November 27, 2005
Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers

The 2004 book Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers, released by Perseus and written by Journal of Popular Culture, the November 2005 edition, by Richard J. Larschan of the English Department of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

The book is in the same line of Naomi Klein's widely read book No Logo in asserting a disconnect with the loss of public space and the continued branding of most of American culture.

Although, as with Klein, the book seems to present some compelling evidence of some of the negative aspects branding might have when entering schools, the book seems to be in the vein of most anti-corporate rhetoric in trying to separate commercialism from intellectual discourse instead of seeing brands as an integral part of contemporary American culture.

Although such approaches may be in many ways antithetical to many of the tenets of our labs and our projects, it is important to remember the concerns of the other side, those worried about the effects of branding on culture.

However, what this study ignores, in many parts, is the active ways in which people interact with brands.

Branded is not afraid to point out when people becoming active in demonstrating AGAINST brands, but it ignores the important ways that people actively become involved in fan communities.

The section which seems most beneficial for further reading is on "Peer-to-Peer Marketing," even though the work, on the majority, overlooks the varied ways people become involved with their entertainment and products. The link provides suggested assignments from the publishers of Branded that includes thoughts on the PTP marketing chapter.