Branding, Popular Music, and Young People
The Future of Mediated Youth Pop brands I began this book by describing the emergence of experiential brand- ing and the brandscape as a contemporary articulation in the devel- opment of marketing as a political, economic and social practice. The history of marketing is characterized by the intensification of the rela- tionship between capital and social space. Having some way of ac- counting for capitalism is a fundamental ground for studying brand- building. Branding is, and has always been to some degree, a particu- lar embodiment of the communicative logic of capital. I set out to study brand-building within the social context of young people and the popular music culture of the global west. Here, brand- building and popular culture are symbiotically connected. Popular culture is a key realm of meaning-making in western society. Conse- quently, branding as a strategic meaning-making process engages with the spaces and practices of popular culture. Any theory of expe- riential branding, therefore, needs to encompass a critical account of popular culture and the underlying structure of the social context within which it is produced. Popular culture is not simply an ‘authen- tic’ resource that brands poach, co-opt and feed off. Popular culture itself needs to be seen as a product of the same industrial mode of production as brands. A critical account of popular culture and brand- ing needs to come to terms with the mythologies and narratives pro- duced in order to make the social world possible, coherent and enjoyable. Here, a contemporary...
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