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Lecture

Popular Culture and Consumption: Part 1

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Department
Popular Culture
Course
PCUL 1F92
Professor
Scott Henderson
Semester
Fall

Description
PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-15-11 Selling Lifestyle ** Video Advertisement for Apple ‘You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’” The Example of Apple Lifestyle • Part of the exchange value of a product. • Evident in Pan Am example in its evoking of a past era of glamorous jet travel. • Also trying to evoke popular representations of that era, in shows such as Mad Men (which itself has successfully sold lifestyle elements). Apple ** Image of Apple logo ** A brand built around notions of lifestyle. The Apple Image • Originally carved out a niche among ‘creative’ types. o e.g. capabilities in graphic designs in studios, etc. • A marginal computer brand after initial home computer success. • It has since become a lifestyle icon. • How has this exploded in the last 5 years? • A clearly constructed image for sale. • Notion that lifestyle and image has exchange value. o Beyond use value. Denotation vs Connotation • Tied to issues of language – how we use it. • Denotation: The literal or primary meaning; the action or process of referring to something by means of a word, symbol, etc. • Connotation: The idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its primary meaning; perhaps through the nature of the chosen sign, symbol, etc. o Seen in oral media, film, etc. o Film: an image represents an item. e.g. a chair. However using low angle and shadows now connotes a ‘creepy’ chair. Denotation Dog **Image of a cute puppy** **Image of a violent, scary dog** Both images denote ‘dogs’, but the connotations are very different. PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-15-11 Popular Culture Connotations Achieved through different representations. **Played clip of ‘Like a Virgin’ – one version by Madonna, one version by The Lords of the New Church ** A song can tell us one thing – story, etc. – however the genre, rhythm can connote very different things. The Lords of the New Church’s cover of the popular Madonna song seems more satirical in nature. The Connotations of the Apple Brand • A lifestyle is connoted. • Achieved through the appearance of the products themselves. • Also then reinforced through advertising and marketing. • Also through the Apple store and its design. o Why pay so much more for an iPod when essentially MP3 players all perform the same function. The Apple Image ** Images of the iPod Classic, the iPhone, the iPad, the iMac ** Denotes a Place to Buy Apple Products ** Images of various Apple stores ** - All white, resembles the product, sleek, consistent branding. What does it connote? iPod and Image iPod’s Arriv
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