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As competition between corporations for a bigger share of the global market for sportswear, sports goods and equipment became increasingly intense in the late twentieth century, so recognition of the value of association with sports events and sporting figures grew. Companies like Nike and Adidas increased their investment and elevated sports stars to the status of celebrity figures and global icons by virtue of the enhancement their public profiles received from involvement in commercial endorsement and advertising campaigns targeted at a growing consumer market.

Consumer culture and the emergence of sporting celebrity During the take-off period in the globalization of sport, which lasted from the late nineteenth century to the s, the prestige of economic liberalism was at its height. Between and there was a rapid increase in the provision of commercial recreation and the development of the business of sport.

One can witness the growth in professional sport and also in US collegiate sport and associated increases in spectatorship, the construction of stadiums and arenas, the dedication of more and more space to sports reporting in the press, and the expansion of the sports goods industry Goldman —4; see also Flanders In this period, there was a growing recognition that the cultural capital that high-profile sporting figures had accumulated through their sporting prowess might be profitably invested in product promotion.

Initially, it was the sports goods companies that sought to imply that the success of the players in their advertisements was, in part at least, attributable to the use of a particular product — a golf club or ball, a sports shoe or boot, a racquet and so on. In turn, the popular profile such sporting figures enjoyed drew the interest of companies eager to convey the impression of some form of association between their products or services and the authentic achievements and attractive accompanying qualities of outstanding athletes and players.

To handle his commercial affairs Ruth appointed a business adviser. In the course of the twentieth century corporate interest in the global commercial potential of sport increased significantly and from the s as leading sporting figures became more and more aware of the lucrative opportunities open to them they increasingly appointed agents to handle their affairs Smart In Mark McCormack established the International Management Group IMG and it relatively quickly became the leading organization as far as the representation of sports celebrities was concerned.

Growing media interest in sport Since the late nineteenth century, the development of modern professional sport has been bound up with a succession of communications media that have reported on sporting events and the deeds of sports participants. The growth in global television coverage and the increasing commercialization of sports has provided the corporate sponsors of sports events with a compellingly persuasive platform to achieve a global profile for their brands.

Press, radio and television have not only communicated information and images about sport to the fans, they have also served to promote sport to a wider public. They have increased its popularity and made the names and, in the case of the visual media, the faces of sporting figures known even to those with little real interest in sport Smart Developments in television technology, particularly the emergence of satellite television broadcasting, have contributed significantly to the globalization of sport. Worldwide live coverage of events, and digitalization and pay-per-view, along with the emergence of new media delivery platforms, including the Internet and mobile phone, have contributed further to the global diffusion of sports information and images.

From the mid-twentieth century television broadcasting media have created a cultural-commercial force field that has radically transformed sport. Television coverage has significantly increased the global popularity of both events and competitive bidding for broadcasting rights has radically transformed the political economy of these and other sporting events Smart Global research conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys on behalf of the IOC revealed that television broadcasting of the Athens Summer Games achieved new levels of global popularity with 3.

There were 35, hours of coverage of the Athens Games compared with 29, for Sydney, 25, for Atlanta and 20, for Barcelona The games were also notable for the fact that for the first time streaming video and highlight clips were available in a number of countries through mobile phone 7 handsets and over the Internet. Revenue secured from the sale of World Cup television broadcasting rights increased steadily from 95 million Swiss Francs in to 8 million in , rising rapidly to 1. Over the period from to , cumulative global television viewing audiences reported by FIFA indicated a steady increase from The process of the globalization of sport accelerated with the development of television technology, especially after the establishment in of the Entertainment Sports Programming Network ESPN , which first exploited the television trans- mission potential of channel space on communication satellites Halberstam By the mids, when ABC purchased ESPN, a technological revolution in sport television coverage was well underway and subsequently the quantity, quality and diversity of televised sport have increased significantly Smart Alongside such developments in television technology there was in this period an increasing concentration of broadcasting rights ownership by multinational media corporations with interests in the sport field.

News Corp, the global media corporation Rupert Murdoch established in the closing decades of the twentieth century, provides one significant example. Increasingly, a few powerful multinational corporations dominate the sport-media complex. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, television coverage became an increasingly vital part of the cultural economy of modern sports.

