interpretants, objects in this ad? 13
  14. 14. How do signs work?• How do signs gain their meanings? (C.S. Peirce) 1. By Law or fiat: the arbitrary (referential) relationship • words and objects have no inherent relationship • “tree” does not bear any inherent relationship to a tree • strictly speaking, a symbol 2. Iconicity: a shared visual or auditory property • “meeiow” is the sound a cat makes, blueprints or diagrams • logos are often iconic representations, bearing some visual resemblance to what they are representing 14
  15. 15. How do signs work?• How do signs gain their meanings? 3. Indexicality: Object or word becomes a sign by virtue of juxtaposition/contiguity to real-life events and behavioral contexts • smoke and fire • speech styles and their contexts of use, e.g, Joos’ 5 Clocks • clothing styles – meaning is conferred by virtue of the original wearers, e.g., hip hop trousers 15
  16. 16. How do signs work?• Indexes, icons and symbols are not mutually exclusive – “Hey” as a greeting is both symbol (the word ‘hey’) and indexical (informal greeting style) – Symbols often acquire indexical meanings • American flag • Irreplaceable objects (Grayson and Schulman, 2000) • Brands… – Think about cars for a moment…. • And such meanings can change over time… 16
  17. 17. The role of culture• We comprehend signs because we are culturally competent… – We know the conventions… • How we talk – Joos’ 5 clocks – Tone of voice, gaze, gestures (grounded in the conventions of face-to-face interactions) – Styles of speech – slang, rap, formal genres, interview • Unconscious until we trip over them, e.g., cartoons – We ‘get it’ or laugh because of a system of conventional knowledge • Conventions are grounded in larger social and cultural landscapes (videotape) 17
  18. 18. The role of culture• Cartoons 18
  19. 19. The role of culture• Cartoons 19
  20. 20. The role of culture• And more cartoons… 20
  21. 21. The role of culture• Cartoons – New Yorker cartoons that violated crucial conventions 21
  22. 22. The role of culture• We comprehend signs because we are culturally competent… – We know the cultural metaphors or values • Metaphors: Lakoff and Johnson • E.g., the rhetoric of computing metaphors in the US today 22
  23. 23. The role of culture• Conventions of art/of representation vs. conventions of style 23
  24. 24. The role of culture• What metaphors are being invoked and violated here? 24
  25. 25. The role of culture• We comprehend signs because we are culturally competent… – We know the ideologies…broadly shared constructs that structure cultural identity • Examples: nature vs. culture; business vs. monopoly, private vs. public; human vs. machine 25
  26. 26. The role of culture – E.g., the specter of disease a century apart: what is different? 26
  27. 27. The role of culture – Nature vs. culture 27
  28. 28. Semiotic Analysis• Semiotic analysis makes the unconscious explicit – Decodes communicative events • Advertising • Conversation • Architecture – Identifies both signifier and signified 28
  29. 29. Semiotic Analysis• Seeing what is there and knowing what is not: Paradigmatic analysis – Saussure: Meaning is found in the difference Concepts are purely differential and defined not by their positive content but negatively by their relations in the other terms of the system. Their most precise characteristic is in being what the others are not. Saussure, Course of General Linguistics. 29
  30. 30. Semiotic Analysis – E.g., speech styles are paradigmatic alternatives. Paradigmatic axis Intimate: yo. Casual: the window.. Consultative: It seems chilly. Would you close it? Formal: Might I ask you to close the window? Syntagmatic axis 30
  31. 31. Semiotic Analysis – So too in advertisements where visual alternatives are paradigmatic alternatives 31
  32. 32. Semiotic Analysis • Williamson (1978) Catherine Deneuve vs. Margeaux Hemingway – Ads signify because we know what Deneuve and Hemingway represent beyond the space of the ad. We use this knowledge to interpret… Paradigmatic axis Deneuve class, dignity Hemingway free spirit/earthiness.. Picasso: exotic; artistic etc.: ?? 32
  33. 33. Breakout Session• Identifying Conventions – Organize yourselves by country of residence – Using materials you brought with you on coffee (advertising, places, or coffee in your own home) – Identify and list as many conventions as you can • Don’t worry about larger messages • Your focus should be on linguistic or visual conventions (sign vehicles that you recognize as signs…) embodied in the photos. • No detail is too small 33
  34. 34. Semiotics The Practice 34
  35. 35. Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising• 3 premises – Nothing exists in a vacuum (things, ideas, actions) – No communication is purely referential • When residents, executives, advertisers, workers, shoppers, consumers or government ‘speak’ they communicate cultural assumptions, conceptualizations, attitudes, underlying beliefs – The meanings of ‘things’ is interactively produced between producer and consumer • Semiotics is a way to explore the interactive exchanges between producer and consumer by focusing on “the conditions under which meanings are produced and apprehended” (Pinson 1998) 35
  36. 36. Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising• For marketers and advertisers – Product positioning – Creative strategies – Service development – Merchandising• Sources of data: The Texts – Conversations – Advertisements – Packaging – Retail (or service) environments 36
