Branded is, if nothing else, interesting and somewhat insightful. I felt that the book's premise and argument was, well, simplistic consumer identity is a driving factor in teenage and tweenage lives Branded is an insightful look into the world of advertising to children. It explorers the lengths companies will go to get the money from this lucrative 'market'.
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The fact that teenagers are the target of elaborate corporate marketing schemes both aggressive and subliminal is no revelation. The process has been going on for years, whether the product being pushed is music, fast food, sneakers or soft drinks. In Branded , a fascinating and provocative study of modern-day consumerism and the teenager's role within it, writer Alissa Quart sheds light on the increasingly sophisticated modes of advertising being used to lure and influence teens.
Many of the facts here are disturbing. While today's "branding" usually exploits teens' desires to sport designer clothes, see the hippest new films and play the latest trendy video games, there has also been a statistical upsurge in physical branding, including body-piercing, tattooing and cosmetic surgery for the females , as well as the use of performance-enhancing drugs for the males.
Quart relies on interviews with advertisers and representative teens, offering a rather cynical scenario in which Madison Avenue strives to rope in its peer-pressurized prey at younger and younger ages, and the kids go right along with the program. Discussion generally centers on current pop culture films like Legally Blonde , teen literary sensations, skateboarder Tony Hawk, "logoism," even the bizarre emergence of pro-anorexia Web sites and the way in which advertisers either play into it or strive to create trends themselves.
Quart also offers conclusive evidence of backlash, in which kids have been astute enough to discover as some of their ex-hippie parents once believed that money isn't everything, and clothes don't necessarily make the man. While Quart's study doesn't really offer any solutions to the problems at hand, it does effectively capture the almost-arcane realities of modern-day teenage life. Sign up for our newsletters! Again Again By E. But as
Branded: The Buying And Selling Of Teenagers
For the readers still waiting for a substantive follow-up to Naomi Klein's No Logo , this is the book. Quart, a former media columnist for the Independent , follows the bread-crumb trail from the Fourth Annual Advertising and Promotion to Kids conference no joke, unfortunately to the mechanics of "peer-to-peer marketing," product placement in video games and the ever-escalating parties of the "bar mitzvah showcase. And Quart's analyses—of teen movies, SAT tutoring to improve scores and pose college choices as brands , teen SUV ownership and the role of parents—are sharp and funny. Her exploration of how teens internalize and express market logic—through a process of "self-branding" that can include teen boob jobs and kid-produced anorexia Weblogs—is original and striking.
Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
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The fact that teenagers are the target of elaborate corporate marketing schemes both aggressive and subliminal is no revelation. The process has been going on for years, whether the product being pushed is music, fast food, sneakers or soft drinks. In Branded , a fascinating and provocative study of modern-day consumerism and the teenager's role within it, writer Alissa Quart sheds light on the increasingly sophisticated modes of advertising being used to lure and influence teens. Many of the facts here are disturbing.