With the increasing global exposure and promotion it provided, it simultaneously enhanced the attractiveness of sport and sporting figures to commercial organizations willing to spend increasingly large capital sums on various forms of sports advertising and sponsorship Smart Well-established, globally popular sporting events are ideal vehicles for corporate sponsors seeking to raise the global profile of their brands. Such events transcend cultural differences and, being universal in appeal, open up access to consumer markets around the world in a way that few other social and cultural practices can equal.

With the increasing choice in communications media and the fragmentation of audiences, reaching consumers through advertising and marketing via broadcasting, billboards and magazines has become a more precarious business.

Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture

In an over- saturated communications media context, popular sporting events constitute one of the few cultural forms that retain a capacity to attract a global audience to broadcasting programme schedules and thereby they offer businesses a unique global promotional platform, the potential to expose consumers around the world to associated corporate advertising, marketing and branding campaigns Marqusee Sponsorships and endorsements have been a factor in professional sport for well over a century.

In Nottingham Forest, champions of the English football league, had a commercial contract with the beverage company Bovril. In the aftermath of the Second World War, leading English sportsmen, notably Dennis Compton, Tom Finney, Billy Wright and Stanley Matthews, had endorsement contracts with companies producing hair products, breakfast cereals and football boots respectively Smart Although one might argue that the first sign of commercial sponsorship in sports was the inclusion of advertisements in the official programme for the first modern Olympics in Athens, only in the last quarter of the twentieth century, in association with developments in sports television broadcasting, did corporate sponsorship begin to have a marked impact on sports Lasch ; Sandler and Shani ; Smart From the mids corporate sponsorship of sport events with a global popular appeal and commercial potential, for example the FIFA World Cup and the 10 Olympic Games, has grown significantly.

FIFA was the first global sports organization for which corporate sponsorship became a major source of revenue generation, with the World Cup becoming the main tournament for securing lucrative global commercial sponsorship agreements and for auctioning the sale of global television broadcasting rights. In his campaign for the FIFA presidency, Havelange had promised to increase the number of countries participating in the World Cup Finals, to introduce a World Youth tournament, and to enhance the global appeal of football by establishing a programme to help develop the game in Africa and Asia.

Such commitments necessitated significant increases in funding. They began with the World Cup tournament in Argentina, for which contracts were negotiated with six major corporate sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Gillette, and Seiko Sugden and Tomlinson ; Smit ; Yallop This established a template that would be followed in subsequent tournaments Table 1.

The IOC describes the Games as inaugurating the most successful era of corporate sponsorship in Olympic history. Over the year period that the programme has been in existence the revenue generated from sponsorship agreements with a limited number of global corporate partners has grown significantly Table 2. Global sports events now take the form of recurring spectacular commercial media festivals. The celebrities serve as role models, as objects of adulation and identification, but also increasingly as exemplars of consumer life-styles to which spectators and television viewers alike are enticed to aspire.

This is achieved through the marketing campaigns of sponsoring corporations seeking to promote their brands through association with the positive qualities displayed in popular sports competitions and expressed by sporting figures granted lucrative product endorsement contracts.

Concluding remarks: the serious business of global sport Since the late nineteenth century, proceeding from England, the birthplace of modern sport, there has been a complex process of diffusion of sports around the world Elias ; Mandell Global sport is now a serious and increasingly financially rewarding business. Sport is now an established part of a globally extensive entertainment industry and sportsmen and sportswomen have eagerly embraced the notion that they have a responsibility not only to be successful in competition but also to entertain spectators and viewers by participating in the promotion of sport as spectacle.

In turn, sportsmen and sportswomen have come to recognize that the global popularity and media profile that sporting success brings can deliver lucrative opportunities to them. This is done with the assistance of agents, advisers and media consultants who market their images to commercial corporations seeking to raise global awareness of their brands, increase their share of world markets, and gain an edge on the competition through association with prestigious sports events and celebrity sports stars.

