Advertising and Consumer Culture EthM Review
Friday, December 6 , 2013
@ 9:00 – 11:00am (Room AA112)
Keywords, Concepts and Definition
Brand: To brand is to burn, to brand cattle to mark them as belonging to a particular ranch. This is the basis of brand in advertising.
Brand is often used interchangeable with trademark, marketers uses signs or symbols to describe the product’s difference compared
to their competition to consumers. It’s a form of storytelling, brands tell a story about the product and the consumer. People buy
brands, not products because it tells others about them. For example; coffee. Sometimes who buys from the brand Starbucks,
compared to Tim Hortons. Or someone who buys Coffee Culture over Tim Hortons. All of these brands have associations to them
that reflects the consumer. Brand advertising is the promotion of products and services offered by a specific brand. It is used
primarily to create focus on a particular person, product or service and what consumers identify them with. ―Brand‖ is a type of
product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.
Appellation: is a theory relating to how ideology addresses an individual. The theory says that we as consumers don’t really have
our own personal ideology because we abide by societal ideologies without ever noticing. The only example I can think of is if I
officer on the street where to call you ―hey you there‖ even though you are on the street with others you’d probably turn around just
because we abide from law and crime ideology, even though if you haven’t done anything the officer wouldn’t be talking to you.
Target Advertising: Is a type of advertising wherevy advertisements are placed so as to reach consumers based on various traits
such as demographics, psychographics, behavioral variables (such as product purchase history) and firmographic variables. Targeted
Advertising: Marketing’s way of thinking in term of interconnectedness. Target advertising is NOT about singular categories like
race or gender, but its about clusters or geodemographs. Advertising agencies use target advertising to find soft spots, while others
places like banks can use target advertising to find where to open new branches.
Trademark: A trademark, trade mar, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or
services of particular source from those of others. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization or any legal
entity. A trademark may be located on packages, a label, an voucher or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity
trademarks are also being displayed on company buildings. Trademarks may be understood as logos, or any distinctive style or
pieces that can immediately be associated with a brand/company. Trademark is a legally registered sign, design or expression that is
used to distinguish products and services in their distribution. ™ < trademark sign. Trademarks are extremely profitable, not so
much the quality or quantity of the products, as consumers we identity with trademarks. For example: If we were to go to a store
and see that two types of paper towels were on sale, one being Bounty and the other a no name brand, the consumer would identify
and choose Bounty even if they would have gotten more paper towel with the no name with the same price.
Cluster: The now mainstream practices that both merge and segment data (from census, market research surveys,
public opinion polls, and point of purchase receipts) to uncover consumer interests, desires and life styles. Being used
by corporations, ad agencies, non-profit and political groups alike to ―target‖ their audiences
Conspicuous consumption: Is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display
economic power—either the buyer’s income or the buyer’s accumulated wealth. Sociologically, to the conspicuous consumer, such
a public display of discretionary economic power is a means either of attaining or of maintaining a give social status. *** The
sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen coined the term ―conspicuous consumption‖*** --- A flashy consumer uses such
behavior to maintain or gain higher social status. Most classes have flashy consumer affect and influence over other classes, seeking
to emulate the behavior. The result, according to Veblen, is a society characterized by wasted time and money.
Conspicuous: Something that is clearly visible. Undeniable maybe. Easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable. Attracting
special attention, as by outstanding qualities.
Un-consumption: not consuming for attention ( lack of consumption for attention) the opposite of conspicuous consumption where
people kinda display their consumptions..so conspicuous unconsumption is basically where an individual is displaying his lack of
consumption, in way he is purposely not consuming and that raises questions in a way... it was basically what was shown in the
movie 'no impact man' in the last lecture
Democratizing Consumption: Democratizing Consumption: Makes shopping available to consumers regardless of socioeconomic
background – free to enter the store w/o obligation to buy
Flâneur : An individualistic and masculine perspective of the city and modernity associated with 19 century Paris men of leisure
who has time to explore and relax. Flaneur = a man who saunters around observing society. From the French non ―Flâneur‖ it means
―stroller‖, ―lounger‖, ―saunterer‖, or ―loafer‖ – Flanerie refers to the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations.
1 Flâneuse: (female counterpart of flaneur) : a woman who is or who behaves like un Flâneur. Women without a
chaperone(men, husband, father..etc) were looked at as street walkers. These class and gender rules were restricting.
The dept. store and the actual activity of shopping opened up doors for feminity for this public realm of woman.
