Timothy D. Malefyt
Timothy de Waal Malefyt is a Clinical Professor at the Gabelli School of Business. Previously, he held senior positions in advertising agencies where, as a corporate anthropologist, he applied anthropological and cultural approaches to consumer research for developing brand and strategic insights.
As former vice president, director of cultural discoveries for BBDO Worldwide advertising in New York City, Dr. Malefyt led a global in-agency strategic research group that explored the meaning of brands and consumption from a consumer perspective for the range of BBDO clients including financial services, food industry, packaged goods, health and beauty, automotive, digital communications and technology. The companies that his group generated insights for included AT&T, Campbell's soup, eBay, FedEx, GE, Gillette, HBO, J&J, Masterfoods, New Balance, P&G and PepsiCo. Before leading the insight group at BBDO, Dr. Malefyt held a position as senior account planner at D'Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles advertising in Detroit, where helped generate insights for the successful relaunch of the Cadillac automobile brand.
Dr. Malefyt received his master's degree and PhD in cultural anthropology from Brown University and his undergraduate degree in psychology from Fordham College at Lincoln Center. He was also the recipient of both Fulbright and NSF research grants to study flamenco performance and symbolism in Spain. Prior to Brown, Dr. Malefyt was a professional ballet dancer with the Joffrey Ballet School and performing company.
He has co-authored and co-edited five academic press books, Women, Consumption and Paradox (2020); Magical Capitalism (2018); Ethics in the Anthropology of Business (2017); Advertising and Anthropology (2012); and Advertising Cultures (2003). He often is quoted in popular media, including Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC News. He presents papers at The American Anthropology Meetings, Society for Applied Anthropology, EPIC and the Global Business Anthropology conferences.
Dr. Malefyt is also the recipient of the 2020 Dean's Award for Impact.
- Sensory Marketing
- Brand Rituals
- Consumer Motivation
- Trend Analysis
- Retail Anthropology
- Ethnographic methodologies
- “Women, Consumption and Paradox.” (2020) edited by Timothy de Waal Malefyt and Maryann McCabe, Routledge publications. https://www.routledge.com/Women-Consumption-and-Paradox/Malefyt-McCabe/p/book/9780367186128
- Magical Capitalism: Enchantment, Spells, and Occult Practices in Contemporary Economics, Brian Moeran and Timothy de Waal Malefyt, eds. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (2018)
- Ethics in the Anthropology of Business: Explorations in Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy, Timothy de Waal Malefyt and Robert J. Morais, eds. New York: Routledge. (2017)
- Advertising and Anthropology: Ethnographic Practice and Cultural Perspectives, with Robert Morais, Oxford: Berg. (2012)
- Advertising Cultures, Timothy de Waal Malefyt and Brian Moeran, eds. Oxford: Berg. (2003)
Chapters in books
- Using Ethnographic Insights to Foster Positive Value Exchange between Consumers and Corporations: A Case Study with FedEx. In J. A. Muñiz Velázquez, C. Pulido, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Positive Communication, London: Routledge, 2018.
- An Anthropology of the senses: Tracing the future of sensory marketing in brand rituals. In R. Denny and P. Sunderland, eds. Handbook of Anthropology in Business, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2014, pp. 790-810.
- Anthropologists At Work In Advertising And Marketing. In Riall Nolan (Ed.), Handbook of Practicing Anthropology, New York and London: Wiley/Blackwell, pp. 247-257.
- Celebrity Status, Names And Ideas In The Advertising Award System. In Brian Moeran and Bo Christensen (Eds.), Exploring Creativity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 191-210.
- Tracing The Future Of Sensory Marketing. In Patricia Sunderland and Rita Denny (Eds.), A Handbook of Business Anthropology, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press (forthcoming).
- How Anthropologists Can Succeed in Business: Mediating Multiple worlds of Inquiry. With Robert J. Morais, in Robert Guang Tian, Daming Zhou, Alfons van Marrewijk (Eds.) Advanced Readings in Business Anthropology, 2nd Ed. Atlanta, North American business Press, 2012, pp. 125-135.
- Models, Metaphors And Client Relations. Re-published in Moeran, B. (Ed.) Advertising: Critical Readings, Vol 2. Oxford: Berg, 2010, pp. 231-252.
- From Rational Calculation To Sensual Experience: The Marketing Of Emotions In Advertising. Re-published in Moeran, B. (Ed.) Advertising: Critical Readings, Vol 3, Oxford: Berg, 2010, pp. 209-226.
- Brand. In Tim Marshall and Michael Erlhoff (Eds.) Design Dictionary. Basel: Birkhauser, 2008, pp. 49-55.
