Long neck


split tongue



Within our own culture we have many different styles in music, food, movies, cars, and clothing. We are also influenced by the cultures of other countries. Popular culture influences us. We are exposed to a multitude of choices.Many products compete to be adopted; as new products are introduced they move from conception to consumption. This process is called cultural selection

Our choices are driven by images in mass media and through the internet. We observe the people around us in our real and virtual lives. Marketers can present to us a fantasy world where the opportunities are endless

More and more marketing messages are appearing. A product like a movie can have many levels of marketing. The movie itself may contain marketing messages; it could have sponsor tie in products that are available for sale. Before a movie comes out it is already being marketed. The movie sponsor will work in the movie into their campaign. Because of the high cost of production, movie makers use product placement to offset costs. Predicting which movies will be a hit can be difficult.

The Hulk Milk mustache

Movie: The Hulk
Product: Milk

Down with love poster
X men ad Pepsi
Movie: X 9men) 2
Product: Diet Pepsi

Product Palcement Wayne's world


Advertisers exploit secret codes in video games-Not just ads on billboards in the gaming landscape. Today product placements are embedded them deep video games Some are embedded so that you need secret tips and tricks to unlock special features and other bonuses. Newer, unusual pitches are more effective: Embedded elements tap into players desire to explore inner elements of a game.


Styles often are rooted in deeper societal trend (politics, social trends). Styles come from interplay of invention and spontaneous action of the consumers

Trends can travel between any geographic locations- countries and continents. Style often begins as a risky/unique statement by small group

hip hop
Zoot suit
glam rock

Styles tend to wear out as producers of products bring out new options.

Popular culture is created by many designers, agencies, individuals, groups, companies.


A Culture Production System is the group of people or organizations who create and market items

We see thousands of marketing messages every day. The children of today are not shocked by an environment filled with advertisements. From a young age they are exposed to ads on television, and on the internet.

Culture production systems compete against each other. When a market place has only a few large companies, the items available will be more similar.Companies that are innovative and who can forecast consumers tastes will be the most successful

Culture Production System has 3 components

Cultural Production Systems (CPS)

the people and organizations who create and market cultural products; Three parts of Cultural Production System creative, managerial, and communications subsystems

Cultural Gatekeeper

consumer reportsPeople who determine kinds of things we will see; these people decide on what and where things will be:

Examples: reviewers, designers, retail buyers, magazine/newspaper editors; also bloggers, and sometimes everyday people through commenting on the internet and viral transmission

In the past, if we wanted to find information from a expert, we may have consulted magazines. Today more often we look to the internet- Everyday people now with the power of social networks have the power to influence many

Art Product

man flashing sculpture

Art Product is a created objected that has aesthetic value; elite culture; but not functional

The sculpture has no function; the ad functions on many levels to purposely get you expose yourself to art


Craft Product

Something created - its value is related to function and it may have beauty; Usually crafts are created in a way that they can be produced with some particular formula. A craft when compared to an art object is easy to relate to and understand

High Art versus Low Art


Not a matter of rich or poor. A famous painting would be considered high art; while using that famous painting to create a marketing object would be "low art"

Cultural Formula

simpsons family

Creating stories is natural to humans. A cultural formula is a story with events that may be in sequence. Familiar roles and objects may recur; Themes and images may be recycled of

romance novel cover

Examples: A romance novel, watching a retro show; sampling an old song) For example, if you have ever seen an episode of the Simpsons, you could quickly relate the elements that are consistent from episode to episode. Likewise a romance novel could be broken down into a cultural formula.


Reality Engineering

Blair witchWhen real life elements of popular culture are used by marketers in marketing strategies, we have Reality Engineering; For example, infomercials where marketers create a show that is really a long commercial. It may look like a talk show. Product placement that appears inside shows; fake documentary-Blair Witch

Product Placement


Arranging to have a product inserted into a movie, TV show or other medium (over 30 companies who do this in US); now we have virtual product placement and even what is being called Immersion where products are actually in the show as part of it. Read more about brand placements in movies at brand channel

See Behind the Screens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eNs-CjxUu4

Proctor and Gamble worked with a publisher to place its lipstick in a book directed to young women and girls. The book called Cathy's Book included letters, pictures and other clues and readers were asked to solve a mystery.

Borrowed Interest


Real life events can be "Borrowed" to promote products. A Marketers gets attention by using the events that consumers may be paying attention to. Reebok marketers filed candidacy papers for their fictional character Terry Tate to run for Governor of California. But Terry is not the first, as Morris the Spokescat for 9 Lives previously ran for office. See Borrowed Interest(inside link) to read about the Office Linebacker's run for Governor. But the marketer's message can be turned on it's heads as Terry returned in 2008 to teach Sarah Palin

He returned again in 2016 to take down Donald Trump https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djdzZ76YIQM

Cultivation Hypothesis

Media may distort viewers or consumers perceptions of reality. We turn on the news and hear of murders and overestimate the number of murders in our city. Those who watch a lot of TV overestimate degree of affluence in country; perception of violence, drinking, smoking.

Video by You

You Tube started by two young working for PayPal shook up the ad world. YouTube created an audience and forum for capturing images and posting them.

