Friday, January 30, 2009

IA:Truth in advertising outline

Naomi Klein sees branding as a negative phenomenon that exploits the consumers' emotional needs and makes the world superficial and homogeneous.

Why are brands bad?

- Brands create a false promise of a better lifestyle and attempt to produce a false essence. (Nike=transcendence; Starbucks=community). Brands are selling a feeling or essence that are usually far from what you can really get from the product.

-The identities that are created for the companies are injected into the society, creating a false understanding of what is positive and what should be admired.

-Brands are replacing the influence of the thinking individuals and intellectuals by creating a false essence of the meaning of life and a quick way to happiness. It is hard to compete with because brands always promise higher status and an alluring future. As a result people become more superficial and can start to believe that happiness can be achieved by wearing certain jeans or staring at an expensive flat screen tv.

-"Bennetton believes that it is important for companies to take a stance in the real world instead of using their advertising budget to perpetuate the myth that they can make consumers happy through the mere purchase of their product." [article]
BUT: by presenting world issues the company creates a bigger distance between the consumer and the issue. (no community at Starbucks) The promises that sound so noble are usually not kept.

-The quality of the product changed into a "stylistic badge of courage" ("I'm wearing Benneton, so I'm cool")

How are brands vulnerable?

-Internet activism that shows the gap between what the brands try to look like and what they really try to achieve.

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