Marcela Ospina

Anthropologist & strategist at Aquaonline at aquaonline
Location:South Africa


Anthropologist Marcela Ospina Salcedo ( specialises in helping brands understand consumers from a cultural viewpoint. By using ethnography and drawing from neuropsychological principles, she advises on developing marketing plans, launching new products, and innovating communications strategies. She has a MA in sociology from Wits and eight years' experience doing ethnography and qualitative research in South Africa, South America and other African countries. She currently works at Aquaonline as a strategist. Email , and follow @marcela_ospina.
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About super-heroes and the anti-heroes of today

I thought I could re-work an original text I wrote five years ago on this topic, a lengthy piece about how people conceive heroes, whether there is such an archetype currently, or whether this has transformed according to changes in contemporary values.

By Marcela Ospina 12 Feb 2013

Mobile and digital trends in 5 African countries: a cultural interpretation

This piece addresses the intersections between technology and culture that I identified while doing fieldwork. Therefore, this is not the result of strict data analysis, but rather the outcome of an immersion in each of these cultures.

By Marcela Ospina 7 Feb 2013

Rethinking offline social networks in semi-rural communities

Sources indicate that there are still some 30 million people without access to the internet. This is almost 90% of South Africa's population. It is hard to argue with these figures when explaining to corporates why they should invest more on digital and mobile marketing. However, there is still a lot to learn from small communities with limited internet access, as I will show in this piece.

By Marcela Ospina 30 Mar 2012

[2012 trends] Anthropological trends in the digital space

When putting these trends together, I focused on socio-cultural changes that will transform our interaction with digital technologies, using the concepts of nature and culture to explain the role that we, and technology itself, play in closing the gap between these concepts. Here are 12 trends that describe how our relationship with the environment, politics and one another will shape the future use of digital devices and technologies.

By Marcela Ospina 13 Jan 2012

On Twitter, content-upload and shamanism

My line of work entails keeping close track of cultural trends in the digital technology field. The trend I've picked on this occasion points to a common behaviour amongst mobile Internet users - their reluctance to produce and manage their own online content. So how may brands use this insight to improve their social media strategies?

By Marcela Ospina 7 Nov 2011

Offline social networks influence online behaviour: observations of a digital anthropologist

Here are some trends of offline behaviour that I have gathered in my most recent fieldwork, which relate to the practice of sharing computers identified in Angola.

By Marcela Ospina 4 May 2011

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