Global sports events and iconic global sporting celebrity figures have become increasingly important to the promotion of commodity consumption. This is achieved through displaying corporate logos and marketing campaigns at sports events, deploying sporting imagery and prestigious global sporting event trademarks in corporate advertising in the media, and involving the high-profile products of sports celebrities like Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Venus and Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in product and brand promotion Smart As the twentieth century unfolded, commercial corporations increasingly recognized that few if any cultural forms have as much potential to be cosmopolitan as modern sports.

They achieve this through the rituals of competitive play, themselves rendered universal by the formation of a global sporting network, to which the growth of media coverage and corporate sponsorship has made such a decisive contribution Aris 12 The association of corporate logos, products and services with global sports events and iconic globally popular sporting figures increasingly accords a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country.

By the end of the century the character of sport had been radically transformed, in substantial part by the corporate world, by transnational business activity and the global pursuit of wealth, and by the development of communications media and the growth of consumer culture Sennett As modern sport has become global in scope it has largely lost its playful character and its professional practice has become both a global media spectacle and a serious and financially significant global business.

The tennis player Fred Perry employed a comparable approach to promote his brand of tennis clothing. The Fred Perry brand emerged at the end of the s when Perry, an English tennis player who won the Wimbledon Singles title in , and , and was the first player to win all four Grand Slam titles, was persuaded to market a sweatband bearing his name.

The Fred Perry sweatbands were marketed by giving them away to top players who wore them at tournaments. In the Fred Perry shirt with laurel logo was launched and successfully marketed in exactly the same way. Perry was not the only tennis player of his era to move into the production of sport and recreational clothing. Late in C. Browne, the first American woman to play professional tennis. References Adidas n.

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The arts world has undergone far-reaching changes over the course of the past century, so much so that the cultural order in which it has developed and, in particular, its sphere of specialized cultural activity have been thoroughly transformed. In addition to the many changes recorded in the social organization of the arts, this transformation has seen the sphere occupied by specialized culture expand well beyond the original core of the classical arts and the private market, and has led to the extension of the art paradigm into other fields of everyday practice, accompanied by a dramatic rise in the attention dedicated to the arts within the political sphere and society CQ Press Your definitive resource for politics, policy and people.

Remember me? Back Institutional Login Please choose from an option shown below. In the case of management this means building and organization. In the case of marketing it entails constructing a market. As recent economic sociology has stressed, markets should not be taken as given or naturally occurring, but rather as the outcome of a complex array of institutional determinations, many guided by the very disciplines that propose to give an objective description of how markets work, like economics Callon, ; Carrier and Miller, In order for that to happen two conditions must be met.

They need to present themselves as objects that make sense and that can be used with relative ease. Second, the complexity of consumer practices needs to be reduced so that production can be programmed and consumer agency valorized. Marketing is the management of this complex array of choices and decisions. As in the case of management, this practice presupposes information. Information provides an interface on which marketing can act. It constitutes its object — the consumer. As Don Slater has stressed, marketing is exercised on the arena of information. Marketing and advertising require deep cultural knowledges of the objectified other.

It is not necessarily empirically correct knowledge advertisers may be wrong, and infamously can never really know when they are wrong , but it must be knowledge that makes sense to the marketers as a cultural embedding of the product and, which therefore makes sense as a strategy for marketing. Slater, It follows that transformations in the informational interface of marketing also mean transformations in its managerial reach. New forms of 44 Marketing information allow the subsumption of new kinds of practices.

This chapter will describe the development of the informational interface of marketing during the twentieth century. I build my case chiefly around the history of American marketing. Although there are of course national and regional differences, this remains a legitimate practice, at least for the post-war years. In terms of methods of information gathering and theories of consumer behaviour — the informational interface of marketing — what national differences that might have prevailed in the pre-war years, rapidly disappear after the Second World War, when American methods became the global norm cf.

Arvidsson, Marketing: the early developments Although advertising and salesmanship have a long history, marketing in the modern sense is distinctive. It constitutes a discourse informed by coherent methods, models and forms of knowledge.

