BAMM’s ethnographic work with Wieden+Kennedy makes an IMPACT


Written By: Jim Mott

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Ethnography & creative development BAMM

BAMM’s work recently featured in an article published by IMPACT magazine. We think it’s great to see ethnography getting some press attention. The IMPACT article shows that ethnography can deliver in spades for clients who are prepared to think outside of the box.

At BAMM we believe that ethnography is hugely relevant to today’s marketing landscape and that if used in innovative ways can be an invaluable tool in the arsenals of clients and agencies alike.

At its core, ethnography is a disruptive process, well suited to shattering dogmatic and myopic ways of thinking. The ethnographic mantra of ‘making the strange familiar and the familiar strange’ is absolutely all about finding the sparks in low-interest, mundane and everyday categories and connecting them to high interest and dramatic concepts.

For us this speaks to the application of ethnography as a tool for creative development, an idea clients such as Wieden+Kennedy have embraced, leading to the hugely successful campaign for Finish.

Getting to the heart of the cultural and social role played by the dishwasher in homes across four different markets was all about stripping away rational consumer explanations to get to something more profound: revealing it’s role as the most touched object in the kitchen, a ‘quiet giant’ of our social lives in the home.

Wieden+Kennedy join a long list of clients such as Nike, HSBC, Shell & Mercedes who have found that ethnography excels at providing a tremendous depth of information about the cultural and social worlds of people, places and objects.

We firmly believe in the role insight has to play not just in testing pre-existing concepts and ideas but in helping to generate them in the first place. Using research as inspirational and creative fuel to provide our clients with new and interesting angles to explore and deeper, more profound connections that truly resonate with their audiences. This is about the method but its also about how the data that method provides is analysed and most importantly of all, how it is delivered.

This is why as Visual Thinkers who are committed to helping our clients ‘see more’ we are constantly innovating at every step of the research process, from using life logging and virtual reality capture when working with our respondents through to using animations and interactive websites when crafting our deliverables.

Ultimately though, all of what we do is grounded in an anthropological and ethnographic perspective. The IMPACT article shows that ethnography is one of the best ways to start the process.

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