Marketing communications pervade nearly every aspect of modern life in consumer society, from broadcast commercials to public relations to product design and packaging to online search marketing. As our economy shifts from a manufacturing base to an information base, this process is accelerating; with the increasingly capacity to track, profile and target consumers across media, we ourselves have become the product, the medium, and the message. This fact, in turn, has influenced the very nature of the human experience. Friendships, identities, and even the most intimate of relationships are now mediated through channels in which marketing is not only present but central. In short, you might say we live in a hyper-commercial society. What are the political, economic and social implications of this change? How are new technologies contributing to, and changing, this process? How can we, as citizens of this consumer society, navigate these complex issues? What costs and benefits accrue from the increasingly commercial environment in which we live? In addition to addressing these issues in readings and online class discussions, we will collectively develop and maintain a public blog dedicated to discussing, dissecting and critiquing marketing communications of all kinds.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Explain the business practices and basic economics of a range of marketing communications, including broadcast, print, and online advertising.
- Utilize a range of social critiques to analyze consumer culture.
- Describe the role of emerging technologies in re-shaping the marketing landscape.
- Recognize the ways in which artists, regulators and everyday people have responded to, resisted, and embraced marketing communications.
- Intelligently critique marketing communications, from both a theoretical and executional perspective.
- Formulate critique and discussion in a public blog format.