  37. 37. Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising• Interpretation – Depends on our powers of cultural knowledge and observation – Need to be culturally cognizant/a cultural expert In order to make links between signifier and signified (or the representamen and the interpretant, cf. Peirce) 37
  38. 38. Semiotics in Marketing and Advertising What are the key values defining a category? • What does it mean to travel (airline advertising) • What is Palm (or any brand) in-store? Expert Analysis What have advertisers pre-supposed about their audience? • What does it mean to be a woman today?Texts • A teenager? What is the retail experience? What symbols/signs do consumers notice? Consumer • e.g, how do consumers ‘read’ nutritional labels? Understanding • how do consumers interpret a brand’s retail environment? 38
  39. 39. Analytic Frameworks• Any number of frameworks have been invoked methodologically as semiotic analysis – Citing various linguistic, philosophical, folkloric traditions 39
  40. 40. Analytic Frameworks• Le carré sémiotique: a structural opposition (see Greimas and Cortés, 1979) A Relationship of Contrast “contrariety” B Not B Not A – A and B are structural contrasts – culture bound and empirically motivated, e.g, male vs. female or in the context of a hypermarket practical values and existential (human) values. – ‘Not A’ and ‘not B’ are relationships of contradiction. In the hypermarket case, not practical = diversionary and not existential = critical (see Floch 2001for detailed illustration). 40
  41. 41. Analytic Frameworks • The enunciative frame: based on the pragmatics of language (see Defrance, 1988; cf. Jakobson) Implicated relationship Implied sender Implied addresseeImplied relationship Implied relationshipof sender to world x of addressee to world x Implied construction of the world x 41
  42. 42. Analytic Frameworks• Layers of signification signifier denoted connotations values/codes/myths Signified ideologies• From the micro to the macro: iterative and back and forth 42
  43. 43. Advertising• The questions or objectives – About categories • What is the cultural discourse staked out by a category? • What is the currency of values put into play by advertisers? – About brands • What are the cultural symbols or values presupposed by a particular brand? – About target audiences • What is femininity? What does it mean to be a mother? A teenager? • What does advertising tell us about the experience, tensions, dreams or values of a particular audience? 43
  44. 44. Advertising• Implications for… – Positioning brand – Pitching new business – Taking a brand into new market – Evaluating competitors in global marketplace – Speaking to a particular audience 44
  45. 45. Advertising Cultural Themes Framing the CategoryPile of Ads Analysis• Video and print • Language and visuals• Current/historical • Modality• Key brands represented • Who is the viewer? Implied Metaphors Category and/or Brand Meanings 45
  46. 46. Advertising Pile of Ads• The process • Video and print • Current/historical • Key brands represented • Breadth: comparison makes the analytic task easier – One can chart paradigmatic alternatives » At the signifier level » At value, metaphor or ideological levels – If the category is the unit of analysis, need all the major brands – If a target audience is the unit of analysis, need to know the range of treatments • Temporal depth – Secondary, unless one’s objective is change over time… 46
  47. 47. Advertising Analysis • The process • Language and visuals • Modality • Organize by brand • Who is the viewer? • First Pass: Observations about the whole – what strikes you big or small, element or code – Identify expressive elements (signifiers) » Visual symbols, icons, indexes (colors, images) » Speech styles » Use of specific modalities, eg., reality, dream, science fiction, child drawing » Implied viewer – Contemplate higher level meanings: metaphors, values, codes, cultural ideologies or symbol structures – and make notesTick-tacking back and forth 47
  48. 48. Advertising • Who is the viewer? • What is the modality? 48
  49. 49. Advertising • And who is the viewer here? • Modality? 49
  50. 50. Advertising • What are the signifiers here? Wired Magazine, September, 1995 50
  51. 51. Advertising • Modality? • Viewer? • Expressive elements 51
  52. 52. Advertising – Elements, modality, viewer? 52
  53. 53. Advertising • Elements, modality, viewer? 53
  54. 54. Advertising• Pass 2: Tick tacking between levels by brand Second pass at verbal and visual elements… Codes, values Other expressive elements, e.g., text Tacit metaphors Re-evaluating the visuals Ideologies or particularly compelling cultural constructions at play Most salient signifiers 54
  55. 55. Advertising• Pass 3: Building brand by brand to cover a category or audience Recurrent codes Overarching metaphors… Recurrent cultural constructions Category or Audience Analysis 55
  56. 56. Case Study: Airlines (US, 90s)• 1997• Semiotics as “Competitive Analysis” – Initial stages of pitch for Delta Airlines business • Quick, insightful analysis within 2 weeks • Grounded planners and account teams in category – Provided a starting point for the pitch • Category issues, e.g., banality of it all • Hypotheses, e.g., business traveler as liege lord vs. warrior • Key questions, e.g., what is travel today? 56
  57. 57. Pitching Delta Methods  Focus on international business travel  Ads pulled in U.S. and London/Europe by agency offices  Past year  Print and TV  Shipped to BRS 1 week later  Telephone debrief (ship relevant ads first) • Outlined thoughts • Account planning team 57
