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The Creation and Diffusion of Consumer Culture

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Title: The Creation and Diffusion of Consumer Culture


1
The Creation and Diffusion of Consumer Culture
2
Understanding Culture
  • Culture
  • The accumulation of shared meanings, rituals,
    norms, and traditions among the members of an
    organization or society.
  • A societys personality
  • Consumption choices cannot be understood without
    cultural context.
  • A consumers culture determines the priorities
    the consumer attaches to activities and products.

3
Aspects of Culture
  • A Cultural System Consists of 3 Functional Areas
  • Ecology
  • The way in which a system is adapted to its
    habitat.
  • Social Structure
  • The way in which orderly social life is
    maintained.
  • Ideology
  • The mental characteristics of a people and the
    way in which they relate to their environment and
    social groups.
  • Worldview Members of a society share certain
    ideas about principles of order and fairness.

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This Spanish ad melds modern-day athletes with
mythical figures.
6
Myths
  • Stories containing symbolic elements that
    represent the shared emotions and ideals of a
    culture.
  • The Functions and Structure of Myths
  • Metaphysical
  • Cosmological
  • Sociological
  • Psychological
  • Binary Opposition Stories in which two opposing
    ends of some dimension are represented.

7
Myths
  • Consumer Fairy Tales
  • Created stories that include magical agents,
    donors, and helpers to overcome villains and
    obstacles as they seek out goods and services in
    their quest for happy endings.
  • Monomyth
  • A myth that is common to many cultures.
  • Mythic Blockbusters
  • Gone With the Wind
  • E.T. The Extraterrestrial
  • Star Trek

8
Some advertisements borrow imagery from fairy
tales to tell a story about a product. This
Reebok ad substitutes an athletic shoe for a
glass slipper in a twist on the Cinderella story.
9
The popular Star Trek saga is based on myths,
including the quest for paradise.
10
  • The Santa Claus myth pervades our culture.

11
Rituals
  • Ritual
  • A set of multiple, symbolic behaviors that occur
    in a fixed sequence and that tend to be repeated
    periodically.
  • Ritual Artifacts
  • Items needed to perform rituals, such as wedding
    rice, birthday candles, diplomas, specialized
    food and beverages, trophies and plaques, band
    uniforms, greeting cards, and retirement watches.

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Personal Grooming Rituals
14
Holiday Rituals
Thanksgiving
Christmas
New Years
Valentines Day
Halloween
Secretarys Day
Grandparents Day
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Gift -Giving Rituals
  • The Gift - Giving Ritual Can Be Broken Down Into
    the Following Three Distinct Stages
  • Gift-Giving Rituals
  • Consumers procure the perfect object,
    meticulously remove the price tag and carefully
    wrap it, and deliver it to the recipient.
  • Economic exchange The giver transfers an item of
    value to a recipient, who in turn is somehow
    obligated to reciprocate.
  • Symbolic exchange When a giver wants to
    acknowledge intangible support and companionship.

17
Gift-Giving Rituals
  • Three Stages of Gift-Giving
  • Gestation Giver is motivated by an event to
    procure a gift.
  • Presentation The process of the gift exchange
  • Reformulation The bonds between the giver and
    receiver are adjusted to reflect the new
    relationship that emerges after the exchange is
    complete.
  • Reciprocity Norm The feeling of obligation to
    return the gesture of a gift with one of equal
    value.
  • Self-gifts Consumers give gifts to themselves

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Diamond Clarity
  • F-IF Flawless or Internally Flawless (two
    grades). No internal inclusions. Very rare.
  • VVS1-VVS2 Very Very Slightly Included (two
    grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to
    detect under 10x magnification.
  • VS1-VS2 Very Slightly Included (two grades).
    Minute inclusions invisible to the naked eye and
    seen only with difficulty under 10x
    magnification.
  • SI1-SI2 Slightly Included (two grades). Minute
    inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x
    magnification.
  • I1-I2-I3 Included (three grades). Inclusions
    visible under 10x magnification as well as to the
    human eye.

23
Diamond Color
  • Diamonds graded D through F are the most valuable
    and desirable because of their rarity. Such
    diamonds are a treat for the eyes of anyone. But
    you can still obtain very attractive diamonds
    that are graded slightly less than colorless.
  • Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no
    color that is visible to the untrained eye.
  • A very, very faint hint of yellow will be
    apparent in diamonds graded J through M, this
    color can often be minimized by carefully
    selecting the right jewelry in which to mount
    your diamond.

