In March 2012, Shakespeare was declared ‘one of the strongest brands in the world’. 1 Estimated at $600 million, Shakespeare’s monetary value was said by brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance to outstrip easily that of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and J. K. Rowling, and to warrant the label of ‘AAA brand’. Brand Finance’s estimate
this is reflected in the ways in which Dark angel manifests particular generic tropes. Given this generic hybridity and corruption, and referencing the work of Auger, this chapter examines the world of Dark angel as an instance of technoir and considers the role of body-marking (tattoos, brands and barcodes) as a central metaphor in this examination of the ‘generic’ body. ‘Body-marking’ in Dark angel not only occurs at the level of content (representations of tattoos and branding within the show), but also formally (how its own generic ‘body’ is ‘marked’). Thus
Brands are introduced into the lives of consumers from an early age. Even before they start school, they can recognise brand names and ask for brands by name. The meaning of brands to children can vary dramatically with age. As with other aspects of consumer socialisation, children’s initial orientation towards brands occurs at a superficial level because their level of cognitive development does not allow them to understand deeper-seated symbolic meanings of brands.
This book examines these processes and how they evolve over the different stages of childhood. It considers specific models of cognitive development and how they inform what we know about the way children engage with brands. It also examines the way brands have adopted new promotional platforms in the digital era and in consequence the ways in which they have taken on new forms that often disguise their true purpose.
While children can begin the understand the nature and purpose of advertising from well before their teen years, when advertising is less overt and more subtle – as it often is in the promotional techniques used by brands in online social media and virtual environments – this can impede a child’s ability to recognise what is going on. This book examines these phenomena and considers their implications for the future regulation of brand promotions.
1 What is a brand? What is a brand? The term has been defined in various ways over time. According to the American Marketing Association Dictionary, a brand is the ‘name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers’ (American Marketing Association Dictionary, 2013). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary adopted a more historical perspective in its collection of definitions of ‘brand’, which traced its etymological roots to the idea of something being burned into something else as an identifying
6 Brands and advergames Advergames are electronic games children are invited to play that contain a product or brand. The name comes from a conflation of ‘advertisement’ and ‘game’. The games provide a platform for very subtle forms of advertising because brands are integrated with the entertainment content. Hence the entertainment aspects of the game are not simply a background on top of which the advertising is placed, but are used as features of the brand promotion. Earlier mention has been made that advergames, as a marketing platform, pre-date the internet
3 Emergence of brand consciousness There is compelling evidence that children have brand consciousness from an early age. As we will see, this fact has been confirmed by both academic and marketing industry research. While industry researchers have been interested in finding out which brands are best known and best liked among young consumers, and how brand awareness levels and preferences vary across different child age groups, academic researchers have been occupied more with finding explanations for why brand consciousness exists, the different forms it can
4 Children and digital branding The popularity of online digital media as a marketing platform has surpassed the advance of research designed to inform our understanding of how this medium works and how effective it can be at delivering results in the marketplace. Industry research has generated surface level market statistics that profile internet traffic linked to brands, but what do consumers really make of this type of marketing and how responsive are they to it? In the context of the theme being examined here, what are the implications of brand marketing in
7 Brands and adverworlds We have seen that social media sites have expanded exponentially during the twenty-first century, and the most popular sites, such as Bebo, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and others, now have billions of subscribers. On these sites, users can post biographical and up-to-date information about developments in their lives, as well as images of themselves, their family and friends, and many other things. This content can be published to the entire world or reserved for selected visitors. These sites can also give them one-to-one communications
2 Kids and branding Kids today are bombarded with branding messages. This activity represents an aspect of a wider campaign being waged by commercial organisations in capitalist economies to establish, maintain and grow their presence in specific product and service markets. Reaching out to consumers while they are still going through the early stages of their psychological development represents an exercise in conditioning not simply a consumer culture, but a branded one. As we have already seen, historically, brands were originally markers of ownership, but in
5 Branding Ex Machina Lepage’s early- and mid-career original productions reveal a preoccupation with the relationship between art and commerce. They feature the recurrent figure of an artist, frequently self-identified, who struggles to maintain integrity and agency while navigating an environment in which buying and selling their work is an inevitability. His fascination with great artists is accompanied by a critical– often comically critical– awareness that such greatness is a historically and culturally determined construct. In Vinci, Philippe attempts