Who We Are

Robert J. Morais

Robert J. Morais is a business anthropologist with experience in advertising and marketing research. He is a Lecturer in the Marketing Division at Columbia Business School.

Morais began his career at Grey Advertising and spent 25 years with advertising agencies, rising to Chief Strategic Officer. He then served for 11 years as a Principal and co-owner of marketing research firm Weinman Schnee Morais. He has worked with Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, WD-40, Coca-Cola, Post Foods, Danone, Hain Celestial, Safeway, Sabra, Pinnacle Foods, Star-Kist, Prestige Brands, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Dentsply Sirona, Wyeth (now Pfizer), Boehringer-Ingelheim, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Freshpet, Benjamin Moore, and the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel hotel group, among many other corporations.

Morais holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and a certificate from NYU's Stern School of Business. He was a Fulbright Scholar, National Science Foundation Grantee, and Mellon Fellow, and co-winner of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant.

His publications include five books and 50+ articles and book chapters. His books include: The Language of Branding: Theory, Strategies, and Tactics (co-author); Ethics in the Anthropology of Business: Explorations in Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy (co-editor); Advertising and Anthropology: Ethnographic Practice and Cultural Perspectives, (co-author); Refocusing Focus Groups: A Practical Guide (author); and Social Relations in a Philippine Town (author).

Morais has been a guest speaker at numerous universities and conferences and been interviewed by The New York Times, CBS Radio, Adweek, Brandweek, American Marketing Association, Advertising & Society Quarterly, and Decoding Culture.

His specializations include qualitative marketing research, hybrid anthropological/psychological methodologies, ethnography, advertising and marketing strategy, product innovation, organizational culture, ideation, the production of creativity, and business ethics.

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