Thursday, October 3, 2019
The role and effect of culture jamming
The role and effect of culture jamming Culture jamming can be defined as activities to resist consumerism, globalisation, and corporate advertising, which based idea of liberation, in order to affect and change advertising saturation society for better (Sandlin Milam, 2008; Barber, 2007). The development of mass medias technology, especially internet technology, supports different pathways for culture jammers to extend their opinions, such as Adbusters magazines, Anti-Pearlman Permanent Poster League on Facebook, and Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping (Sandlin Milam, 2008; Nomai, 2008). Culture jammers provide another way to understand the world and critical analyse the modern commercial culture. First of all, consumers could have chance consider the other side of advertisements via culture jamming movements. Products providers claim the best aspects of their products, sometimes consumers are encouraged to purchase the products which may harm for their healthy and not very environment friendly, such as alcohol, cigarettes, and some eco-cleaning products (Hickman, 2010). Therefore, culture jammers insert their ideas in existed advertisements to show the other side of truth. For example, as picture 1 shows, culture jammers try to warn people stop drinking and keep health with changing Absolut Vodka advertisement. Picture 1 Secondly, culture jammers against consumerism to protect human well being, based on the idea of liberation (Sandlin Milam, 2008). According to Rumbo (2002), in 1996, American people were exposed to 3600 advertisements per day, culture jammers believe these advertisements will change consumers daily life and beliefs (Behr, 2010). Kasser and kanner (2005) argued that advertisements encouraged people more materialistic because they want to compare with images of wealthy people. Results from this, culture jammers appeal anti-consumerism campaign to opposite advertisements and logo of brands (Rumbo, 2002). Picture 2 shows that culture jammers resist corporate advertising and screaming for more personal space. A video from Youtube showed similar argument of culture jammers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJTCWtcAewsfeature=player_embedded). Picture 2 (Picture from internet) Furthermore, as results of some mainstream commercial advertisements have negative moral effects on citizens, culture jammers try to persuade people to be better. Take an instance, advertisements of violence against women have influences on high rape criminal rate in US (Capella et al, 2010). Culture jammers reject these legal but effective advertisements, for example, there is a video on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp6gjxCRuxs) to appeal people. Another problem is advertisements contains violent criminal relate to peoples attitude because violence pictures can be captured and memorised easily (Scharrer, 2004; Soderlund Dahlen, 2010). Under this situation, culture jamming activities have positive affects. However, ethical consideration in culture jamming activities should be reviewed as well. For example, putting leaf posters on public facilities is hard to clean and make city dirty, as Picture 3 shows. At same time, culture jammers applied similar advertising method as other mainstream advertising, for instance, there is a video on Youtube for culture jamming Facebook (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR5gEy3HkzE), and however, the facts which were stated were not persuasive but seem like in purpose. Picture 3 (The picture was taken on 24/02/2010, in Liverpool) To sum up, activities of culture jamming have positive effects on re-building commercial life and explore a different way to understand the hidden meaning of advertisements. On the other hand, the formations of culture jamming could be considered because of negative aspects. Leaf posters and illegally advertisements which posted by culture jammers would give bad impressions on these good activities. 2. Does our fascination with celebrity add value to our lives? Celebrity is a social phenomenon today. Celebrity could be described as people who are well known by others, much talked about, and notoriety (Pendfold-Mounce, 2009). According to Rojek (2001), celebrities can be classified by status, including ascribed (blood relationship), achieved (talented people and hard workers), and attributed (who are created instantly) celebrities. Modern mass media support the development of celebrity industry, numbers of celebrities are created and the amount of obsessions increased dramatically (Pendfold-Mounce, 2009; Cashmore, 2006). Particularly attributed celebrities are benefited from mass media, such as celetoids who become famous by public scandals, celeactors which are fictional roles originally (Rojek, 2001). The effects and values of celebrities in our life should be critical analysed, because this depends on personality of celebrities and the way of advertising by medias. Michael Jackson will be used as an example in this essay. Negative effects of celebrity, especially attributed celebrities, are concerned for decades, and it is still a problem of society which should be solved. This means there are harmful impacts if celebrities perform as bad example in their products or daily gossips. Penfold-Mounce (2009) embodied celebrities relate to criminal and ethical challenges today. Celebrities who have criminal records or moral considerations, for example, Michael Jackson was accused of sexual abuse in 1993, will have bad affect on attitudes of people, especially teenagers (Daily Mail, 2009). Additionally, celebrity culture also influences the career choice of students and their academic achievements. For instance, over 30% of pupils claimed want to become famous as who they adored (BBC News (a), 2008). Meanwhile, adults cannot avoid the effects of celebrities as well. Take an instance, some marketers try to infantilize adults via celebrity advertisements and other visual products (Barber, 2007; Boon Lomore, 2 006). Under this situation, celebrity is useless for add value on our lives but only make troubles. On the other hand, celebrities could impact people positively if they perform well and mass media advertise good aspects. Furedi (2010) stated that celebrities gossips may represent peoples daily lives and give them psychological comforts. At same time, celebrities promote healthy lifestyle and attitude to people. For example, Michael Jacksons Beat it is very exciting and encourage people to face difficulties. Because of the appeal of celebrities, they contribute a lot in charities and other aspects of society, such as Michael Jackson were awarded result from his contributions in Afrcia (BBC News (b), 2009). Indeed, celebrities procedure of achievements like Michael Jackson could encourage people fighting for dreams (Cashmore, 2006; Furedi, 2010). In addition, the creation and commodification of celebrities TV shows (e.g. X-Factors) encourage ordinary people to achieve their dreams. Especially the players in these shows could share their ideas to public and make it as recognitions (F uredi, 2010). Additionally, this may close the distance between celebrities and ordinary people (Cashmore, 2006). Picture 4 (Picture from internet) Overall, celebrities and celebrity culture have effects in our daily lives. It is hard to say which side is more, just like the case of Michael Jackson. However, the problems which are made by celebrities or celebrity culture could be solved if mass media and celebrity industry select more disciplined players. Meanwhile, journalists and media companies disclose more positive news but not only gossips, the celebrity culture is worth for our well being. 