This year at South by Southwest (SXSW) which is being held March 8-17 in Austin, Texas, anthropologist Gigi Taylor of Luminosity Research and my alma mater the University of North Texas will be speaking on how anthropology can contribute to advertising research.  She is speaking on a panel titled An Anthropological Approach to Reaching Customers. To learn more about the panel and the panelists, please read on.

An Anthropological Approach to Reaching Customers Panel Abstract

While human behavior is rapidly evolving, advertisers struggle to anticipate these changes and reach customers in meaningful ways at scale. Enter: anthropology. By understanding human signals alongside their digital footprints, brands can rethink their communications to deliver superior results. In this session, experts in technology, advertising, and anthropology will discuss how deeper societal learnings can transcend marketing jargon to create true omnichannel experiences

About the Panelists

Aside from Gigi Taylor, the panel also features Alisa Stern of Intersection and Louisa Wong of Carat Usa.

Gigi Taylor

Gigi Taylor is a cultural anthropologist with Luminosity Research in Austin, Texas. As both a business consultant and an applied scholar, she explores advertising, branding, media, and consumption using anthropological theories and ethnographic methods to understand the larger context of consumer culture.

Given the dynamic changes in the current media environment, Gigi embraces the idea that consumer insights informed by anthropology can serve as the muse and inspiration for all aspects of marketing strategy (branding, social media, creative execution, new product innovation, etc).

Previously, Gigi Taylor was as an Assistant Professor of Advertising in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. Prior joining the faculty at Texas State, Gigi was a partner with Practica Group, a consumer anthropology consultancy where she conducted ethnographies, focus groups, interviews, observations, UX and usability research. She started her advertising career as an Account Planner at Publics & Hal Riney Advertising in San Francisco.

She holds PhD in Advertising from the University of Texas and currently completing an MA in Applied Anthropology from University of North Texas. Her published academic research has appeared in both advertising and anthropological journals.

Alisa Stern

Alisa Stern is Head of Programmatic Partnerships at Intersection, helping to lead the evolution of digital media in physical places. She’s passionate about cities, algorithms, data, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles. Before Intersection Alisa was a Senior Director of Global Agency Sales at SSP Rubicon Project, following a senior role at Sponge Cell, an online creative technology. She began her career at Havas and JWT after stumbling into the industry from an Integrated Marketing course at her alma mater Emory University

Louisa Wong

As Chief Transformation Officer for Carat, Dentsu Aegis Network’s flagship media agency, Louisa is responsible for the agency’s digital strategy, product and automation agenda. Louisa leads the digital transformation of the agency by adopting and embracing new technologies that are disrupting the media ecosystem, with a focus on integrating capabilities such as data sciences, AI, machine learning and blockchain.


The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.

The conference & festival dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.