Buying in: The Secret Dialogue between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker
This book may be recommended if you haven’t a clue about post-modern consumerism. But, I think you do. Especially if you live in the United States, it becomes obvious we are surrounded by brands vying for our attention and get it by going after our need to build identity. They do it for us by creating captivating brand identities that are fun, clear and easy. By ridding us of having to make choices every time we go to the grocery store/apparel store/etc, brands give us a way into a club where we can think a little less. These days, thinking is exhausting. Check out this TED talk about The Paradox of Choice by Barry Shwartz.
My first class at the University of Washington was US Politics and Media. My professor had us all watch this The Persuaders (a PBS program) on advertising. It’s about marketing campaigns, how they get insights to a very specific demographic and target them. I like how Clotaire Rappaille emphasizes the importance of market research. “Sometimes, a product isn’t expensive enough.”
A book I’d rather you read: No Logo by Naomi Klein. That book will knock you off your feet. She has the scoop on how our childhood has been sold, our future mortgaged. The brand/consumer dynamic is constantly evolving as we have new technology to evade them and they step it up to find us. Break through the clutter, as they say.
This book is from my Advertising Reading List.