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Lecture 6

SOCIO 2172A - Lecture 6: Advertising & Culture

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Western University
Sociology 2172A/B
Gale Cassidy

ADVERTISING & CULTURE Culture • culture consists of: ◦ body of learned behaviour ◦ common to a given human society ◦ acts like a template – a model for how you live life, certain norms and behaviours • passed on from generation to generation • resides in our behaviour and it is learned • consists of: ◦ mental process ◦ beliefs ◦ knowledge ◦ values • sociologists pay more attention to human behaviour and the material aspects of our culture rather than what we think because there may be a big difference with how people think they should behave and how they actually behave • ex. biological part is that you're hungry, sociological part is what you choose to eat to not be hungry Advertising • advertising permeates modern culture • companies are competing against each other ◦ must tap into individual cultures • what's wrong with that? ◦ Although here are many choices for us, there are those who argue that we are treated as a massive audience that just chooses what's out there without much thought • television had massive impact first in 1950s ◦ study done that when TV was introduced to small communities is changed their behaviour shortly after ◦ rich people would set up their TVs so they faced the windows so the poor could look in ◦ can change our behaviour – commercial breaks is when people go to bathrooms as an example Manipulation and Absorption into Society 1. No strong evidence that people are apathetic (MICRO) ◦ people are aware of advertising ◦ sometimes buy certain products in “limelight” 2. Influence is very slow and inconspicuous (MACRO) ◦ changes affect how we talk, dress, act, etc. ◦ ex. Kleenex is a brand name for a facial tissue, but most people call a facial tissue Kleenex even if the brand isn't Kleenex – same with Q- Tips ◦ “Diamonds are forever” a slogan from DeBeers (jewelry company) made it so diamonds are strongly associated with marriage Trend-spotters • responsible for going out there and spotting people that are going to help you figure out what you need to be doing next • “cool” predicts future • if you can tap into cool you can predict the future of your company • main age group targeted is 8-24 years old • this cool factor is an invisible substances makes a brand necessary • alpha consumers ◦ they are the cool people ◦ when they start doing something, it is estimated that about a year later everybody else starts doing it • Merchants of Cool - Video (not tested on) Agencies (4 Most Successful Agencies) • tend to be run by women 1. Zandi Group – Irma Zandi ◦ always on the look out for new trends, travels ◦ she recruits about 3000 young people every year ◦ usually finds them while they are out shopping, take picture of them, they do survey ◦ archives all material she gets and produces her by monthly publications called “The Hot Sheet” ▪ upwards of $15,000 for a yearly subscription ▪ is sold to companies ▪ Disney, Coca-Cola, and General Motors are some of the companies ◦ young people often get freebees or get paid like a job 2. L Style Report – Clair Brooks ◦ publishes the L Style Report ◦ call their young people “urban pioneers” 3. Youth Intelligence – Jane Rinzler Buckingham ◦ spends time in cool bookstores, high schools, etc ◦ says it is getting more difficult now because of the internet to tap into something valuable ◦ “the minute you spot a trend you got about 4 minutes to tell a client” 4. Look Look – DeeDee Gordon ◦ her people are called “youth information specialists” ▪ can contact them instantly GLOBALIZATION OF POPULAR CULTURE • <3 youyou was here and he in wove wiff you Globalizing the “American Dream” • “advertisin
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