The ‘Sisterhood of Motherhood’ video

Building a Nurturing Holding Environment: Mothers, Babies, Feeding, Food and Formula 

Publicis NY and Similac (Abbott Laboratories)

Mission: To help Publicis and Abbot Laboratories understand values around breast and bottle feeding toward the creation of a compelling brand identity for Similac.

Approach: We carried out ethnographic observations and video documentations of mother-infant interactions revolving around breast and bottle feeding. We also interviewed mothers about their attitudes toward infant formula and breast feeding in light of the culture controversies surrounding breast versus bottle feeding and other aspects of the parenting wars.

Result: Our report and series of videos brought to life how mothers construct a nurturing, supportive social field around their infants through interactions centering on feeding. The work provided new strategic direction for the Similac brand and was the basis for a  successful advertising campaign, and viral video ad called “The Sisterhood of Motherhood.”

Worlds in a Small Pocket: The Cultural Meanings Associated with Hot and Lean Pockets 

Nestle and Publicis New York

Mission: To help Nestle and Publicis NY develop the brand attitude and personality of Hot and Lean Pockets and guide Publicis as they created a new advertising campaign for the Hot and Lean Pockets line.

Approach: We conducted 27 in-home intensive ethnographic interviews and 14 shop along interviews and observation. In addition, 14 respondents video documented their experience purchasing and consuming Hot and Lean Pockets.

Result: Our research findings were used to provide direction for new product development, internal communications and consumer messaging for the Hot Pockets Brand.

Cat Lines and the Mana of Cats: Cat Food and the Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual Appeal of Cats to Their Owners

Mars Pet Food and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group

Mission: To help Mars and Left Blue Sky create new product platforms in the pet food division.

Approach: We conducted 15 ethnographic interviews with cat owners about their feline companions, and carried out participant observations focusing on cat feeding moments

Result: Our insights led to new innovative product platforms (some of the highest positive consumer testing in Mars history) and a portfolio of new product concepts for Mars Pet Foods.

The New Life and Symbolism of Chocolate: Chocolate's New DNA

Dove Chocolate and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group

Mission: To help Dove Chocolate understand the emerging symbolism of chocolate, recast advertising messaging, and create new products that resonate with chocolate’s new identity.

Approach: We conducted 6 shop-alongs and interviews with respondents at New York chocolate shops.

Result: Our analysis of the new culture and cultural symbolism of chocolate helped Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group recast the communications strategy for the Dove brand.

The Deep Play of Bicycle Culture

Cossette Advertising

Mission: To help Cossette advertising win the Cannondale Bicycle account, by providing a deep understanding of bicycle culture.

Approach: Maschio Consulting conducted ethnographic interviewing and observational work at Bicycle shops around New York City.

Result: Our research decoded the rituals, symbolism and emotional benefits associated with competitive bicycling, offered an analysis of the semiotics of high-end bicycle retail spaces, and a comparative analysis of bicycle brands that helped Cossette Advertising win the Cannondale Bicycle account.

Don't Disrespect the Tea: The Lipton Brand and the Emerging American Culture of Tea Drinking

DDB Worldwide and Unilever/Lipton

Mission: To help Unilever and DDB Worldwide understand the new culture of tea drinking in the United States and help Lipton articulate a new mission for tea.

Approach: We conducted 14 ethnographic interviews and observational research that focused on tea drinking moments.

Result: Our Insights were used as the basis of a Lipton brand re-launch by helping it articulate a new mission for tea. The new mission philosophy inspired several product innovations - Freshly Brewed Ice Tea, Pyramid Teas and Red Tea. In the US alone Lipton grew 20% after the re-launch.

Writing a Life with Credit Cards: Mass Affluent Lives and Values, Consumer Perceptions of Credit Cards

Citibank and Publicis New York

Mission: To provide a portrait of the affluent consumer and the way their values and world view resonate with their philosophy of money and credit.

Approach: Maschio Consulting conducted 24 in home intensive ethnographic interviews in the tri-state area and created an ethnographic film that visually captured the importance of credit and credit cards in our respondents’ lives.

