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21st March, 2019

Visualizing Consumer Culture: A Semiotic Understanding of Interpreted Brands

London South Bank University

Event Details

21st March, 2019
12:00 - 13:00
LR391, 100-116 London Road Building, London Road, SE1 6LN

Although the concept of charisma has been widely examined in the leadership literature, it has yet to receive the attention it deserves in consumer research.

Conceptualising artworks as charismatic objects, we consider the ability these objects have to illuminate consumer culture. By presenting us with a frozen-in-time consumer culture ‘tableau,’ artworks can not only represent our reality but reveal its ideological underpinnings.

We therefore argue that artistic modes are at the “intersection of method, research, object of research and representation of re-search” (Bode 2010) and demonstrate the value of looking towards artists for insights into the visual in consumer culture.

Focusing on the work of contemporary artist Grayson Perry, we contribute to branding theory by considering the interpretive process through which consumers filter brand relationships. By applying semiotic analysis to his work, we demonstrate how brand meanings are dialectically constructed and reconfigured through iterative processes between various actors drawing on; the personal/autobiographical layer, felt ethnicity and class identity layer and the socio-cultural layer.

 Dr Chloe Preece is Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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