Cultural globalization

As a coherent discursive practice, modern marketing first developed in the United States in the early twentieth century, as academics in the new business schools began to give serious consideration to the problem of distribution Bartels, ; Fullerton, This had become a pertinent issue as mass production, mass transport and, importantly, mass communications had opened up the possibility of constructing national markets governed by common taste and preference systems Tedlow, ; Levi Martin, Inspired by German institutional economics, early academic marketing thought was mainly concerned with the institutional framework of commercial distribution, with markets, middlemen and transportation systems.

Interest in consumer behaviour rather developed within the field of advertising psychology. There the pioneering work of Walter Dill Scott had established a view of consumers as weak and open to persuasion through the suggestive effects of advertising. Arvidsson, ; Nye, This view was later developed by the famous behaviourist, James W. Watson, who had been hired by the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in This view of human subjectivity as formable and open to environmental influences made early advertising psychology work well with the overall disciplinary project of Taylorism.

Here, the government of consumption was seen as a necessary parallel to the government of production. It is often remembered that Ford stressed the importance of higher wages that would enable workers to purchase the products that they produced. Of equal importance to this Keynesian insight however is the fact that Ford was deeply concerned with educating workers and shaping their consumer behaviour.

Five strategies for a successful global brand – Marketing Week

It was not just important that workers consumed, but also how they consumed. Indeed, in the original definition of Fordism by the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci , the stress is not only on the principle of high wages and proletarian consumerism, but also on the importance of control of consumption and, by extension, of private life in general. Gramsci lists the prohibition movement, sexual puritanism and organizations like the YMCA and Rotary as important components of the new planned economy organized around the factory. Within early marketing thought there was a similar emphasis on reeducation; on replacing particular, private, ethnic or class-specific tastes and consumer practices with modern, rational and distinctively middle class ones.

Despite its ambitious goal to be part of an overall reorganization of society Ewen, ; Lears, , early marketing thought developed with very little empirical knowledge about consumers. In part this was 46 Marketing deemed unnecessary since the persuasive effects of advertising would in any case over-ride individual habits and attachments. In part this was because the necessary survey methods had not yet been developed. In the first post-war years, however, the advances of empirical psychological research and the emergence of readership surveys began to supply such information.

As the development of market and audience research accelerated, in particular in the wake of the depression, the nature of marketing changed. The new availability of data was also paralleled by an increasing emphasis on the importance of advertising realism. It is not so clear, on the other hand, whether this realism actually mirrored the actual lived reality of consumers. Indeed, one could argue, that realism in advertising was more of a conventional than of a representational kind.

To clarify this it is necessary to examine the post-war development of advertising and market research in more detail. Realism in advertising The production of sociological, and not just psychological knowledge about consumers — knowledge about their tastes, habits and preferences — was driven by the publishing industry. For the new mass circulating weekly and monthly magazines that often retailed at less than production costs and thus relied heavily on advertising, it was particularly important to procure additional information that could define and valorize their audience in the eyes of advertisers.

Daily newspapers felt this problem less, as their market was in most cases given by geographical factors; Wernick, Indeed this kind of marketing was undertaken even before adequate methods for producing the necessary knowledge were available. In the immediate post-war years, however, big publishers like Curtis True Story, Love Magazine, Ladies Home Journal set up research departments, and a number of research consultancies, like the Eastman company, developed to service small publishers in the case of Eastman the Christian Herald and Cosmopolitan magazine. All of these surveyed readers for data on income and demographic composition Lockley, The CBS panel was checked in even more detail.

Much data on consumer demographics, behaviour and purchasing patterns was thus generated. To some extent this omission was motivated by certain preconceived ideas about what counted as knowledge, by assumptions at the level of what Foucault called savoir. But there was no real pressure to procure such knowledge.

Indeed, consumer motivations, and hence the kinds of arguments that could be efficiently employed in advertisements were thought to be readily deductible from the cultural environment, or life-world, embodied by a particular magazine. Media like weekly magazines 48 Marketing and cinema supplied a format, a set of arguments and cultural backdrop for advertising.

