Advertising and Consumer Culture Course.
This is a research paper for my 4th year advertising and consumer culture course.
We are given 5 topics. Please feel free to choose the one that you are most confident writing.
1) One of the main issues we have discussed in class the relationship between products we need and products we want. One of the central areas of this kind of analysis is the role played by advertising and food, as we both need food, and want/desire specific kinds of food. Choose an area of food advertising (fast food, restaurants, health food, alcohol, gourmet food products, etc) and consider the ways in food is marketed as a lifestyle choice (it’s speed, convenience, rarity, status) How does the marketing of food function in relation to the ways in which we perceive the product and ourselves? Is food sold in such a manner that it is selling us more that simple sustenance? Pick one kind of product for this analysis and look at the differing ways it is marketed, branded and sold and what the implications of these strategies tell us about consumer choices and decisions.
2) Does the beauty industry market and sell not only products but also fantasies of who we are and what we can become? If so, how does this function? If not, what are the ways in which beauty products function as commodities? Pick on product for women, men or both, and consider the ways in which the product functions as a sellable commodity. Do beauty products offer us a way to transform ourselves, and if so, how does that process function?
3) How are products braded and what is the use-value of branding for both the producer and consumer of the product?
4) Select an ad campaign of your choice and analyze whom the ad campaign is directed to, who is potentially excluded from the campaign (especially in regards to questions of race, gender and/or class) and how these exclusions might help in the selling of the product.
5) How do advertisements sell ideas and abstract concepts such as success, generosity, happiness, authenticity, love, or community (to name but a few)? Is the selling of abstract ideas central to the way which advertisements work? How does the selling of ideas relate to questions of activism, fundraising and/or politics?
Please attach a work-cited list to the final paper(not part of the word count). Please double-space.
Please use at least 5 references in total, the more the better.
The professor said that some of the references should consult our course readings. Therefore, I will give you a list of our course readings. Please feel free to quote any from these! Most of them can be easily found online. And I’ve also given you some of the links to the articles. Some of them are from the textbook. I’ve also attached the scanned version of those articles. Thank you very much!
– Berger, John. chapter 7 “Ways of Seeing”
– McLuhan, Marshall. “Ads: Keeping upset with the Jonese” in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.
– Marx, Karl. “The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof” in Capital vol. I. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm#S4
– Turow, Joseph and Mattew P. McAllister. “General Introduction: Thinking Critically About Advertising and Consumer Culture.” In Turow and McAllister 1-8
– Williams, Raymond. “Advertising: The Magic System.” In Turow and McAllister 13-24
– Strasser, Susan “The Alien Past: Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective” in Turow and McAllister 25-37
– Stole, Inger L “Televised CONSUMPTION: Women, Advertisers, and the Early Daytime television Industry.” In Turow and McAllister 59-75
– Frith, Katherine, Ping SHAW AND HONG Cheng. “The Construction of Beauty: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of women’s Magazine Advertising” In Turow and McAllister 193-206
– Goodman Robyn J “Flabless is Fabulous: how Latina and Anglo Women Read and Incorporate the Excessively Thin body Ideal into Everyday Experience. ” In Turow and McAllister 275-290
– Klein, Naomi,”New Branded World” in No Logo.
– “The Brand Expands: How the Logo Grabbed Center Stage” in no Logo
– Garofalo, Reebee “Call and Response: Who Is the World?”: Reflections on Music and Politics Twenty Years After Live Aid” http://www.ic.arizona.edu/ic/soc3173/readings/GarofaloDebate.pdf
– Marcus, Greil. “We Are The World?” in Angela McRobbie, ed. Zoot Suits and Second Hand Dresses: An Anthology of Fashion and Music(Bakingstoke: Macmillan, 1988)
– Chaudhuri, Maitrayee. “Gender and Advertisements: The Rhetoric of globalization. ” In Turow and McAllister 175-192
– Klein, Naomi. A Tale of Three Logos: The Swoosh, the Shell and the Arches” in no Logo.
– Barber, Benjamin R. “From Hard Goods to Soft Goods” in Jihad vs. McWorld
– Debord, Guy and Gil Wolman. “A User’s Guide to detournement” (1956) http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/detourn.htm
– Harold, Christine. “Pranking Rhetoric: ‘Culture jamming’ as media Activism” In Turow and McAllister 348-368
– Klein, Naomi “Culture jamming: Ads under Attack” in No Logo.
– Horwatt, Eli “New Media Resistance: Machinima and the Avant-Garde” (2018) http://cineaction.ca/issue73sample.htm
– MacKenzie, Scott. “The Horror, Piglet, the Horror: Found Footage, Mash-ups, AMVs, the avant-garde, and the strange Case of Apocalypse Pooh” (2007)