Following the inspiration of Noah Brier, a woman called Jane had a very good idea a couple of days ago.
She decided to map her day in terms of the brands she uses. She says that she is “surprised at how much this reveals about” her.
Some of the revelation is quite deliberate. Jane mischievously gives us quite a lot of information. Perhaps too much information. See the 10:18 PM entry below. Funny.
But, really, Jane works in advertising. Which is to say she works with brands. Which is to say she builds brands. Which is to say she has access to the research that tells us what people do with brands. Can she really be surprised? Can she really be in advertising?
Still, this iswitty and interesting, and, most of all, anthropologically revealing.
Noah’s brand tag exercise defines brands in terms of our adjectives. Jane’s project gives us a chance to see how we define ourselves in terms of brands.
This is both halves of advertising’s meaning making arc. Meaning goes into brands. Meaning comes out of brands into us.
It is all very fashionable to pretend this doesn’t happen. The likes of Naomi Klein, Benjamin Barber, and Juliet Schor have cowed us into repudiating this aspect of our culture. But there it is. Thanks to Jane, there it is plain as day.
I am adding Jane to my blog roll. We must hope that she surrenders her anonymity, and let us know who she is. This order of talent deserves build her own brand.
Anonymous. 2008. Fun with Brands : Jane’s Brand-timeline Portrait. Dear Jane Sample (what it’s really like in advertising). May 19, 2008. here.
Brier, Noah. The Brand Tags project. Try it here.
McCracken, Grant. 2005. Meaning Management: an anthropological approach to the creation of value. pp. 175-191, in Culture and Consumption II: marketings, meaning and brand management. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. here.
I have editing Jane’s timeline, removing the middle part of the day. Go to her website to see the whole thing.