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Category Archives: Brands in culture

Not so Super Bowl

Blog, Brand communication, Brands in culture, Brands in the news0 comments

And so, last night, to the yearly ritual of watching the Super Bowl ads,super-bowl-commercials-2012-header.jpg punctuated by brief episodes of the game itself. This is billed as the showcase of national advertising. The winner last night?

The Baltimore Ravens.

Yep, I enjoyed the game more than the ads. Now, I ought to clarify that this is the first year that I’ve actually understood the rules (at least some of them), which sure makes a difference. And the ebb and flow of the play, with a tight finish, kept me interested. As for the ads,…time out. The amount of contrived, derivative advertising with no brand idea, no advertising idea, in fact, no idea, was alarming – given the average cost of a Super Bowl spot.

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“Imported from Detroit”

Blog, Brand communication, Brand meaning, Brands in culture0 comments

I do love Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” campaign, which famously kicked off in the 2011 Super Bowl. Here’s one of the latest spots, for the Chrysler 300. It’s worth remembering that the remains of Chrysler were acquired by FIAT after the government bailout in 2009. FIAT management under Marchionne turned the brand’s fortunes around and the Chrysler recovery has been surprisingly robust.

The launch ad (featuring Eminem) was infused with a spirit of gritty resilience and character, set in a city which had been, “to hell and back.” But it was also about a city – and a brand – which has standards and knows what luxury is about. So, although the recessionary backdrop and cultural context may be somewhat less relevant today, the luxury with character message still resonates, and has been given meaning by clever product innovation. The “Imported from Detroit” campaign has achieved an often elusive goal: it has touted features and benefits while giving the brand its soul back.

 

Life after Jobs

Life after Jobs

Blog, Brands in culture0 comments

The untimely passing of Steve Jobs gives rise to a tantalizing question: how will this affect the Apple brand? Though comparisons with Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers and Henry Ford may be somewhat exaggerated, there is no doubt that Jobs was a visionary genius whose products did change the world we live in. From the Mac to the iPod to the iPad those products had a cultural impact the likes of which is the reserve of a very select number of brands. Jobs – Apple – changed the way we listen to music. His unique take on form and functionality changed what “computer” and “phone” meant.

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Importance of culture to brands

Importance of culture to brands

Blog, Brands in culture0 comments

While the definition of culture is debated between cultural anthropologists, social psychologists and the like, the term generally refers to a body of knowledge, customs, rituals, language and beliefs that circulate in societies and influence our behavior. Developments in one cultural domain can often impact another, seemingly unrelated one. Those domains include fashion, movies, music, art, design, sports and cuisine, among others.

From a product or category perspective, marketers need to be aware of the meanings that inhere in the relatively ordinary objects that surround us. Consider the socio-cultural meanings of lipstick, for example. From a branding perspective, the fact that people bring their own cultural reference points when they encounter brands and their communication is vital to understanding how the co-creation of brand stories plays out.

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Culture Corner

Culture Corner

Blog, Brands in culture, Mainpage, Slider0 comments

Brands don’t exist in a vacuum. They are socio-cultural phenomena. Culture shapes brands; and sometimes brands shape culture. Understanding cultural context and cultural relevance is a vital part of the Brand Meaning Manager’s job.

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