Marketers holding contests for viewers to create ads.(crowdsourcing) Consumers want to be involved in the creation of ads. The more involved (involvement!) the more you like the product. Marketing is no longer just "push"; it wants to be "pull" where you choose to use their message, see their message or make their message


Innovations constantly enter market in consumer and industrial settings; when innovation is successful it spreads.What examples can you think of that fit the above model? The speed at which diffusion takes place varies; example after 10 years 40% had cable; within 3 years 90 million on web; look at rate of change with adoption of new technology

Consumers can be placed into categories as to how quickly they adopt new products (innovators, early adopters)


those interested in new/ novel developments who want to be first to try (2.5% of population; innovators may be innovators in one category only; favourable attitude to risk; higher education; social. Innovator also exposed to risk because they may adopt a product that may not end up being the one adopted by everyone

Early Adopters

internet fridgeEarly adopter could be knowledgeable about an area and/or involved with a product category. They may be people who want to be in fashion.

Read more about Early Adopters on the Canadian Marketing Blog Early Adopters and the Mass Market According to the article "Most early adopters move on to the next big thing and may not be loyal to brands. What is more important is to identify your most profitable potential customers."

Lead User

an involved experienced customer -very knowledgeable about a field

Continuous Innovation

a product change requiring relatively little adaptation by the adopter

Dynamically Continuous Innovation

a product change or new product requiring a moderate amount of adaptation by the adopter; there is a more of a change to the product; examples: touch tone phone; self focus camera

Discontinuous Innovation

a product change or new product requiring a significant amount of adaptation by the adopter; creates major change in consumer's life: for example. train, airplane, radio, car, computer, TV

Prerequisites for Successful Adoption

1. Compatibility (fits lifestyle)
2. Trailability (can they try it before adoption)
3. Low Complexity ( easy to use)
4. Observability (can be seen)
5. Relative Advantage ( a benefit that others don't have)

Fashion System

people and organizations who creating meanings and transfer them to cultural products It's not just about clothes, it's many things: clothes, music, art, science "what's in vogue"


the process of social diffusion when a new style is adopted by group(s); a code or language that helps us understand meanings

Trickle-down theory of fashion

idea that fashions spread from the upper class -consumers copy those with higher status; however those above constantly look below and seek new; maybe more today is a trickle across effect, some from below "street fashion"

Meme theory

hush puppy shoeA "meme" is a snippet of information or catchy picture or an addictive song that's passed from person to person.-an idea or product enters minds of people over time, starting small and steadily increasing; example: catch phrases like "is that your final answer" "you are so off the island"; the film Snakes on a Plane passed through the internet for at least a year before it came out; See more about Memes on Know Your Meme

Fashion Life Cycle

the career/ stages in the life of fashion as it moves from introduction to obsolescence

Fashion Acceptance Cycle

the diffusion process of a style through 3 stages: introduction, acceptance, regression


kedsTuxedoa fashion with extremely long acceptance cycle (almost anti-fashion due to acceptance over time)

Example: Keds or a food classic like Mr. Peanut.



leg warmer/headband

pet rock
pet rock

Chia pet

hula hoop
hula hoop

Ribik cube


Fad map

a very short-lived fashion; fads trickle across and rarely move out of group; visit http://www.badfads.com (outside link)

or see Crazy fads through the decades http://www.crazyfads.com/


Baby food for adultsMarketers want to get more product sold, they may try variations that are not always successful. To read more about the failure of Blue French Fries, and Adult Baby Food see Food Flops (inside link)


CoolSan Grewal of the Toronto Star writes, "A few years ago Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for The New Yorker, coined the term "cool hunting." It's the search for young people who determine what pop culture trends will emerge from the cool and unfamiliar places that only youth seem to inhabit. According to the theory, most of what is considered cool originates from a small group of people, who, because of their ultra-coolness, inspire others to copy them. When not-so-cool people adopt the fashion, music genre, slang, body modification, etc., it officially becomes a trend. When un-cool people follow suit, the trend dies and it is once again up to the truly cool people, or a new generation of cool people to come up with the next trend" Since then Gladwell has gone on to write several influential books The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers in 2008. Anyone interested in marketing should read The Tipping Point

Loic Bizel is a "Cool Hunter" with a mission to uncover the street fads of Japan- Parodies of hiphop clothes- cool hunting- anti-marketing- cross branding. He says Japan's hipness is 10 years ahead of the rest of world. See http://www.fashioninjapan .com.

Most people assume that people are influenced only by what is cool; in fact some researchers have show that the "uncool" may influence decisions through negative associations with a product.

San Grew al in Toronto Star Feb22/05 reported that, "Advertisers know little about youth, but still want their attention and Nembutal twentysomethings are balking at being force-fed images" He reported on how McDonald's tried to be cool by using the term "I'd hit it" referring to a cheeseburger.

See cool hunting from JWT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl67YMTUaEY See The PBS Documentary on The Merchants of Cool



A trend has staying power compared to a fad. It could have some benefit or it could work well with a lifestyle. A trend is widely adopted

JWT Trends http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEzeSym8v3cTrendHunter Top 20 Trends for 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3KncurLfEQ

Etic Perspective

a way to look at cultures by looking at the common aspects across cultures; objective, analytical as seen from outside

Emic Perspective

a way to look at cultures by looking at the unique aspects of each culture; it is subjective and experiential as experienced by insiders

References as noted above and: Solomon, Michael R., Zaichkowsky, Judith and Rosemary Polegato. Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, Being. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada


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