24
Diamond Pricing
1,700.00
14,200.00
25
Rites of Passage
  • Rites of Passage Can be Construed as Being
    Special Times Marked by a Change in Social
    Status.
  • Rites of Passage
  • Special times marked by a change in social
    status.
  • Consumers Rites of Passage
  • Separation Individual is detached from his or
    her original group or status
  • Liminality Person is between statuses
  • Aggregation Person reenters society after the
    rite of passage is complete

26
Sacred and Profane Consumption
  • Sacred Consumption
  • Involves objects and events that are set apart
    from normal activities and are treated with some
    degree of respect or awe.
  • Profane Consumption
  • Involves consumer objects and events that are
    ordinary, everyday objects and events that do not
    share the specialness of sacred ones.

27
Domains of Sacred Consumption
  • Sacred Places
  • May have religious or mystical significance.
  • Others are created from the profane world and
    given special sacred qualities (e.g. Disney
    World, or shopping malls)
  • The home is a particularly scared place.
  • Sacred People
  • Memorabilia can take on special meaning, from
    baseball cards to clothing the special person has
    touched or worn.

28
Domains of Sacred Consumption
  • Sacred Events
  • Many consumers activities (events) have taken on
    special status.
  • Examples would include the Super Bowl, the
    Olympics, the World Series, even family
    vacations.
  • Personal mementos from sacred events can include
  • Local products (e.g. wine from California).
  • Pictorial images (e.g. post cards).
  • A piece of the event such as a rock or
    seashell.
  • Symbolic shorthand (e.g. a miniature Statue of
    Liberty).
  • Markers (e.g. Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts).

29
From Sacred to Profane, andBack Again
  • Desacralization occurs when a sacred item or
    symbol is removed from its special place or is
    duplicated in mass quantities, becoming profane
    as a result.
  • Examples Monuments, artwork, American flag,
    religion.
  • Sacralization occurs when ordinary objects,
    events, and even people, take on sacred meaning
    to a culture or to specific groups within a
    culture.
  • Examples Super Bowl, or Elvis.

30
Souvenirs, tacky or otherwise, tangibilize sacred
experiences accumulated as tourists.
31
The Creation of Culture
  • Co-optation
  • Process by which outsiders transform the meanings
    of cultural products
  • Cultural Selection
  • Process by which many possibilities compete for
    adoption, and these are steadily winnowed out as
    they make their way down the path from conception
    to consumption
  • Culture Production Systems (CPS)
  • The set of individuals and organizations
    responsible for creating and marketing a cultural
    product

32
Movement of Meaning
33
Culture Production Process
34
Cultural Production Systems
  • The set of individuals and organizations
    responsible for creating and marketing a cultural
    product is a Cultural Production System (CPS).
    It consists of
  • Creative Subsystem - responsible for generating
    new symbols and/or products.
  • Managerial Subsystem - responsible for selecting,
    making tangible, mass producing, and managing the
    distribution of new symbols and/or products.
  • Communications Subsystem - responsible for giving
    meaning to the new product and communicating
    these symbolic attributes to the consumer.

35
High Culture and PopularCulture
  • Culture Production Systems create many diverse
    kinds of products, such as Arts and Crafts
  • An Art Product is viewed primarily as an object
    of aesthetic contemplation without any functional
    value.
  • A Craft Product is admired because of the beauty
    with which it performs some function.
  • Mass culture churns out products specifically for
    a mass market and many follow a Cultural Formula
    where certain roles and props occur consistently
    such as in detective or romance novels.

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Interpreting Reality
  • ...it is not hard to find many large and
    important components of our knowledge of the real
    world...that can be traced...to fictional
    symbolic representations. nothing impedes the
    basic reality of television fiction. (Gross and
    Morgan 1985, p. 224)

38
Media and Cultivation Effects
  • Cultivation Hypothesis The medias ability to
    distort consumers perceptions of reality.
  • Mass media imagery is particularly likely to
    influence perceptions of reality of heavy media
    users
  • Heavy TV viewers give biased estimates of wealth,
    racial stereotypes, frequency of antisocial
    behaviors, etc.
  • Viewers can form emotional bonds and a sense of
    identity with fictional characters

39
Reality Engineering
  • Occurs as marketers appropriate elements of
    popular culture and convert them for use as
    promotional vehicles.
  • Product Placement
  • Refers to the insertion of specific products and
    the use of brand names in movie and TV scripts.
  • Advergaming
  • Where online games merge with interactive
    advertisements that let companies target specific
    types of consumers.

