What Can Yesterday’s Throwaways Tell Us About Sociocultural Branding?

trash-473333-mOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure seems to have been the case with Robert Opie, founder of Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in London. Opie’s museum houses a multitude of everyday artifacts dating as far back as the Victorian era through recent history. In their article entitled “Throwaway History: Brand Ephemera and Consumer Culture” published in Journal of Macromarketing, Michael Heller and Aidan Kelly analyzed the collections at the museum and found that while the exhibits consisted mainly of low involvement brands, they none-the-less illustrated the evolution of British society.

The abstract:

In this article, we consider how brand artifacts and ephemera can be used to understand social and cultural JMMK_new C1 template.inddhistory. We present an analysis of the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in London and examine the collection of exhibits. Our analysis reveals that the museum is predominantly a collection of low involvement brands that reflect important developments in British society and culture over the past 150 years. We begin with a historiography of brands in Britain from 1800 – 1980 drawn primarily from the field of business history. We then analyze the exhibits of the museum and its collections, considering the predominance of low involvement brands in the collection and the relationship between the museum and its corporate sponsors. Finally, we evaluate brands as sociocultural phenomena and explore what the exhibits at the museum imply for contemporary brand management theory. We conclude that low involvement brands have been neglected within brand management research and that our collective throwaway history of brands and packaging are rich sources for understanding society and culture.

You can read “Throwaway History: Brand Ephemera and Consumer Culture” from Journal of Macromarketing for free by clicking here! Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and get all the latest news and research from Journal of Macromarketing sent directly to your inbox!

This entry was posted in Cultural Research, Macromarketing, Marketing, Measurement, Media, Trade and tagged , , , , , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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