Too much reality? The perils of easy access to hearts, minds and bedrooms

Anjali Puri

Sangeeta Gupta
PepsiCo India


Year: 2010

Event: Annual brand planning workshop

Scene: Team of brand custodians including research agency, advertising agency and brand management watching video footage from an ethnographic project among teens. The teenagers have been asked to film highlights of their lives for a week, and they have been startlingly enthusiastic. We get glimpses of banter and leg pulling, fantasy-laden bedrooms, swearing and smoking, classroom defiance and disruption, “wild” partying, rock band practice sessions. The team watches in voyeuristic glee, marveling that they have been allowed access into such private recesses of consumer lives. This is so much more fun than the average research presentation.

Until someone in the room asks: So what’s the learning here? How is this different from the way we were in college?