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Pop Brands

Branding, Popular Music, and Young People

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Nicholas Carah and Nicholas Carah

Corporations engage young people and musicians in brand-building activities. These activities unfold in media-dense social spaces. Social networking sites, the user-generated content of web 2.0, live music events, digital cameras and cell phones are all used in constructing valuable brands. This book addresses the integration of popular music culture, corporate branding, and young people’s mediated cultural practices. These intersections provide a rich site for examining how young people build brands within spaces and practices that they perceive as meaningful. The book is based on extensive ethnographic empirical research, drawing on participant observation, textual analysis and interviews with young people, musicians, marketers and other participants in the cultural industries. Contemporary theories of marketing and branding are brought together with critical and cultural accounts of mediated social life. The book explores the distinctive concerns and debates of these different perspectives and the lively interface between them.

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Contents

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Acknowledgments ................................................................................... ix Preface .................................................................................................... xi Chapter One ‘Money and TV destroyed this thing!’: Mediated Youth, Popular Music and the Brandscape ................................................................................ 1 Chapter Two Music…as It Should Be: The Work of Meaning Making ..................... 20 Chapter Three ‘I Pushed My Way to the Front with Every Band I Saw’: Mediating Live Music ............................................................................................. 43 Chapter Four ‘We Are Not Here to Endorse Products; We Are Just Here to Play Music’: Musicians in the Brandscape ................................................... 63 Chapter Five ‘Enjoy Responsibly!’: Young People as Brand Co-creators .................. 91 Chapter Six ‘I’m Here to Party…’: The Social Narratives of Brands .................... 110 Chapter Seven Brand Builders .................................................................................... 128 Pop Brands viii Chapter Eight The Future of Mediated Youth ........................................................... 152 Notes .................................................................................................... 177 Bibliography ........................................................................................ 187 Index .................................................................................................... 197

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