Mooing Vuitton in the verdant fields of a mall.
September 15, 2010 6:42 AM   Subscribe

I think one of us needs to stick his head in a bucket of cold water.
posted by valkyryn at 6:52 AM on September 15, 2010

So branding is just another way to describe getting burnt on the ass.
posted by dobie at 7:11 AM on September 15, 2010

I see that this article was published in 1996, and I feel like it pretty much encapsulates what mall culture meant then, as well as the academic perspectives on branding, signs, etc. I don't think this is so relevant anymore. I guess you could say that we're post-mall.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:15 AM on September 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

(It was a fun read tho; thanks for posting!)
posted by iamkimiam at 7:15 AM on September 15, 2010

The logo for MarketingSemiotics on that PDF looks like a sex doll face.

I'm jes' sayin...
posted by chavenet at 7:23 AM on September 15, 2010

...and a vaguely Mayan Hieroglyph-y sex doll face, too. I'd be concerned that they'd carved it out of limestone.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:41 AM on September 15, 2010

Yes, what's up with a quasi-Mayan logo for Marketing Semiotics Inc., the bastard child of academia and corporate culture? More semiotics, anyone? Or was the author still high on the Ecstasy (s)he'd scored at Friday night's rave?
posted by kozad at 11:15 AM on September 15, 2010

Aw jeez... I really thought this would be somehow related to this recent news.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2010

Nice find, it's too bad she's using these insights to run a marketing agency. Nothing all that new here, but then it's 14 years old, and it holds up pretty well. When she talks about colonial Williamsburg:
Producers, staff and tourists play at overcoming the original sin of capitalism, namely alienating production from consumption and thus alienate the self from itself and others.
This phenomenon has exploded in the last few years, with "unbranded" branding and the ideal of authenticity replacing cool as the master signifier of consumerism, at least in some circles, so by now it should be clear that this type of nominally anti-capitalist critique has failed. It only generates a more sophisticated, "authentic" consumerism.
posted by AlsoMike at 12:42 PM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nice find, it's too bad she's using these insights to run a marketing agency

I took a semiotics class from Marshall Blonsky in the late 90's, and at one point he told us that he'd been approached by (I believe) Phillip Morris to do some advertising/marketing work for one of their cigarette brands - and he had politely refused.

But I'd said that it would have been morally OK to have taken the money and done his semiotics analysis for them, as long as he had done it completely wrong (and who the hell would know the difference, anyway).
posted by Auden at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2010

Oh, god, another butt-load of words to say something fairly simple...

Let's see, academic credentials: Laura R. Oswald, Ph.D.


Unsupported grandiose assertions: "Scopophilia, a form of perversion focussing on the gaze, underlies the drive to see and be seen in mall culture. Unlike voyeurism, a form of scopophilia which requires that the spectator remain anonymous and that the object of the gaze remain at a safe distance, shopping maintains a tension between seeing, being seen, and symbolic possession which collapses as soon as the purchase is consumed."


Lack of sourcing:


Why did I read that again?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:37 PM on September 15, 2010

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