Ethnography Centre of Excellence/ Immersions | Ipsos
Ipsos UU - Qualitative

Immersive Research – Ethnography, Immersions and Empathy

An unfiltered reality of people and their culture, communicated through film.


Ipsos' Ethnography Centers of Excellence (ECE) provide an unfiltered reality of people and their culture communicated through film. This award-winning team of anthropologists, ethnographers, sociologists, filmmakers, and market researchers are dedicated to the empathic understanding of in-situ behavior of consumers, patients and members of society. Skilled at uncovering opportunities and barriers in regard to habits, cultures, and practices, this team is trained to build relationships, enabling the exploration of the “what” and “why”. Life hacks, workarounds, unmet needs, regional differences, generational considerations, socio economic factors, and more are authentically observed.

Our distinctive methodology follows three key steps:

  1. Embed in real life where everything is filmed over an extended period of time
  2. Analyse the subjects using film as data through multiple lenses
  3. Deliver a report, a presentation, a workshop and production quality films to demonstrate key behavioural insights

Our Digital Ethnographies apply the same principles and skill sets to the online environment. Participants film a mix of active and structured tasks and document on camera emotional thoughts and moments in real time.

Case studies | Sector Expertise



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Immersions use ethnographic principles but are shorter in length and focus on more specific questions. They are useful for understanding participants’ habitats and providing clients with a window into the lives of people in their natural environments. We use socio-cultural and behavioural science lenses to explore how behaviours and beliefs change (or don’t change). Immersions are often followed by workshops and analysis to develop insights as to how to influence these behaviours and ultimately address clients’ business and organisational goals.

Our mobile immersions achieve similar objectives with the added perspective of self-reported video from our participants.

Both ECE and Immersion solutions are excellent ways to evoke empathy and human connection to drive foundational understanding and learning.

Creating a Culture of Cognitive Empathy

We use these methodologies in our “Creating a Culture of Cognitive Empathy” programme. Creating a culture takes an on-going process and commitment. Our model recognises the steps and provides creative tools to help think what others think, feel what they feel and do what they do to create genuine empathy and resulting value for the people you serve.