Who: Ted Klauber (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Company: Foote, Cone & Belding
Has Held Title For: 1 1/2 years
Previous Title: Account Executive
Degree: BA, Journalism; MBA
Ted Klauber spends entire working days sitting in the passenger seat of a commuter's new Mazda, hovering in bathrooms to watch families brush their teeth, or prowling urban basketball courts to check out the players' sneakers. Why is a veteran advertising executive doing field work? Because it's simply the best way to learn the most about how consumers interact with brands. In fact, Klauber's approach is so effective that Foote, Cone & Belding created a global department around it: Mind & Mood.
Is Mind & Mood some kind of consumer psychoanalysis?
More like consumer ethnography. We're breaking through the one-way mirror of focus groups to interact with real people and their real lives — in real time.
What do you actually do?
We live with the consumer. Take motor oil. We'll spend Saturdays at home with a car owner. Maybe his house is a disaster area, but the garage is a shrine to his car. That tells you more about the person than 200 focus groups ever could.
How does that translate into better advertising?
Mind & Mood is about observing firsthand and then playing unfiltered impressions back into an advertising message: What's the morning like for this person? What is brushing her teeth about? Is it a ritual or not?
A version of this article appeared in the October/November 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.