  58. 58. Pitching Delta General themes in international travel  Reach (breadth of service, frequency)  Replete with traditional symbols of business  Plane is a well-oiled machine at your disposal. The business traveler is a bit machine-like as well -- programmed, on a mission  Knowing traveler’s needs  Preoccupation with amenities (showers, faxes, telephones, video machines)  Emphasis on passengers’ states of mind, and airlines ability to deliver it to passengers 58
  59. 59. Pitching Delta 59
  60. 60. Pitching Delta Travel and Travelers: Implicit Assumptions  Travel is freedom (new worlds, exploration)  Dated; flying is no longer exceptional  (Business)Travel is pioneering: travelers are mercenaries  Power, achievement, risk, desire  Travel is a luxury: travelers are elite  Liege lords (seems very 80s) to be taken care of/cosseted  Brands tend to emphasize the latter 2; too much overlap 60
  61. 61. Pitching Delta 61
  62. 62. Pitching Delta Travel is a journey  Discovery/self-discovery  Exploration/dreaming A plane is a place to think, imagine, dream  Epitomized by British Airways More holistic view of travel and travelers 62
  63. 63. Pitching Delta Breakthrough advertising: BA  Spare, surreal, poetic -- symbols of dreams and their boundless nature  Cabin/seat design: technology that transforms (like early Apple ads, you + machine = creative force) Traveler is mercenary : UA  Man is machine  Plane is office or respite before battle 63
  64. 64. Pitching Delta 64
  65. 65. Pitching Delta 65
  66. 66. Pitching Delta Being in control  Critical forbusiness travelers  Brands differ in what sort of control is conferred  Not a fixed relationship; would change with values  Control = power of the mind (to think, dream)  Control = ability to conduct business (do deals, prepare, conquer. . .)  Control = commanding others (requests, treatment, being pampered) Hypotheses about today’s b’ness traveler; challenges for airlines 66
  67. 67. Case Study: Airlines (US, 2000) • Update: 2000 – Shifting discourse on ‘what is travel’ An Instrumental Activity 2000An airline is a bit of infrastructureto get you from here to there with least annoyance. Moving away from travel-as- journey: a reflection of SW’s success and cynicism with the industry? An airline is the catalysis to your travel experience. A Transformational Experience 1990s 67
  68. 68. Case Study: Airlines (US, 2000) • And different voices An Instrumental ActivityWe don’t presume to know you the person, but we know travelers: savvy co-worker,keen observer, irreverent critic, Virgin (anti-BA), SW (anti-industry) witty uncle. Vs. Continental, Delta (TV), BA We know what’s really important to you: friend, partner US Airways, Delta (print)We know the meaning of travel: Teacher, catalyst, advisor American, United A Transformational Experience 68
  69. 69. Computer Ads• 1980s, US – (video) 69
  70. 70. Computer Ads• 2002 – Macintosh: What has changed? 70
  71. 71. Breakout Session• Coffee advertisements 71
  72. 72. Coffee Advertisements (US) 72
  73. 73. Coffee Advertisements (US) 73
  74. 74. Retail Environments• Recognizes – Retail experience is a locus of exchange between consumer and producer• The questions or objectives – What is the purchase experience? • E.g., what is beer at 7/11? At high end grocery? • How important is retail in purchase decision? • What are consumers shopping for when they shop for PDAs, cars, cereal or beer? – Role of packaging, displays, spatial configurations sales staff in purchasing experience – Comparison of brands 74
  75. 75. Retail Environments• Implications for… – POP merchandizing – Design of retail – Services 75
  76. 76. Retail Environments• Observational (expert analysis)• Often, in conjunction with consumer readings of the environment – After the fact focus groups (cf. Floch’s analysis of the hypermarket in Lyon) – On site, in process interviewing (Rockport shoes) 76
  77. 77. Retail: Shopping for PDAs• ProtocolObjectives• Understand PDAx in the retail environment• Role of packaging, displays, sales people in the purchase experience• Clarify differences between PDAx and competitors in presentation, how shopped• Explore implicit consumer objectives and goals when they shop for electronic organizers/PDAs What are their articulated ideas? What are their questions? Desires? Concerns? What is the role of brands? What are the most important resources in store: sales people, displays, brochures?• Explore the sales environment How are PDA options presented visually, verbally, implicitly? What is the role of displays? What do sales associates sell? Benefits (what are they)? Price? How do they explain the products? Do they mention brands? How do sales associates view PDAs in the tech world of wireless? 77
  78. 78. Retail: Shopping for PDAs• Protocol Observe •Store layout •How is PDAx positioned in store? •Any product demos? •Prominence of PDAx vs. competitors •Relation of PDAx products to other wireless devices 78
  79. 79. Retail: Shopping for PDAs• ProtocolBrowsing patterns around PDA technology (track consumers as they move) • Interest in/behavior around PDAx technology, e.g., browsing? Actively looking into PDAs? Role of salesperson (expert, resource, do they go looking for sales person?) Do they bring in any materials with them (notes, ads, magazines)? Have they looked at PDA’s before? Have they checked out online options? • Attitude/demeanor of customers: confident, hesitant, experts??? Are browsers coming to the store to check out options, get smart, or do they already know what they want? • What are shoppers looking at, drawn to, touching, asking questions about, etc. What do they see (e.g., demos, brochures) Displays: pick up? Touch? Play with? Use of packaging Do they see packaging before they buy? Examine? • Any differences in behavior around PDAs vs. other wireless technology (e.g., pagers, cell phones) 79
