From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Conley examines the implications of brand-centric marketing in an incisive investigation that illustrates how defenseless consumers are against advertising—on any given day, they are assaulted by 3,000 to 5,000 ads and branding stratagems that subtly dictate every aspect of their lives. Harnessing scientific innovations, branding has become increasing insidious—whether it is the Xbox audio logo or Southwest Airlines' incorporation of the fasten seatbelt sound in their marketing campaign—consumers are being conditioned to think in brands. Beyond ad creep and product placement in entertainment programming, viral and word of mouth (WOM) marketing now make even personal recommendations suspect. According to Conley, 1% of American children and 7% of mothers are compensated for participating in WOM marketing. Even social policy is being corrupted—the author asserts that public branding initiatives such as post-Katrina New Orleans' allocation of public funds toward refurbishing its Mardi Gras City image rather than addressing its safety issues shifts resources away from problem-solving in favor of perception. Conley's perspective on branding's encroachment into social areas is as alarming as it is stimulating. (June)
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"There's nothing more powerful in business than a truly original idea or a new product that kicks butt--innovations that speak for themselves. But most companies have neither original ideas nor exciting products--which is why they rely on increasingly desperate marketing tactics to attract attention. Lucas Conley offers a stinging and hilarious take on a world in which brands have gotten out of hand. Business is simply too important for us to put up with the scourge of obsessive branding disorder. This book is the cure for what ails us." -- William Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company Magazine and coauthor of Mavericks at Work