The developments of the J. Walter Thompson Lux account testify to this mechanism. The account was taken on in , and Lux soap was originally marketed as an upscale product, suitable to wash fashion garments JWT, a. In it was decided to sell the soap in the form of flakes, suggesting a more everyday use to a wider market JWT, b. With the arrival of photography and the comic format in the s considered highly efficient because of its realistic appeal , this theme was further developed.

It is interesting to note that the only research into consumer motivations undertaken by J. Walter Thompson regarded the particular activities that women found interesting. It emerged that the target audience middle and lower class women was most interested in washing stockings and in the consequences of soap on hands. These two activities became the focus of the campaign. The way that they were framed, however, was entirely given by the mediatic environment JWT, But they had very few means of knowing the meaningful make-up of that reality. True, they had a lot of data on activities, on choices, uses and purchases, but virtually none on the motivations and attachments.

Indeed, a conventional reality served as a substitute for the kinds of information that was not available. For the advertisers, adopting the conventional realism of the weekly magazines became a way to black box the issue of consumer motivations. This was particularly clear in the case of the influential ABCD typology that has come to guide market research up until the present day.

This link was further strengthened when radio promoted the development of nation-wide ratings research in the s. Now class differences roughly coinciding with differences between magazines were reified into a standardized typology, the so-called ABCD system. As we can see from the way the J. To him the categories meant the following: A. Homes of substantial wealth above the average in culture that have at least one servant. The essential point, however, in this class is that the persons interviewed shall be people of intelligence and discrimination.

Comfortable middle class homes, personally directed by intelligent women. Industrial homes of skilled mechanics, mill operators or petty trades people no servants. Homes of unskilled labourers or in foreign districts where it is difficult for American ways to penetrate. Cherington, There were no research data on motivations and attitudes that could substantiate such descriptions. Bogart, Once placed in such a category accompanying assumptions about relatively fixed motivations, attitudes and life-styles made it possible to legitimately deduce further ideas about consumers, and how to appeal to them.

This way, the ABCD typology worked to reduce, or contain the complexity of consumer motivations into a relatively neat and simple typology that permitted a highly standardized and streamlined marketing effort. With the ABCD typology classifications originally derived from the structure of the magazine advertising market were developed into general categories, used to contain and manage a wide diversity of consumer practices. The ABCD typology became the very foundation for the construction of a Baudrillardian code of consumption, intended to contain the productivity of the social.

In the inter-war years, advertising took a realist direction. Rather than any serious attempt to actually represent the lived reality of consumers, this realism emerged out of a series of conventions that had developed, mainly, around the market for audiences for weekly magazines. Audience research provided marketers with a number of categories Marketing 51 that could be used to differentiate between consumer goods. As these categories were sedimented into a commonly used typology they also came to provide a common-sense ground for deducting ideas about consumer motivations and attitudes from income.

Here too, these conventions sedimented over time, into a set of common-sense assumptions as to how the life of consumers actually looked. For the advertising professionals, this real virtuality served as a substitute for the kinds of information that could not yet be produced. For the consumers, it served as a visualization of the prevailing consumption norm and helped establish the truth, beauty and utility of products. The cultural turn Chapter 2 described a series of factors that combined to transform American middle class consumer culture in the s and s: suburbanization, the recomposition of the middle classes themselves, the counter-culture, the impact of television and of new objects and environments of consumption, like plastic, frozen foods, the supermarket and the shopping mall.

Even if these developments produced new practices that fell outside of the reality captured by the conventions of advertising, they were by no means ignored by marketing professionals, at least not by the vanguards of the advertising and marketing profession. While changes in consumer culture were important in provoking these transformations, new factors within the business world itself also played their part. Industrial over-capacity produced a higher pressure for product differentiation Smith, ; Keith, ; Tedlow, Combined with new developments in design and in shopping environments, this led to a growing pressure to differentiate product lines to target different consumer segments or to invent new products altogether as in the tobacco and automobile industries.

In the turnover of the research business was ten times in current dollars that of thirty years before. With the expansion of the research community came its professionalization. More trained social scientists were employed and theories and methods refined Bogart, ; cf. Rainwater et al. The result was a pressure to generate more detailed and deeper descriptions of consumer behaviour and a growing suspicion towards the fixed categories implied by the ABCD system. While there were sometimes profound disagreements among these as to what was to be done, all agreed that the older, well-established realist format no longer worked.