  80. 80. Retail: Shopping for PDAs• ProtocolConversations/Sales interactions • Language used by browsers and sales associates • Questions, responses • How well versed are shoppers? What do they know/not know? • Role of brands (for consumers and/or sales associates) E.g., are consumers shopping brands or technology? Are sales associates selling brands or technology? What gets customers excited? When is PDAx mentioned? (vs. other brands) • Barriers to buying? 80
  81. 81. The Store Environment• Design Character: 2 Paradigms (observed) – Explore... • CompUSA (Chicago, Boston) – For consumers of digital technology…no paper, emphasis on connectivity and the new economy, spacious, colorful, alternative music playing… • Explore, circumnavigate, play • 16 of 66 Browsers conversed with salespeople – Grab and Go... • Staples (Boston) – utilitarian, warehouse-like, bright red and white, emphasis on efficiency (“supplies”) of every sort for doing business. • Find what you need and go • 1 of 15 Browsers conversed with salespeople • Less traffic around PDAs 81
  82. 82. Signage and Location• Ambiguous messaging “Canon” signage above endcap display Column in Staples: severely constraining the ability to browse. Organizers for $19.95 along side $300 brands 82
  83. 83. Signage and Location• “Palm” is a generic name for the category, as in “Where are the Palms?” – Compare to signage for Apple “PC Companions”, “Computers” or “Imaging.” 83
  84. 84. Packaging• Packaging is often inaccessible – Behind glass in a case at CompUSA and Staples – In “lock-up” (another room across the store) – (Though reinforces decision) • “Oh, can I see the box?” • “What’s all in here?” • “What else do I need?”• Crucial in the absence of other stimuli – When there is no conversation, the package is a way to visualize what PDAx is or what PDAx could be. – When displays are ‘dead’ and sales people are unavailable (or unfamiliar) with products, visible (and accessible) packaging is a crucial resource for Browsers. 84
  85. 85. Displays• Dead Displays: Detritus on the counter – Induces frustration and irritation • Feel stupid when nothing happens • Forces reliance on salespeople for information and assessment, e.g., “The graffiti? It’s easy, really.” • Forces conversations with salespeople that may not be desired – In the worst cases, even the packages are not accessible • Customers leave the store irritated. • Not helping the PDAx brand. 85
  86. 86. Retail Environments: shoes• Enlisting the consumer in the decoding process – About shoes and their significance in life – About shopping – Our goal: the intersection of shoes and shopping – Marketing goal: branding a specific brand of shoes in retail space 86
  87. 87. Retail environments: shoesFavorite Stores (Take pictures if possible)Ok, let’s start with the store around here you would consider a favorite environment … …First just shop as you normally would and I’ll follow along … Iwant you to basically “think aloud” as we go along,Narrate for me what’s going through your head … and from time to time I’ll have questions(Encourage respondents to really shop and do what they would normally do …)Where does person go first … What’s mood upon entering … Thinking about what?What catches the attention? What does the person do in the store?What kinds of things are the shopping buddies saying and not saying to each other? In whatways? What’s the interaction? How are they interacting with others in the store? 87
  88. 88. Retail environments: shoesThe Store ExperienceIn general what kind of thoughts does the store inspire? What kinds of moods?Hopes? Fears? This store makes you feel like you are who? Or, what kind of person?Like doing what?What are the catalysts for changing moods/thoughts … positive and negative?What is this experience as a shopping experience? What do you feel it’s trying tomake you think about itself – tell you about its brand of products?What are you thinking about that doesn’t have anything to do with shopping for somethingin here?What are the kinds of things that make this store one you like? One you don’t like? Mostand least favorites parts/places? If you had a magic wand, what would you do?What would you do to make this store more “a fit” with you? What kinds of things would itoffer – in terms of overall environment as well as other features/services?How does this store compare to others?Leaving the store …How do you feel now as you leave? What are you thinking/feeling? How’s that different thanwhen you went in?What kind of experience do you feel you just had?Now, where to next … why? 88
  89. 89. Shopping Today• Ideally, shopping environments offer a cohesive presence; favorite stores are coherent. Urban Outfitter Ross (discount) Music, warehouse architecture, Fluorescent lights, linoleum floors, color, and products are all of a piles and racks of clothes, broad piece….(even the bubble wrap array of customers... packaging) Says: No pretension, do it yourself, Says: Trendsetting, hip, casual freedom “Dot-org rather than dot-com” “A 5 minute treasure hunt” Nordstrom’s Orchids, piano, presentation of goods, fountains, uses of lighting, infamous service policies... Says: Tradition, Class “Grand and magnificent” 89