- Consumption. In Tim Marshall and Michael Erlhoff (Eds) Design Dictionary. Basel: Birkhauser, 2008, pp. 80-81.
- From Rational Calculation To Sensual Experience: The Marketing Of Emotions In Advertising. In Helena Wulff (Ed.) The Emotions: A Cultural Reader. Oxford: Berg, 2007, pp. 321-338.
- Gendering The Authentic In Spanish Flamenco. In W. Washabaugh (Ed.) The Passion of Music and Dance: Body, Gender, and Sexuality. Oxford: Berg, 1998, pp. 51-62.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals
- “Anthropologist in advertising agencies: Mediating structures of power and knowledge capital by managing relationships,” Journal of Business Anthropology, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring, 2017: pp. 89-101.
- “Women, makeup and authenticity: Negotiating embodiment and discourses of beauty,” Journal of Consumer Culture, with Maryann McCabe and Antonella Fabri, Journal of Consumer Culture, 2017 (manuscript ID JOCC-16-0122).
- “Enchanting Technology,” Anthropology Today, (Guest Editorial), Vol. 33, No. 2, 2017, pp. 1-2.
- “Advertising magic: The paradox of keeping-while-giving,” Anthropology Today, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2017, pp. 19-23.
- “Anthropologists in Advertising Agencies: Mediating Structures of Power and Knowledge Capital by Managing Relationships,” Journal of Business Anthropology, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2017, pp. 89-101.
- “Writing Advertising: The Production of Relationships in Historical Review,” Journal of Business Anthropology, Vol 1(2), pp. 218-239.
- "Relationship Advertising: How Qualitative Research can lead to Positive Value Exchange in Advertising," in Dawn Lerman and Hersh Shefrin (eds.) Special Issue: Positive Marketing: Profitably Uplifting Organizational Stakeholders, Consumers and Society, Journal of Business Research (submitted).
- "Creativity and Cooking: Creative Practices, Agency and Social Change in Everyday Life," with Maryann McCabe, in special issue: Producing Motherhoods In/Through Consumption in the Journal of Consumer Culture (submitted)
- "Touching Consumers, Engaging the Senses in Consumption," in The Senses & Society, Vol.7 (3), 350-355.
- "Using Anthropology to Understand the American Dinner Dilemma," Centage Learning, Online Course Reader, Detroit: Gale, 2011.
- "How Anthropologists Can Succeed in Business: Mediating Multiple Worlds of Inquiry," with Robert J. Morais, International Journal of Business Anthropology, Volume 1, Number 1, 2010, pp. 45-56.
- "Creativity, Brands, and the Ritual Process: Confrontation and Resolution in Advertising Agencies," with Robert J. Morais, Culture and Organization. Volume 16, Number 4, 2010, pp. 333-347.
- "Brands, Interactivity, and Contested Fields: Exploring Production and Consumption in Cadillac and Infiniti Automobile Advertising Campaigns," with Maryann McCabe,Human Organization, Vol. 69, No. 3, 2010, pp. 252-262
- "Understanding the Rise of Consumer Ethnography: Branding Techno-methodologies in the New Economy," American Anthropologist, Volume 111, Number 2, 2009, pp. 201-210.
- "How Consumers Create Value in a Recession Economy," Conference Proceedings from EPIC 2009 (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference). American Anthropological Association: Arlington, 2009, pp. 209-220.
- "Evaluating Sensory Experience: Self-Reporting Consumers and Commercial Fieldwork," Anthropology News, Volume 50, Number 4, 2009, p. 17.
- "Ethnography and Technology: An EPIC Topic," The Journal of Design and Management. The New School, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008, pp. 59-60.
- "The Privatization of Consumption: Marketing Media through Sensory Modalities," Theme issue, Advertising and the Media: 30th Anniversary. John Sinclair and Christina Spurgeon, eds. Media International Australia, Culture and Policy, Vol. 119, 2006, pp. 85-98.
- "Ethnography of Design; Design of Ethnography," The Journal of Design and Management. The New School. New York Vol. 1, No. 1, 2006, pp. 12-15.
- "Change of Ethnography: Change in Ethnography," Conference Proceedings from EPIC 2006 (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference). American Anthropological Association: Arlington, 2006, pp. 77-78.
- "Anthropology and Advertising," Anthropology News, Vol. 41, No. 7, 2000, p.10.
- "Inside and Outside Spanish Flamenco: Gender Constructions in Andalusian Concepts of Flamenco Tradition," Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2, 1998, pp. 63-74.