They argued that advertising now met with a chronic attention deficit. This discovery owed a lot to the new kinds of information that was now available from large-scale, nation-wide measurements of advertising recall and of the influence of advertising on purchases. In a more diversified and rich media environment, advertising was only one voice, and not a particularly influential one. They ignore us. Higgins, 14 Most also agreed that the reason for this lack of interest in advertising was that people generally felt that advertisements did not speak of things that interested them, or even of things that made sense.

Advertisements tended to use difficult or technical terminology that was incomprehensible to most people. They were written by middle class academics, for middle class academics, and their verbose language simply escaped Marketing 53 most common people. But in point of truth, relatively few human beings are actually skilled with words. Brought up on an intellectual diet of Grade B movies, comic books, sports pages, and electronic comedians, the average individual is not equipped to cope with the professional communicator. He agreed however, that most people found little interest in advertising.

The reason he proposed was that most advertisements consisted of empty claims that said very little about the product and the potential benefits that the consumer could derive from it. Martineau, on the other hand, called for advertisements that stimulated a greater emotional involvement on the part of consumers. While their recipes were different, the core of the advice was the same. Advertising must engage consumers; it must trigger some sort of mental activity with them; it must activate or engage them in some sense.

It was no longer enough to inscribe the product in a well-established Reality, and then suppose that this, in itself would trigger actual purchases. These ideas were supported by the development of new research techniques, like Motivation Research — of which Martineau was a pioneer and Reeves a vehement enemy — that uncovered new levels of consumer agency; see below. Finally, all agreed on the necessity to streamline and concentrate the advertising message. All of this tended to introduce a sharper focus on the product, or rather the way in which it figured in advertising.

Bernbach also broke with the realist ethos that had been central to modern advertising. He emphasized that the point of advertising was not to represent consumer wants and desires but to position and give personality to products. This was evident, for example, in his famous Volkswagen commercials that mocked the established conventions of automobile advertising.

It had become one of many genres in an increasingly interlinked media culture. A good advertisement would not so much seek to provide consumers with an ideal that they could identify with, but to give identity to a product by linking it to the intertextual universe of media culture of which advertising itself was a part. This was particularly true in a highly differentiated and complex media environment where consumers were constantly confronted with different atmospheres and life-styles. More importantly perhaps, he claimed that consumers perceived advertising, the brand and its media environment as a totality.

To try to break this down to measurable parts, as quantitative methods necessarily had to do, might produce dangerous and misleading results. Although Pollitt was not first to point at the importance of brand image Burleigh Gardner and Sydney Levy had used this term already in ; see below , he added a new, holistic dimension to the term. Brand image was to be understood as something above and beyond the perceptions of individual consumers. While these still mattered, the creation and maintenance of successful brand images was chiefly a matter of artistic creativity.

These two conceptions of the trade had been fighting it out since the beginning of modern advertising.

Investing in a brand is like marriage: Global Brands Group CEO - Managing Asia

Through the creative revolution this artistic revival was temporarily connected to the counter-cultural critique of mass society, a lot of its style and imagery was incorporated into advertising. In many ways, these debates constituted a first step in shifting the focus away from the pre-given Reality of advertising, and towards the productive potential of particular products: the mood, feeling or experience that they could stimulate in consumers. The new emphasis on the cultural and experiential dimensions of goods was also a reaction to the new conditions posed by the media environment.

In an influential article, Sydney Levy and Burleigh Gardner claimed that people were now no longer naturally accepting of an older hierarchy of needs and motivations. And they were writing in a time where the marketing profession was heavily influenced by motivation psychology and its theory of an epochal shift from the material to the symbolic age; see below. Now, however, the symbolic dimension of marketing practice was underlined as the public meaning of commodities was perceived to be less stable and their media environment more complex.

Marketing had to think symbolically in order to navigate the emerging new more dynamic and complex Media Culture. This perception of a new contingency in the relations between consumers and products was strengthened by developments in market research. The transformation of market research The most important factor behind the transformation of market research in the s was the transformation of the media environment.