  90. 90. Shopping Today• Favorite, coherent stores Polo Sport Bloomingdales Beautiful sales staff, “purple Multiple departments, rows upon labels,” the refreshing colognes to rows of things, multiple brands, spray on, the groupings of go- matter of fact, no-nonsense staff together items -- mannequins match Says: Functional, I’ll be able to find what I need; also gluttony, like Says: “Buy these clothes and you’ll looking at full dessert case be perfect.” Agnes B. Get new pieces weekly, natural wood, light, one straight room, no unnecessary décor, efficient layout Says: Up to date clothes, easy, a place to find out 90
  91. 91. Shopping Today• Banana Republic sets a current standard Banana Republic French Connection Size, stairs, beautiful wood, The fcuk lettering, the unusual flowers, matching details of humor in posters, splashyfrequently changing décor, pastels, colors/patterns like you “might good refund policy wear on a vacation” Says: Hospitality, graciousness, Says: An alternative to Banana attention to detail, up to date and Gap, a little against the grain J. Crew Tables laid out with piles, no flowers, cash register desk, somber color aesthetic Says: More establishment, east coast 91
  92. 92. Shopping Today• Environments evaluated in terms of coherence, favorites or not Country Road Prada Attention from staff who remember Cement floors, few items relative you; chairs, refreshments for to the space, sales staff “hidden” in shopping companions, beautiful the back, don’t approach you window displays Says: “A little off base, modern, Says: We take care of you, sleek, elite, cold and lifeless. “informed pampering” 92
  93. 93. Breakout Session: Coffee Places 93
  94. 94. Breakout session: coffee places• Objectives – Marketing: design new service offerings for Starbucks Bangkok • What is coffee in Bangkok… • What is being bought and sold (symbolically speaking)?• Teams of 3 or 4 – Bangkok residents disperse yourself among the teams – Develop/modify observational protocol – Return by 16:00 94
  95. 95. Breakout session: coffee places• What is coffee in Bangkok? – Debriefing session • What are the signifiers/what is signified • Metaphors/cultural values/ideologies • Using other places (US, Oaxaca, New Zealand, other places for which we have illustrations) as the paradigmatic alternatives… – What is coffee here? 95
  96. 96. Breakout session: coffee places• Coffee in Bangkok – How is this Bangkok coffee and not? 96
  97. 97. Breakout session: coffee places• The artisanal form? – Marketplace 97
  98. 98. Breakout session: coffee places• The marketplace: new traditions? 98
  99. 99. Breakout session: coffee places• Coffee in Bangkok – What don’t we know? – What does pure observation miss? 99
  100. 100. Ethnography The Theory 100
  101. 101. Ethnography: What is it?• First back to the beginning … 101
  102. 102. Anthropology: Study of Culture Semiotics: Ethnography: Culture-bound texts… Analyses… • Books, TV, movies • Habits, values, beliefs • Objects, e.g., clothing shared within culture • Advertising Through… • Retail • Observation, in situ interviews, diaries, video documentaries Brand positioning, creative strategy development, merchandising, new product development 102
  103. 103. Anthropology: Study of Culture• Why, why, why – Semiotics • Good for…understanding the language and cultural landscape staked out by a category (important for new product pitches, competitive brand advertising analysis, marketing of global brands); inquiring about impact of place on purchasing and creating a brand. • Emphasizes and relies on cultural categories or values that are in play in advertising, merchandizing or media. – Ethnography • Exploring not refining • Good for…bringing audience to life; understanding new or emerging categories (e.g., internet appliances, SUV’s 12 years ago); new products, e.g, febreze; brand positioning • Emphasizes and relies on lived culture of consumer and product (not psychological needs, states or traits) 103
  104. 104. What is Ethnography?• In-situ, about ‘lived’ experience – In the home, store, office, – In the kitchen, the den, the wherever – Research key is “being there,” but not always in person • Via video or audio tape, photographs • Respondent retellings of stories, events • Respondent enactments … 104
  105. 105. What is Ethnography?• Participating as well as observing – Talk is crucial• U.S. News and World Report (August 1998) did not get it right. 105
  106. 106. Anthropological EthnographyObservation* Participation* Behavior Participant of Event Language Conversational Objects Reactions, Thoughts, Interaction Feelings, Realizations Context Interacting with others Ethnography “Each phenomenon ought to be studied through the broadest range possible of its concrete manifestations.” -- Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, 1922 * These are only divided for analytical purposes: in practice a ethnography is always both. 106
  107. 107. Ethnographic Goals The Insider PointAnthropological of View Goal for Understanding Ethnography the Consumer Cultural Meaning 107
  108. 108. Ethnographic Goals• Why cultural meanings? – Meaning because humans are semiotic spinners • “The concept of culture I espouse … is essentially a semiotic one. Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be … an interpretative one in search of meaning.” – Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, 1973 108
  109. 109. Ethnographic Goals• Why cultural meanings? – “Culture” because meanings are extra-individual • Data on habits, values, beliefs, feelings, actions are based on and in individual lives, but the analysis is not. • Geertz: “Culture is public because meaning is. You can’t wink (or burlesque one) without knowing what counts as winking ..” • Malinowski: “We are not interested in what A or B may feel qua individuals, in the accidental course of their own personal experiences – we are interested only in what they feel and think qua members of a given community. …The social and cultural environment in which they move forces them to think and feel in a definite manner.” – The target ‘consumer’ is more than that one person. 109
