CCT316 - November 19th, 2012.doc

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Communication, Culture and Technology
Neil Narine

Week 11 – Branding *Brands are no small business they’re BIG • brands translate into value which translates into FINANCIAL VALUE Agenda Question: What is a brand? Term – Commodity Fetishism How is “Brand Value” created? Term - Post-Modern Branding What is a BRAND? • Brands are meant to enable consumers to…. 1. ACTm FEEL and BE IN A PARTICULAR WAY through CONSUMING a particular brand 2. We become a part of a brand So what do brands do? • Brands work very well as platoforms for action that enable us as consumers to take part of production of value: where an experience, a shared emotion or a sense of community is developed by a brand • The “production” of value here results, in part, from our efforts as consumers to CREATE MEANING with brands What else do they do? – Brands create STORIES • a brand invites us to TAKE A POSITION IN THE STORY OF THE PRODUCT (it’s a pure phony story and not by any means a story of PRODUCTION) • Brands tell stories of fun, community, belonging and most certainly achievement TERM – Commodity Fetishism Fetishism: a psychological overinvestment of meaning and value Commodity Fetishism: the assignment of meaningful, emotional qualities to products; these products have NO relation to these QUALITIES (a concept of Karl Marx) Example of C.F ~ consumers of luxury brands which signify DISTINCTION; sports cars as REBELLION or PEPSI as being YOUTHFUL But what do ads serve as to do for us consumers? They exploit fetishism of commodities Fetishized Commodities and Meaning The VW Beetle ad which is placed on Abbey Road in England, the background of the ad is full of VW vehicles. The placement of the VW cards in the middle of the road is similar to that of the band members from the beatles group. Brands must COMMUNICATE MEANING..QUICKLY! The brand: Aunt Jemima What the brand emphasized: faceless corporations • At the end of the day the brand must communicate meanings CHOSEN by companies where we must be able to decipher their meanings quickly without a logo “stop rationalizing the dream” Twitchell’s “Reflections” – based on the reading • Quote: as objects of our dreams became MATERIAL and not ETHEREAL, we started to SPIRITUALIZE the SECULAR (2009, 323) • Romanticism: is about the enchantment of real life magic technologies, magic product. Example of this: the western and nor
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