After all the largest consumers of market research were still media companies who sought to valorize their audiences in the eyes of advertising buyers. The particular response that this triggered was, however, conditioned by the intellectual environment of marketing of the late s and early Marketing 57 s.

Marketing did not escape the heavy influence that psychoanalysis and, in particular, ego psychology exercised on American society in general at this time. It was however a new form of market research, Motivation Research, that supplied the strongest arguments for stressing the cultural function of goods. Americans in general were becoming middle class, he claimed, class mattered less and less, and as middle class, they were no longer so much interested in status achievement as in individual self-expression.

But we can be different in our tastes. This is the avenue for individuation. Broadly we are all conformists: we are not going to be driving scooters or go barefoot to be different. But, within the limits of conformity we can develop individualistic styles in all areas of consumer wants to show our colourful, interesting personalities through our tastes.

We look for pastel telephones, new models and new decors in our cars — some different beauty in any product, a certain luxury, a feature that can not be talked about. The wish for attention that might be repressed in hard times is in full bloom today. In order to strengthen and help diffusing this new consumer ethic, which both Dichter and Martineau considered more rational and evolved, marketing had to do its part. Dichter linked this pursuit to higher ends: the struggle against communism. In order to win this two-sided war, it was necessary to rethink the relation between people and goods.

Above all, marketing had to abandon the idea that consumers made rational decisions in relation to a socially given hierarchy of needs or values. Rather, in this new area of self-expression human desire was best regarded as plastic and open. Indeed people lived in a world of goods to which they were emotionally attached and to which they owed large parts of their own personality although few would recognize this debt.

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It was to these unrecognized, irrational, emotional bonds that progressive market researchers now had to turn. In an early article from he concluded that, up until now, most advertisements made virtually identical claims. There is no toilet soap that will not give the user lovelier skin, no face cream that will not secure romance and eternal love for the purchaser, and no whiskey that is not milder, smoother, and longer aged than others on the market.

It is small wonder that the reader has great difficulty in distinguishing one brand from another. It would be far more efficient to use advertising to give products a tangible experiential component. Dichter, Dichter then proceeded to suggest a better way. Rather, consumption should be understood as a constructive practice by means of which the consumer produces his or her self, through more or less intimate liaisons with different products.

Motivation research thus suggested that marketing take as its object the programming of this consumerist self-production. This fundamental step, from the product to the relations between products and consumers or better, the recognition of the contingency of these relations constituted a first important step towards the contemporary branding paradigm see below. Motivation research also had a significant impact on quantitative market research. Out of the new openness to the multidimensionality of consumer motivations that it had fostered came what would later be known as psychographics Demby, At the same time as motivation research had opened up the possibility of viewing consumer subjectivity as something that consumers produced, and not just something that was given by social structure, it was not methodologically capable of supplying valid and reliable information.

The methodological tools it developed were employed in the emerging field of sociological studies of class, like W. Both sociologists and market researchers shared an interest in reliable quantitative instruments that could provide a picture of what was understood to be a changing American class landscape. Wright Mills would later describe them, who were understood to be de-linked from traditional ethnic or geographically rooted communities and appeared to form a kind of free floating mysterious entity Mills, ; Whyte, The study aimed to investigate empirically what advertisers hitherto had taken for granted: the cultural universe of their main advertising object: the Middle Majority Housewife.

The study generated an in-depth descriptive picture of the everyday life of the Housewives, including information on their psychological attitudes and relations to consumer goods. Early studies like this produced detailed pictures of consumer cultures that were still coupled to a particular class position.

There, consumers had been segmented according to one variable or one series of variables denoting class position. Now, segments were no longer defined a priori, but rather deduced from the rich data material generated by extensive questioners. This meant that the overall picture that was generated was no longer a priori determined by class. The inductive approach of psychographics meant that consumers were no longer depicted as structured according to some over-riding principle.

