MEG KINNEY

Contributed Articles

EPIC2019 Ethnographic Film

The film session at EPIC explores the ways ethnographic practitioners have used moving images to interpret data, share insights, and tell the stories of their work. Filmmakers showcase these forays in visual storytelling by screening examples and discussing the limits and possibilities of the form. Films were selected through anonymous review. Program Introduction, Charley Scull Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security in Newark, RUCHIKA MUCHHALA, Third Kulture Media The Learning Library: Using Ethnographic Film as an Organizational Change Tool by Scaling Human Insights across a National Preschool System, HAL PHILLIPS & MEG KINNEY, Bad Babysitter Clyde in Mulberry, ALLEGRA OXBOROUGH, Aero Creative Agency in the Smart Home of the Future, NICK AGAFONOFF, Real Ethnography Introduction CHARLEY SCULL, Committee Chair and Film Session Curator Considering the theme of agency through the lens of film offers many avenues for exploration, in terms of both the stories that film can feature and the power...

Educating the Educators: An Entire Franchise Preschool System Embraces Ethnographic Insights to Improve Brand Experience and Drive Growth

MEG KINNEY Bad Babysitter HAL PHILLIPS Bad Babysitter This case study demonstrates the radius of influence that ethnographic insight can have throughout an organization as well as how it can be tied to business outcomes. This case also represents the power of video ethnography as a robust and enduring data set that provides a visceral, contextual, human record capable of aligning and galvanizing cross functional teams. At the cusp of aggressive expansion, Primrose Schools needed to address cascading business issues: low brand awareness relative to key competitors in new markets, brand engagement (vis a vis online content), and disappointing conversion rates for Parent enrollment. The first half of the case describes the design and key findings from our Parent Enrollment Study. Early education in present day America is contextualized against a backdrop of new parenting philosophies, socio-cultural relationships with smartphones and social media, and wage stagnation. The second half of the case illuminates how broadly the ethnography-inspired...

Plus Size Fashion: What Happens when Stereotypes, Fueled by Popular Culture, Creep into a Retailer’s Business Decisions?

MEG KINNEY Bad Babysitter HAL PHILLIPS Bad Babysitter Case Study—This case demonstrates the power of video as a data collection tool and a storytelling approach to the presentation of research findings. Fresh Produce Clothing specifically selected Bad Babysitter as a consulting partner for their expertise in video-based ethnography and narrative style of delivery. The case begins with contextualizing a business with an imperative to evolve and an organizational culture that was not aligned. The locus of the debate was the Plus Sized shopper – a consumer segment that put interpretation of hard data by headquarters at odds with impassioned anecdotal inputs from the field. Video offered a visceral way to get past conjecture and “bring her into the room”. The primary benefit to the brand was the immediacy for translating learning into actionable insights and consensus on the way forward. The revenue impact was dramatic: leadership took a 180-degree turn from phasing the Plus shopper out to investing in her....

Mardi Gras: A Gift Economy

HAL PHILLIPS Bad Babysitter MEG KINNEY Bad Babysitter To residents of New Orleans, there is a special brand of pageantry and community surrounding the Mardi Gras ritual. At the center of it all are Parades—the heartbeat of Mardi Gras. Each Krewe (social club) puts on a huge parade sometime during Carnivale Season. They each have their own personality, costumes and “throws”. Throws can be as simple as the iconic beads we all know, or elaborate handcrafted items that are highly sought after prizes. During parades, a strange thing happens—objects that have little commercial value become incredibly valuable, even for a few moments. People jockey for position to catch beads, toys, custom medallions, and above all the prized throws of each Krewe. There is a whole system of value attached to each parade, which the city celebrates. We will explore how the gift economy of the Mardi Gras parade unites old and young, and bridges racial boundaries in a shared ritual. Hal Phillips and his partner Meg Kinney founded Bad Babysitter, a...