Result: Our insights were used to frame benefit language and communications for new Citibank credit card offerings.

The Maytag Repairman Returns Home: Creating a New Brand Mythology and Revitalizing the Maytag Brand 

Whirlpool Corporation and Publicis NY

Mission: To help Publicis and The Whirlpool Corporation understand the meaning of trust as it relates to corporation and brands, including the Maytag Brand.

Approach: We conducted 25 ethnographic interviews and participant observation focused on clothes washing and the use of Maytag appliances among middle-class Americans. Our filmmakers documented our research to bring the world of laundry and appliance use to life.

Result: Our report and video footage helped Whirlpool understand how consumers were reconsidering the role their appliances play in helping them order their domestic universes, and informed Maytag’s re-branding strategies.

TGI Fridays as the Third Place: Understanding the Friday's Brand Mythology, Revitalizing the Friday's Brand 

TGI Fridays and Publicis NY

Mission: To articulate the T.G.I. Fridays’ brand story as told by T.G.I.F. guests by exploring the rational, emotional and cultural end-benefits that guests associate with T.G.I. Fridays, and to align corporate communications with these benefits and objectives.

Approach: We conducted 14, 3-5 hour in-restaurant ethnographic interviews with 28 respondents in different markets across the country.

Result: Our report and series of videos formed the basis of a new TGI Fridays Brand Book, and helped shape innovations in restaurant design, menu, decor and messaging.

A Place on Which to Stand: The Story of Cats

Mars Pet Food and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group

Mission: To help Mars and Left Blue Sky understand how people shop for cat food, the cues they respond to in retail spaces, and the brand iconography that appeals to them.

Approach: We conducted 15 ethnographic interviews and pet store shop-alongs, and 5 interviews with retail executives. 

Result: Based on our insights, Mars redesigned its retail space to make the brand more appealing to cat owners.

Aligning Dove Chocolate and Dove-at-Home with Chocolate's New Cache and New Identity

Dove Chocolate and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group

Mission: To help Dove-at-Home create more effective scripts for their in-home chocolate parties.

Approach: We observed seven Dove chocolate making events.

Result: Our insights helped Mars and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group grow the Dove-at-Home enterprise by changing the script of the chocolate making event.

Imagery, Fantasy and Chocolate Symbolism: The Intimate, Emotional Life of Chocolate

Dove Chocolate and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group

Mission: To develop a deeper understanding of the idea of indulgence with regard to chocolate eating for the development of new Dove Chocolate product lines of milk and dark chocolate.

Approach: We conducted 10 ethnographic interviews and shop-alongs with lovers of milk and dark chocolate.

Result: Our insights helped Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group understand attitudinal and social differences between milk and dark chocolate lovers and the different imagery and emotional fields surrounding dark and milk chocolate leading to a portfolio creative product innovation ideas for Dove Chocolate.

The Entrepreneur and the Woman Entrepreneur: Developing a New Culture of Work

Make Mine a Million

Mission: To help Make Mine a Million understand the particular characteristics of women led businesses and to outline strategic directions for these businesses.

Approach: We conducted 10 in-home interviews with successful women entrepreneurs across the country about the unique concerns and experiences of women entrepreneurs, and the strategies and insights that they felt propelled their businesses forward.

Result: Our research with women entrepreneurs formed the basis of a series of Make Mine a Million instructional workshops for women entrepreneurs and provided the organization with strategic guideposts as they sought to structure, promote and innovate within their businesses.

Utopia: Building the Culture of Private Air Travel, Providing Opportunities for Creating More Richly Textured Lives

Key Air and Left Blue Sky/Nitro Group

Mission: To help Left Blue Sky and Key Air articulate their brand message to people rich enough to buy and or use private aircraft.

Method: Maschio Consulting conducted 15 ethnographic interviews that focused on the attitudes and lifestyles of private jet service users.

Result: Our insights informed the re-positioning of the Key Air Service brand.