I watched this film in one of my Anthropology classes a few years ago. It is just fascinating. If you haven’t seen it, I HIGHLY recommend you watch it!
Naomi Klein, author of the book “No Logo”, examines how advertisement for products in the past was about presenting the product itself: how good it is supposed to be, what its function is, what look it has, etc. Nowadays, advertisement has moved away from that and it now focuses on a more powerful and effective technique: associating ideas, concepts, or values to the product and then selling those ideas, concepts, values, etc. For example, when you buy Tommy Hilfiger clothes you’re not just buying clothes; you’re buying youth, sexiness, individuality, idealism, etc. When you go to Starbucks to buy a latte you’re not just buying coffee; you’re buying community, you’re buying a space where you can gather with friends and be artistic, sophisticated, or the like. When you buy Nike shoes you’re not just buying the shoes; you’re buying strength, power, resilience, victory, or whatever you associate the product in your mind with because of the advertisements you come in contact with. Here’s the trailer of the film:
While branding can be used for negative destructive purposes, it can also be used for positive constructive ones like the advacement of human rights, environmental protection, social justice issues, etc. I only wished that branding were used more for positive progressive purposes rather than negative manipulative ones.