It also meant that the particular segments generated could change over time. As William D. Rathnell, Racial groups are seeking a new identity and proposing separation rather than assimilation. Social mores have changed rapidly. Styles of living and dress are indeed varied. Consumerism has become a major force. These changes make more hazardous than ever reliance on our own pre-conceptions or on data on the consumer that is scanty or outmoded.

This then is another reason for turning to psychographics. Ziff, Towards the branding paradigm The availability of new and richer forms of information on consumers now coincided with the emphasis, introduced by motivation research, on the specific relations that could prevail between particular products and particular groups of consumers.

Life-style advertising was about making the product anticipate a certain attitude, mode or feeling. It was essential that this immaterial characteristic of the product be perceived as one of its innate qualities, and thus enact the extended qualities that were particular to the product. A Coca-Cola memorandum from The Pause that Refreshes campaign makes this point clearly: 62 Marketing Consumers see every ad or commercial for Coke as an extension of the product itself. So it follows that a commercial for Coca-Cola should have the properties of the product itself.

It should be a pleasurable experience, refreshing to watch and pleasant to listen to. It should reflect quality by being quality. Previously it had been common to socialize the cigarette in realistic representations of everyday life. Similarly Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola produced a number of films where the purpose was to connect the product to an idea, experience or emotion to the product, often drawing on the imagery of the youth culture.

In life-style advertising the product already featured an anticipation of a particular form of life, which is not connected to other products by means of code. Rather it emerges as a more or less free-floating sign to be assembled into the expression of a more or less sovereign consumer. This format was to remain highly influential during the s and s. But in the s the life-style format began to be experienced as problematic. The first and most important problem was its almost exclusive reliance on advertising. In a highly diversified media environment, following the explosion of satellite and cable television and the availability of VCRs and remote controls, advertising had even less of an Marketing 63 impact than before.

Similarly, the new possibilities for synergies and cross marketing provided by the emerging internet environment were actively utilized to multiply the channels available to marketing. Marketing thus took an increasingly multidimensional turn in the s see next chapter. Second, the kinds of data mining techniques that became available during the s, together with the expansion of qualitative research produced a possibility of programming deeper and tighter relations between consumers and goods or, increasingly, brands.

CRM built on the idea that it was more profitable to tie existing customers to the brand and build up brand loyalty, than to mass advertise for new ones.


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The idea was not entirely new, but now new market research techniques that combined data from a multitude of sources, like credit card records, bar code scans, media consumption surveys and demographics became available Turow, ; Weiss, Deploying this information, airlines, supermarkets and carmakers launched loyalty clubs, where customers would receive additional benefits in exchange for personal information. Soon these were supplanted with in-house magazines and the availability of information or services through call centres. This involved a radical step, however.

This enabled brand management to become more dynamic and open ended, moving with the productivity of consumer practice. This new mobility was institutionalized through the emergence of a new professional figure within the advertising industry, the account planner. The account planner was to work as third party to the creative team. This in turn was connected to the emergence of brand management as the prevailing paradigm of advertising and marketing practice.

This Reality is in turn constructed on the basis of available information about consumers; it is erected on an informational interface. This chapter has shown how, during the twentieth century, this Reality of advertising has changed from representing a stable common consumption norm, attainable to different degrees by different consumers according to their allocation along a common ABCD typology, to representing the context of consumer practice as a set of evolving, mutually independent qualities tied first to life-styles and then to brands.

The Reality of consumption has gone from a coherent monotheism — where all goods were the servants of the same rational middle class God — to paganism. This shift has been the consequence of the transformation of the informational interface available to marketing. These were subsequently re- Marketing 65 elaborated into particular life-styles. This way the cultural context of consumption could be programmed, worked upon and come to function as a mechanism for the abstraction of value, as a form of immaterial capital. The previous chapter described one of the pre-conditions for this, the emergence of a new consumer productivity spurred by electronic media.

This chapter has shown how marketing has reacted to that development through the erection of a new informational interface able to capture that productivity. Contemporary branding is the outcome of this capitalist reaction towards the mass intellectuality made possible by electronic media, a reaction in itself made possible by such media and the new kinds of information processing capacities that they brought about. Next chapter will show how these two aspects come together in the brand.


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Brewer and Porter eds, ; Wernick,