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Reality Engineers
  • Merchandisers Ralph Lauren has created a
    quasi-mythical lifestyle
  • Set designers The styles used in shows like
    Friends (http//www.nbc.com/Friends/index.html)
    or Will and Grace or Everyone Loves Raymond
    become lifestyle prototypes for viewers
  • Casting directors Celebrities or looks
    influence ideals of beauty (e.g., Kate Moss vs.
    Anna Nicole Smith)

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"Fred Astaire and Ginger Chicken "April 1,
2004 lt Karen Dolce Gabbana black pinstripe
suit. Gucci emerald blouse. Sergio Rossi pumps.
Handbag by Lana Marks
53
"Fred Astaire and Ginger Chicken "April 1, 2004
lt Jack Banana Republic striped button-down
shirt. Lucky Brand jeans
54
"Fred Astaire and Ginger Chicken "April 1, 2004
lt Grace St. John striped poncho with
drawstring neckline. Gold-fringe dangle earrings
by Citrine. LamberstonTruex orange bag
55
"Fred Astaire and Ginger Chicken "April 1, 2004
lt Will Gucci pinstripe, 3-button suit. Prada
shirt with French cuffs and silver Tiffany
cufflinks. E. Zegna tie
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Diffusion of Innovations Refers to the Process
Whereby a New Product, Service, or Idea Spreads
Through a Population -- Figure 17.3
58
Adopter Categories
  • Innovators - 2.5 of the population, the first to
    buy, will buy novel products.
  • Early Adopters - 13.5 of the population, share
    many characteristics with the Innovators, but
    they have a higher degree or concern for social
    acceptance.
  • Early and Late Majority - 68 of the population,
    mainstream public, interested in new things, but
    not too new.
  • Laggards - 16 of the population, the last to
    adopt a product.

59
Types of Innovations
Technological Innovation Involves
Some Functional Change
Symbolic Innovation Communicates a New Social
Meaning
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The Fashion System
  • Fashion System
  • Consists of all those people and organizations
    involved in creating symbolic meaning and
    transferring these meanings to cultural goods.
  • Context-dependent Different consumers can
    interpret the same item differently.
  • Undercoded There is no one precise meaning, but
    rather plenty of room for interpretation among
    perceivers.
  • Fashion
  • The process of social diffusion by which a new
    style is adopted by some group(s) of consumers.

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Social Science Models of Fashion
  • Psychological Models Recourse to psychological
    concepts such as conformity, variety seeking,
    personal creativity, need for uniqueness.
  • Economic Models Items in limited supply tend to
    be more valuable, which increases demand, which
    increases supply until item becomes too
    commonplace. (Also note Veblen and conspicuous
    consumption.)
  • Sociological Models Trickle down theory (Georg
    Simmel) and more recently trickle-up theory,
    and opinion leadership to explain diffusion of
    fashion trends.

65
Sociological Models of Fashion
  • Trickle-Down Theory There are two conflicting
    forces that drive fashion change
  • First Subordinate groups adopt the status
    symbols of the groups above them.
  • Second Superordinate groups look at subordinate
    groups to make sure they are not imitated.
  • Mass Fashion When media exposure permits many
    groups to become aware of a style at the same
    time.
  • Trickle-Across Effect Fashions diffuse
    horizontally among members of the same social
    group.
  • Trickle-Up Fashions that originate with the
    lower class first.

66
Cycles of Fashion Adoption
  • Introduction Stages
  • Product is used by a small number of Innovators.
  • Acceptance Stages
  • Product enjoys increased social visibility and
    acceptance by large segments of the population.
  • A Classic is a fashion with an extremely long
    acceptance cycle.
  • A Fad is a short-lived fashion.
  • Regression Stages
  • Product reaches a state of social saturation as
    it becomes overused, and sinks into decline and
    obsolesce as new products rise to take its place.

67
Normal Fashion Life-Cycle
Figure 17.4
68
Comparison of Acceptance Cycles
Figure 17.5
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Think Globally, Act Locally
  • Adopt a Standardized Strategy
  • Etic Perspective Focuses on commonalities across
    cultures.
  • Adopt a Localized Strategy
  • Emic Perspective Stresses variations across
    cultures.
  • National Character A distinctive set of behavior
    and personality characteristics.

71
Globalization
72
JCDecauz, a French advertising agency,
specializes in street furniture like these
kiosks, newsstands and public toilets. They
represent an emic perspective because each is
designed to reflect the local culture.
73
Determining Whether to Utilize the Etic or Emic
Perspective
  • Cultural differences relevant to marketers.
  • Tastes and styles,
  • Advertising preferences and regulations,
  • Cultural norms toward taboos and sexuality.
  • To maximize the chances of success for
    multicultural advertising campaigns, marketers
    should target those who share a common worldview,
    who may include
  • Affluent people who are global citizens, and
  • Young people who are influenced by the media.

74
The Diffusion of Western Consumer Culture
  • Globalized Consumption Ethic
  • People worldwide begin to share the ideal of a
    material lifestyle and value brands that
    symbolize prosperity.
  • Transitional Economies
  • Refers to a country that is struggling with the
    difficult adaptation from a controlled,
    centralized economy to a free-market system.
  • Creolization
  • Occurs when foreign influences are absorbed and
    integrated with local meaning.

75
World Advertising Appeals
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