  110. 110. Ethnographic Goals• Why cultural meanings? – We need to know the insider meanings of actions, in Geertzian terms: discern eye twitches from winks and parodist winks. 110
  111. 111. Ethnography The Practice 111
  112. 112. The Art of Ethnography• Get details, details, details, and more details – Nothing is too small, build the meanings and the ‘story’ from the details • A process of induction … let the details build – Details of language, of behavior, of objects, of context large and small, of as much as you can take in – Search for the details in stories … Mindset: The clues of cultural meaning will be found in details. The larger pattern of cultural meaning will emerge in the analysis. Crucial: Record the details, you will forget. The record is needed for later analytic review. 112
  113. 113. The Art of Ethnography• Rid one’s head of (cultural) assumptions – Need to be asking ‘what is going on?’ • As if you’re the brother from another planet. – See that movie if you have not • So that cultural symbols and practices and their meaning can be (re)learned, (re)experienced, (re)tested. – Consumptive/cultural contexts are constantly in motion …Mindset: I have no clue what goes on in other people’s heads or lives. I don’t knowwhat they do or what they think and feel. I don’t know why things are as they are.Crucial: Continually interrogate your own assumptions. Ask: What am I assuming? 113
  114. 114. The Art of Ethnography• Consider everything and everyone in the environment – Utilize the fact of being “in-situ” (in ‘the field’) • Everything is a prop for understanding as well as discussion – Again without assuming you know » Is the picture in the living room loved or hated? What is the story? • Ask for guided tours of the front as well as backstage – It’s all data • The purposeful, the mistake, the planned, the unplanned, action, inaction, talk, silence, the visible, the absent, elation, disappointment, the match of talk and behavior, the mismatch, respondent interactions with others, what others say and do, what you do and think. Mindset: It’s all data. Everything is replete with cultural meaning. Crucial: At first take in and note as much as possible, even if it seems unimportant. You might not appreciate the cultural meaning or importance until later realizations. 114
  115. 115. The Art of Ethnography• For instance, to investigate kitchen cleaning, one goes into consumers’ kitchens to watch them clean. Showing how the sink is used as ‘bucket’ for sponge mop when cleaning kitchen floor. 115
  116. 116. The Art of Ethnography• But, the details of what’s backstage helps to show what kinds of ‘dirt’ are likely to be in the kitchen as well as what a kitchen means.Medicines visible in the breadbox.May seem anomalous or unimportant, Husband’s favorite foodsuntil it’s realized that many people keep in the freezer.meds in the kitchen, that spice cabinetshave turned into medicine cabinets … Pictures and important family papers instead of food, dishes, pots, utensils in cabinets. 116
  117. 117. The Art of Ethnography• Who and what’s outside of the kitchen also tells the story. The chair in the bedroom is the place to relax, be by oneself, a place for ‘my time’ rather than kitchens’ ‘family time.’ Husband and two kids. A husband who works all the time, in the house wearing his work clothes … a reason for individual ‘fast’ food. 117
  118. 118. The Art of Ethnography• What’s central to kitchen and kitchen cleaning may not have been what was expected … Pets … the microwave … about what you see. 118
  119. 119. The Art of Ethnography Cultural MeaningWhat is a kitchen? What is kitchen cleaning? Brand positioning, creative strategy development, merchandising, new product development 119
  120. 120. The Art of Ethnography• Get details, details, details, and more details – Nothing is too small, build the meanings and the ‘story’ from the details • A process of induction … let the details build – Details of language, of behavior, of objects, of context large and small, of as much as you can take in – Search for the details in stories … Mindset: The clues of cultural meaning will be found in details. The larger pattern of cultural meaning will emerge in the analysis. Crucial: Record the details, you will forget. The record is needed for later analytic review. 120
  121. 121. The Art of Ethnography• Rid one’s head of (cultural) assumptions – Need to be asking ‘what is going on?’ • As if you’re the brother from another planet. – See that movie if you have not • So that cultural symbols and practices and their meaning can be (re)learned, (re)experienced, (re)tested. – Consumptive/cultural contexts are constantly in motion …Mindset: I have no clue what goes on in other people’s heads or lives. I don’t knowwhat they do or what they think and feel. I don’t know why things are as they are.Crucial: Continually interrogate your own assumptions. Ask: What am I assuming? 121
