Kategoriarkiv: Consumption theory

Varför tala om erotiskt kapital?

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Erotiskt kapital lanserades ordentligt som ett begrepp för fyra år sedan av sociologen Catherine Hakim. Utseende, karisma och social utstrålning är inte bara viktigt, det är så pass avgörande att vi måste börja räkna in det i samhällsekonomins omsättning av kapital.

Jag försöker ge en introduktion till tankesättet utifrån hennes senaste bok. Läs texten i Arena.

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The Unique Selling Point – The Reality Behind Mad Men

Adam Curtis - stickin' it to the Man

I have long hoped for a comment (or even better – a film) of some sorts on the vastly poular series Mad Men from the guy who gave us The Century of The Self, arguably the most stunning peice of 20th century social analysis I have witnessed on television. Finally, my long wait is no more, because on his blog he recently shared some great insights on the protaginists of Mad Men:

The story begins at the end of the 1950s. There were two distinct camps on Madison Avenue. And they loathed each other.

One group was led by Rosser Reeves who ran the Ted Bates agency. Reeves had invented the idea of the USP – the unique selling point. You found a phrase that summed up your product and you repeated it millions and millions of times on all media so it ”penetrated” the minds of the consumers.

His favourite was Lucky Strike’s ”It’s Toasted”.He laid this all out, with diagrams, in his ”bible” – called Reality in Advertising.

Trust me - I'm a doctor

 

The other camp were known as ”the depth boys”. They believed the opposite. That you penetrated the consumer’s mind by using all sorts of subtle psychological techniques to find out what they really wanted. These were feelings the consumer often didn’t even consciously realise themselves. It was called ‘Motivational Research’.

Read on and watch some never before seen footage by Curtis that further explains the goings on at Madison Avanue in the 50’s and 60’s.

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Graffiti’s Rize and Fall – The Triumph of Ads

zevs_mcdo

Street artist Zevs gives his unauthorized view of a local hamburger bar

The everlasting debate of how a society should frame its illegal artists – the street artists – continues at Atlasmuren.se, a page dedicated to a theoretical debate of graffiti and its discontents. In my latest article for the page I discuss the problems of public (private) space, or what is now labelled social space. Social space is the private space dedicated to socializing people, turning them into unintended shoppers or brand voyeurs. Street art can effectivly be an illegal institution of check and balance against this privatization of common space, since there exists no other control system of commercial exploiation of public space.

Read it here (in Swedish).

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Neuroeconomics gone wild: cognitive psychology anyone?

It seems like a contradiction to ‘outsmart your brain’,  but as as Seattle times report in their article on Neuroeconomics and behavioral economics, the brain is adapted in ways that modernity and its economies are not always in tune with. In short –  we make choces we do not fully understand. Thus this step-by-step run-down let us delve into the predictably irrational behavior that has all economists scratching their bald heads. All but the neruoeconomists, who are having a field day. 

Now a disturbing fact most of you consumption discontents need to point your eyes to is the notion of instant gratification, when buying or consuming stuff, as explained by Jason Zweig from the Wall Street Journal.  We get an emotional kick from buying, so choosing between a Pollock and Nerdrum (Pollock usually out pricing Nerdrum), could be difficult in cases we are talked into something by our brain juice. Zweig recommends silly associational thinking like to add dates and colorful names to financial goals. This sounds awfully like my therapist, talking about tha virtues of cognitive resonance and such.

Will this method make you richer less poor? Ask Zeki who this month delves into the concept of greed, but before reading his meditations I urge everyone to look at what Michael Douglas has to say about the matter.

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