Proletarian Shopping: (Or window shopping) People who go into wall or market places with no intention to buy. Young people
consuming images and space instead of commodities; a kind of sensuous consumption that doesn’t create profit.
La perruque: (French word meaning wig) This is ―shopper/consumer‖ who is employed and who walks around in his uniform,
during his own activities (so walking around the mall with your Forever 21 name tag, yet that one day, in that one moment you are
not actual scheduled to be at work, yet you are in the mall, ―appearing‖ to be a worker‖). This is not stealing: the worker comes to
office and is technically on the job. Rather it describes when a worker diverts time or effort from the business for activities that are
free, creative and not directed toward company profit.
Trickster: A pleasurable practice and exploitation of their knowledge of what are the official rules of the game: they know the
limits and the rules of the mall, for example, and they exploit this knowledge in order to locate where those rules can be mocked an
inverted and used to free these they are instead designed to discipline: Shopping malls are open invitation to such practices as
Encoding/Decoding: is how media messages are produced, circulated and consumed, proposing a new theory of communication
Encoding: The encoding of a message is the production of the message. It is a system of coded meanings, and in order to create
that, the sender needs to understand how the world is comprehensible to the members of the audience.
Decoding: The decoding of a message is how an audience member is able to understand, and interpret the messages. Hall’s three
1. Dominan/hegemonic position: This position is one where the consumer takes the actual meaning directly, and decodes it
exactly the way it was encoded. The consumer is located within the dominant point of view, and is fully sharing the texts
codes and accepts and reproduces the intended meaning. Here, there is barely any misunderstanding because both the
sender and receiver have the same cultural biases.
2. The negotiating position: This position is a mixture of accepting and rejecting elements. Readers are acknowledging the
dominant message, but are not willing to completely accept it the way the encoder has intended. The reader to a certain
extent shares the texts code and generally accepts the preferred meaning, but is simultaneously resisting and modifying it in
a way which reflects their own experiences and interest
3. Oppositional Position: In this position a consumer understands the literal meaning, but due to different backgrounds each
individual has their own way of decoding messages, while forming their own interpretations. [2The readers' social situation
has placed them in a directly oppositional relation to the dominant code, and although they understand the intended
meaning they do not share the text's code and end up rejecting it
Poaching: What are we looking for are acts of ―making do‖ or acts of ―poaching‖ – instance when we manipulate or use the
structures/objects/tools of power for our won ends.
Exvertisement: These are ad practices that try to take your eye in another direction of the ball, divert your attention to other issues
(for those of have media and gender studies, we saw this in the cheerio commercial, with the interacial family)
Ethnical Consumption: Sort of consumer activism, a way to vote with your buying dollars in favor of an ethnical practice.
[according to wikipidia : is a type of consumer activism that is based on the concept of dollar voting. It is practiced through 'positive
buying' in that ethical products are favoured, or 'moral boycott', that is negative purchasing and company-based purchasing]
Interactivity: By definition it is ―acting or capable of acting on each other. | Computer science of or relation to a program that
responds to user activity‖ – this can be used in ads that allow people to interact, for ex--the whole ad at the union station that we
discussed in class. Or, also, computers responding to user’s activity like Netflix being able to suggest movies to you based on your
preference. [Interactive advertising: defined interactive advertising as the "paid and unpaid presentation and promotion of
products, services and ideas by an identified sponsor through mediated means involving mutual action between consumers and
Anti-Advertising: A style of advertising that harnessed the public mistruct of consumerism in the service of the consumer system.
Draws attention to the common practices and rules and meanings of advertising, but they still do it to sell something like se, a car.
Bill Bernbach of Doyle Dane Bernback (DDB) invented honest, anti-advertising with his ground-breaking VW campaign of 1959,
―as style which,‖ as Tom Frank notes, ―harnessed public mistrust of consumerism—perhaps the most powerful cultural tendency of
the age—to consumerism itself‖ (Frank 1997, 55)
2 VW ads used people’s skepticism about car advertisements and make it part of their selling strategy. Graphically plain; jokey tone;
honest; respectful of reader’s intelligence; trumpet their anachronism; anti-obsolescence (suspicion of fashion); preconsumerist
thrift; self-reflexive (attentive to apparatus of advertising); anti-conformity. From Nazi ―people’s car‖ to Love bug (hip anti-
consumerism) in a few short years. Articulate signifier of car onto a whole new referent system. VW’s anti-advertising strategy was
soon followed by others.