  122. 122. The Art of Ethnography• Consider everything and everyone in the environment – Utilize the fact of being “in-situ” (in ‘the field’) • Everything is a prop for understanding as well as discussion – Again without assuming you know » Is the picture in the living room loved or hated? What is the story? • Ask for guided tours of the front as well as backstage – It’s all data • The purposeful, the mistake, the planned, the unplanned, action, inaction, talk, silence, the visible, the absent, elation, disappointment, the match of talk and behavior, the mismatch, respondent interactions with others, what others say and do, what you do and think. Mindset: It’s all data. Everything is replete with cultural meaning. Crucial: At first take in and note as much as possible, even if it seems unimportant. You might not appreciate the cultural meaning or importance until later realizations. 122
  123. 123. Ethnographic Techniques• Observation – Of actions, things, words – Consider context – small and large – Record, by hand, by camera, by audio or video recorder• Why observe? – To derive cultural meaning • Because culture is ‘practiced,’ culture lives in people’s actions, in artifacts, in language, in what’s done or not. • Some cultural meaning is so tacit and assumed as to be explicitly realized and verbalized only with great difficulty. • Some habits have been so practiced that the do-er no longer realizes what they do (or what they had to learn/know to do it). – E.g., pulling a specific brand off of a shelf while barely looking – “An expert is someone who has forgotten the rules…” (Harvey & Evans 2001) 123
  124. 124. Ethnographic Techniques• Observation video example: what is ‘picking up some beer?’ 124
  125. 125. Ethnographic Techniques• But observed human behavior must always be coupled with cognitive meaning, otherwise what is it? – There is, first, the routine prescribed by custom and tradition, then there is the manner in which it is carried out, and lastly there is the commentary to it, contained in the natives’ mind. A man who submits to various customary obligations, who follows a traditional course of action, does it impelled by certain motives, to the accompaniment of certain feelings, guided by certain ideas. - – Malinowski, 1922 125
  126. 126. Ethnographic Techniques• For beer, one needs to know: – “What’s on my mind when beer shopping?” – Who and what is the beer for? What are the circumstances surrounding the purchase? Etc. Etc. Beer shopping study included recruited respondents who made collages of their beer buying mindsets. Study also included in-home interviews, shadowing in-depth respondents in stores as they shopped for beer, and analytic debriefs of the experience. Videotaped beer purchasers approached post-purchase and queried. 126
  127. 127. Ethnographic Techniques• Ethnographic Interviewing – Enactments can be of help – Talk-alouds can be a blessing Video Examples: The whys and hows of hiding a smoking habit … The pleasures and problems of a pickup … 127
  128. 128. Ethnographic Techniques• Video, audio, and photo diaries can mean: – Data is produced, though you are not there – Understanding different environments, different times – An alternative method of screening respondents • Choosing research respondents based on submitted materials –• Choice of recording method depends on question asked – E.g., Video diaries for movie choosing decisions and viewing ‘behavior’ proved useless, audio would have been better. People didn’t narrate what’s was in their heads and didn’t ‘do’ much of anything. – Choose between audio, video, and still photos carefully! • (Combining audio and photo often works well) 128
  129. 129. Choosing Ethnographic Diaries Audio Video Photo What mainly count are Action and behavior are Illustrations of meaningful individual, internal thoughts, what count. objects/places/people are feelings, decisions. needed, e.g., to symbolize aBecause Multi-person action and brand, a feeling, a value, etc. Personal, internal thoughts interaction can come alive. can be expressed. To help people pre-think for ethnographic session. Environments where video People have willing friends Can be used to accompanyWhen is not suitable, e.g., stores, and family to be in the video audio diaries and/or as workplaces, lying in bed and to record the video. The stimulus in interview. or with a catalogue. dual camera perspectiveWhere “from my eyes” and “in the Encourage out of household eyes of others” helps. and category pictures. In-depth, in-vivo thought Vivid illustrations of lived A set of materials of relevant process. worlds and behavior. symbols and icons. A senseProvides of the life world beyond the Can be included in report as Brings respondents to life interview setting. printed quotation or audio. for clients. Helps to illustrate a written report. 129
  130. 130. Audio and Video Diaries• Ethnographic directions are crucial. Request: – Details, remind that no detail is too small • Date, time, circumstances, mood, thoughts, others, outcomes – For them to go with the flow, show you the real • Live life as usual, just document it – Make some things explicit • Talk aloud, wrap up at the end, e.g., analyze/comment on what was recorded/happened during the recording period. – Participation: Be creative and have fun! 130
  131. 131. Audio Diaries• For example: Time and Banking … – Karen, 36, small business owner: • “So there were 11 people in line ahead of me, four tellers on duty, one was a trainee. But it took me maybe 13 minutes to get in and out of the bank, not too bad. … I had the same teller 2 or 3 weeks ago. He’s definitely improved from the last time I was in there. He was a little bit frustrated, and double checking all the cash, and he was a little bit – he was being watched over by a manager of some kind. He seemed quite a bit more nervous the last time. This time he was really pleasant. It was enjoyable. And, usually, I spend a lot of time just enjoying watching the other people in line. …. Generally, going to the bank is a nice break from work. In this case, it’s been really hot and there’s no air conditioning at work, so going to the bank is, oh, it sort of revived me just being in an air conditioned vehicle and the bank, so that puts me in a good mood. It certainly wakes me up … Today, there was an adult woman the whole time in line sucking her thumb, so it was really something to be amused by. And a couple, two windows down from me, were closing their account … “ 131
