Wednesday, 28 November 2012


  • Illustrates the saturation of images, publicity and messages. Bombarded with advertising telling the audience "Do this - Buy this"
  • Effects the way people feel, think and act about the world and each other
  • 90's - 11000 new TV commercials in the UK a year
  • 25 million new print adverts produced in Britain every year from billboards to magazines
  • Confronted with a message trying to sell you something

  • Advertising follows you everywhere, facebook side adds, browsing history
  • Increasingly bespoke in design
  • Pop ups
  • Youtube adverts

Karl Max 1818-1883

  • Theorist - Communist manifesto
  • Exploitative, unfair and dehumanizing - K.M
  • Anti capitalism, consumer
  • Consistently perpetuate the buying and selling of goods

  • In commodity culture we construct our identities through the consumer products that inhabit our lives
  • This is what Stewart Ewen terms 'the commodity self'
  • Judith Williamson author of Decoding Advertisements 'Instead of being identified by what they produce, people identify themselves through what they consume' (Williamson, 1991:13)

  • Post war 50's
  • People start to construct their identities on what they buy rather than what they do
  • Materialism
  • Associates you to a pre defined style
  • Commodified : To turn into or treat as a commodity; make commercial: "Such music . . . commodifies the worst sorts of . . . stereotypes" (Michiko Kakutani).


  • Ideology of brands : Coke, free range, organic
  • Fairtrade: Con, 50% has to be brought, consumers make more
  • Like things because they fit with a certain style or ideal
  • Famous punk poster this a chord x3
  • Illusion of identity or reality
  • Bought not to make us but the people we want to be
  • People are judged by appearance we would have to go off the person themself. Better society? Alienated>
  • Access symbolic power
  • In our society we can not be without consumerism

  • CK - attractive, attracted to each other, edgy, androgynous, associates audience with the models, gang, glamorous lifestyle.
  • Production vs. payment
  • Be successful, loved, sexy, popular we have to buy things
  • Perpetuates false needs, system of creation
  • Illusion we can be all we want to be through buying
  • Shallow form of human existence
  • Free individual
  • Symbolic potency: lifestyle, beauty, wealth, status, youth
  • Aesthetic Innovation: Something that looks pleasing
  • Fashion, 'capitalism's baby'
  • Seasonal cycles: 'out of fashion' 'out of touch'
  • Novelty: New, Iphone 5, redundance/obselanse of old products. Peak in consumption
    • Planned Obsolesce: design to break, computer circuit boards
  • Trapped in an endless cycle consumption
  • 3rd mechanism between human relationships - hairstyle, music, taste, style.
  • Invest in the sign - Nike - Athletes - Micheal Jordan
  • Commodities start to possess human qualities e.g sexy, cool, sophisticated
  • Attack at the life of the consumer.

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