Fast Company

Market Research Panopticon

A full-page story in the Financial Times (March 1, page 9) waxed lyrical about 'reality tv for the boardroom' and went on to describe the use of video footage to 'reduce the growing distance between the corporate elite and consumers'. Executives in multinational companies, understated the FT, 'often find themselves doing business in places they know little about' (but) 'corporate reality tv enables highly paid executives to cross the class divide and get a glimpse into the lives of regular people that is, their consumers'. How fast is this practice spreading? Video ethnography is not a neutral activity, and it would be interesting to find out how much it is being used, for what purposes, and by whom. Feedback, please.

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4 Comments

  • Charukesi

    In India, video footage is often used in presenting research findings to the client - mostly as a supplement to other data - and yes, to give an idea of the client what life outside the ivory tower is all about - however, strictly, there is very little ethnography practised in India - most of this footage is from focus groups or from basic participant /observation research (without the rigour of ethnographic methods) - there is a lot of it used for research assisting in new product development...
    yes, would be good if you could give the full link of the original article...

  • Steve Portigal

    Hmm...this is the first mention of this article I've heard of. Usually stuff like this hopefully gets blogged within the community (i.e., professional ethnographers) but I didn't see a thing. In fact, the only thing I can find in Google is this exact article, previously blogged on other sites (except when the article itself was current), which is a bit...strange.

    Anyway, the linked FT site is of no use, as far as I can tell, since I don't see archived stories available. Am I missing something? The commentary on the article begs the reading of the article in question. Any ideas where this article can be found?