  132. 132. Photo Diaries 132
  133. 133. Video Diaries• Video example: – Young, urban, beer drinking men … 133
  134. 134. Ethnographic Techniques• Ethnographic Interviewing – General guidelines rather than a prescribed protocol • Ethnographic interviewing, whether for 2+ hours or 2 minutes is a case of participation. • Like a conversation or a discussion that happens over dinner, hours of discussion can ensue from ‘tell me about” or “what happened?” – One topic leads to the next; ethnographer is the attentive, probing listener, usually for 2+ hours – Let the person/events define what’s important • Thereby showing the cultural categories and meanings • Probe, follow-up, on events, issues (and what’s absent) 134
  135. 135. Ethnographic Techniques• Ethnographic Interviewing – Does not have to be one-on-one • Naturally occurring social groupings (families, friends) often provide the best forum for ethnographic interviews. • People will talk with each other, probe each other, keep each other ‘honest.’ – Rapport is key • Don’t go too fast. Small talk, talking about other things, playing with kids is not necessarily wasting time, but rather what opens up important stories and the ‘backstage’ as well as instantiates cultural meanings. 135
  136. 136. Ethnographic Techniques • Ethnographic Interviewing – Elicit real stories • Often start with generalities, but get to the real stories – What happened yesterday, this morning, the last time, etc.? – Cultural meaning is about lived experience – Real stories • May show the discrepancies – how the daily (cultural) real can be different from the (cultural) ideal • Frequently elicit details not otherwise thought of • Serve as potent, memorable presentation examples“A real case indeed will start the natives on a wave of discussion, evoke expressions of indignation,show them taking sides – all of which talk will probably contain a wealth of definite views, of moralcensures, as well as reveal the social mechanism set in motion … ” - Malinowski, 1922 136
  137. 137. Ethnographic Techniques: In Sum• Always remember: data are produced, not gathered. – Method of recording creates the data. – Analysis creates the findings. 137
  138. 138. Ethnographic (Cultural) Analysis• Cultural analysis is key – Happens while in ‘the field’ – During field breaks (e.g., late at night) – After the fieldwork is completed“Good training in theory, and acquaintance with its latest results, is not identicalwith being burdened with ‘preconceived ideas.’ If a man sets out on an expedition,determined to prove certain hypotheses, if he is incapable of changing his viewsconstantly and casting them off ungrudgingly under the pressure of evidence,needless to say his work will be worthless. But the more problems he brings withhim, the more he is in the habit of moulding his theories according to facts, and ofseeing facts in their bearing upon theory, the better his is equipped for the work.” -- Malinowski, 1922. 138
  139. 139. Cultural Analysis- The analytic search for cultural meaning is iterative - One participant observation experience does influence the next - During analysis itself - “From my own experience, I can say that, very often, a problem seemed settled, everything fixed and clear, till I began to write down a short preliminary sketch of my results. And only then, did I see the enormous deficiencies, which would show me where lay new problems, and lead me on to new work.” -- Malinowski, 1922• Final analysis can take longer than fieldwork, give yourself time.• Diamonds are worth less in the rough. Just description doesn’t do. – Gems shine once cultivated …. 139
  140. 140. Cultural Analysis• How to? – Go back to the questions as if from another planet • What is going on here? What is this? What does this do? – Peer into anything that seems to be different or fuzzy or seemingly contradictory for clues on meaning • Border zones, sites of cultural clash, cultural difference are often great places to illuminate cultural meanings … – For example… 140
  141. 141. Breakout Session• A (multi)cultural analysis of coffee – What is coffee? – Partner interviews using photo ‘props’ … • Tell me about coffee in your life… – Look at props, get comparisons, get history, get story, get context … – Individual analyses – Analyses as a group 141
  142. 142. Wrap Up: Utilizing Ethnography• Ethnography should really be used when ... – The issue is one of discovery …what is ‘x’? – A goal is to understand the lived-worlds of consumers – There is time for fieldwork and analysis• The lived worlds are brought to clients – Via video, audio and photos and in-situ accompaniment• Cultural understandings are the key for: – New products, advertising, merchandising, marketing … 142
  143. 143. In The End• There were the ads… 143
  144. 144. In the End• There was the retail environment… 144
  145. 145. In the End• …And the search for coffee in Bangkok 145
  146. 146. In the End 146
  147. 147. In the End• And the ethnographic method 147
  148. 148. In the End 148
  149. 149. Thank You 149
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