Short Answer Questions (4)
1. Be able to define the specific functions and forms of each: Political Ads, Public Service Announcements, Pranking or Culture
Public Service Announcement (PSA) – A PSA is an advertisements tries to make consumers aware of any
sort of issues, they are distributed amongst the media for free, no charge for time or space. PSA are
responsible for some major icons through history, for example Smokey the Bear. PSA more often than not
are associated with non-profit organizations like the PSA ―this is your brain on drugs‖ is in partnership with
the organization Drug free America. Some PSA’s can also be referred to an issue ad when they are
exvertisments- which means when ads are created to divert your attention to another issue all together. For
example there could be an ad for some type of cosmetics, but it is really an issue ad to show consumers what
brands use animal testing. Advertising counsels that release PSA focus on ads that are not directed on big
corporations being problematic; rather they focus on personal issues and improvements. For example: rather
than having a PSA on pollution, there is more likely to be a PSA on forest fires.
Political Ads – these advertisements are used to try to sell us a candidate, these types of ads are usually
centered around what is politically relevant at the time of the elections. Politian’s who uses these are use
specifics to create an identity for them. For example their names are often repeated so people can remember
who is running. These ads are also used to create a specific point of view in your mind, the one of the
candidate. These ads are also used to show and create ideologies. Political ads are also used a lot as an attack
against opponents, when the advertisements are for attacks they don’t really focus on the candidate but rather
slandering the opponent with belittling and criticism. Also, when attacking the opponent then name of they
aren’t ever used because that would men free advertising.
Pranking/Culture jamming - Culture jams is a form a subvertising, its main function is to send out their
own message by transforming mass media to produce ironic or satirical commentary about itself, using
original medium’s communication methods. Basically there are things wrong with our society and culture
jamming is trying to get us to rethink our ideologies about ourselves and our goods. . Culture jamming is
usually employed in opposition to a perceived appropriation of public space, or as a reaction against
social conformity. There is a difference between parody and pranking, parody makes references to the wrong
things with the ads, while pranking uses comedy not in a satire way but in a positive way for the company.
For example, the Carrie coffee pranks on youtube to promote the movie remake Carrie.
2. Why does Sut Jhally see advertising (and ultimately consumer culture) as pathways to apocalypse? What are some of the
psychological and material results of widespread advertising on our world
He sees advertising as a pathway to the apocalypse because the process of consumption and how much we consume
now has huge environmental effects that require collective action globally to solve. He argues that advertising drives
this whole situation because that is the primary tool used to boost consumption. The last 50 years (The rule of
Capitalism) has caused changes to the Earth’s natural environment more than any other time period in history. He
believes that we focus too much on the now and not enough about the future (We need to consider social relationships
both with the future and with people now). He believes we need to rethink our use of the car to save reverse this
process. Advertising pushes us away from social relationships and emphasizes the consumption of material goods
(which he argues has a life span BIRTH to EXCHANGE to CONSUMPTION to DEATH to BUY NEW) so that we
can maintain economic growth. He suggests that to reverse this process we would need to create a system as powerful
as advertising to reverse the process.
3. Identify and describe some of the new forms of advertising in the digital era. Do these impact us in new ways? (Bianca)
Social Network Advertising: Advertising, online advertising tied to social network sites (facebook
promotions, instagram, twitter, flkr..etc). This is about the location of placing ads, but it is also tied with deta
gathering used to target these particular groups or individuals.
3 Contextual Advertising: Refers to focused ads sent to your wireless internet device (iPad, phones..Etc.)
when you connect to Wi-Fi transmitter by ―locating‖ your wireless devices marketers are able to send
targeted ads for businesses within the immediate area and relevant to the time of the day. Consider ―Digital
Enclosure‖ = interactive realms where in every action and interaction generates information about itself
This is the process by which communal lands have become subject to private control
Interactive Marketing Campaigns: These are ones that change or react with the individual or encourage
them to ―talk back‖ to the ad in some way or codes (quick response codes) I.E. blackberry BBM codes
Asics, McDonalds, Nokia. A lot of the techniques we do on a daily basis are now acts of consumption: now
more than ever.
4. Outline Coling Beaven’s major argument in No Impact Man, and describe some of the challenges and aids to his situation
Beaven’s argument in No Impact Man was that we as humans are slowly irritating earth’s resources and
that if we continue, soon we will be in big trouble.
As we saw in No impact man, Colin Beavan who got