By Kelly Gorkoff, Criminal Justice Studies, UWFA Communications Committee
Welcome to Marlboro country.
We are living firmly in marketable times. The swoosh, the arches, the ever-so-slightly bitten apple, the Starbucks Siren—the familiar logos of our time. These brands don’t just deliver information about the product, nor do they simply make us desire and demand it. Rather, they build an image or brand essence and we position ourselves in and through them, emotionally and materially. Brands work like semiotic messages. They ignite curiosity and encourage consumption. Remember, IBM isn’t selling computers; it’s selling business solutions. Are you a Mac or a PC? Whichever you are, Don’t leave home without it. And remember, Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s. Branding is not just about catchy tag lines. It’s a much more complicated business. As the documentary Merchants of Cool reveals, branders manufacture the coolness of youth back to the young in a never-ending feedback loop. It becomes almost impossible to tell which came first: youth anger or the marketing of the angry teenager.