3. Marketers who target children are no better than paedophiles. All marketing to kids should be banned. Purchasing power of children is not only affect on children but also their families. Children market was worth $24 billion and encouraged another $500 billion in family consumption indirectly years ago (Moore, 2004). Therefore, marketers target to children and wish to make more profit. However, debates on ethical considerations about advertising to children via mass media are argued for a long time, because there are negative effects in these advertisements. At same time, result from some positive implications of marketing to children, advertising to kids could not be denied at all. Advertisement for children has negative effects on lifestyle and attitude of children, especially food habits and materialism. First of all, large proportion of TV advertisements targeted children is food and drinks, particularly sweets and convenience food which are less healthy (Gunter et al, 2005; McGinnis et al, 2006). Otherwise, some advertisements contain violence or contents are not suit for children (Truman, 2004). This implicates lifestyle of people for long and may influence on social problem today. For example, approximately 16% of children and adolescence in US have problem on obesity (McGinnis et al, 2006). Additionally, advertisements carry marketers bias which may affect attitudes of children. Indeed, children have less ability of judgement when they receive the information which is included in advertisements (Hofferth, 2010; Pettersson Fjellstrom, 2006). Under this situation, children may fall in materialism and consumerism (Barber, 2007). Take an instance, advertisements for Christmas may encourage children to ask more gifts from parents (Gunter et al, 2005). In addition, children would like to ask for payments if their parents want help from them (BBC News(c), 2011). Due to the negative effects of advertising to children, some countries limit this kind of commercial activities, such as Australia has time limitation for childrens advertisements, Sweden bans all advertisements which aimed at children below 12 years old, and UK has detailed regulations for advertisements as well (Gunter et al, 2005). Control the contents of advertisements for children via National law are important, because media companies do not want to take risks to post unethical advertisements. Beyond national codes, education of acknowledging advertisements from parents and school are as equal important in this field. Result from children become more important in family consumption life, consumer education for children is essential for avoiding deceives from marketers (Pettersson Fjellstrom, 2006). Children may not know the meaning of advertisements, therefore, how they understand the advertisements are rely on explanations of their parents (Gunter et al, 2005). Another path for pupils understanding advertisements is school education (Gunter et al, 2005). For instance, it is legal to advertising to children in schools in England (Clark, 2004), and this is chance for teaching students how to judge advertisements. On the other hand, advertising to children appropriately may have positive influences. Similarly as mentioned above, advertisements could be inserted the information which is good for children, such as help children to recognise and memorise some culture issues, for example, the meaning of Christmas festival (Gunter et al, 2005). Meanwhile, advertisements are supposed to send healthy lifestyle and attitudes to children and that will have positive implications if there are enough detailed codes for the media companies (Hofferth, 2010). Some companies did advertisement which contains contents good for children, for example, PG Kids Winter Olympics commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGgwfjA0V14). Overall, commercial advertisements have negative influences on children because marketers want to sell more products. However, the power of advertisement should be admitted and use it for the better. National laws are effective on this subject and detailed codes will let companies create better advertisement good for commercial and children. 4. We would all be better off without supermarkets. In the UK, five biggest supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda take over 80% of grocery market share (NewStatesman, 2003). In the meantime, less and less corner shops can survive when supermarkets closed in. Approximate 100,000 corner shops were closed since 1940s (NewStatesman, 2003). Supermarkets look like double-edged sword, provide conveniences to consumers but also damage society, particularly they change the concept and behaviour of shopping. Indeed, supermarket is the future because it can use sources more effectively. Supermarket chains have advantages to compete with small independent shops and provide convenience to customers. First of all, supermarket is more effective and provides one-stop service for customers. For example, people can find everything they need in one big supermarket (Taylor, 2011). Secondly, cheaper and quality products are provided by supermarket chains, especially supermarket named products (Simms, 2007). Moreover, supermarkets can create employee occupations for local people. Tesco claimed 140 jobs are created in each new store (Monbiot, 2009). However, comparing with benefits which are brought by supermarkets, more damages are created to consumers and society at same time. Firstly, damages will be discussed from stand point of consumers. Shoppers are dissatisfied with supermarkets. According to Simms (2007), around 50% of people feel unhappy when they are shopping in Tesco because of bored, stress and other unpleasant reasons. In addition, the price of products is not as cheap as supermarkets claimed. For instance, bread, eggs, and milk are more expensive than local independent shops (Taylor, 2011). Food price is higher than rate of inflation recently and supermarket is considered as a sector which push price going up (Wearden, 2011). Meanwhile, it is trap to shopping in supermarkets because people try to full fill their trolleys, which means spend more money (Taylor, 2011). On the other hand, less variety of food can be found in supermarkets (Eastbourne Herald, 2011) Supermarket chains dominate market which has negative effects on interests of suppliers, communities and local authorities as well. Supermarkets squeeze suppliers because they have market and suppliers have to dependent on them, particularly farmers (Arnold, 2004; Gray, 2003; Timpson, 2011). Figure 1 shows the supermarkets and mid-chains grind farmers. Indeed, it is untrue that a new supermarket store could provide 140 jobs but at least over 270 unemployed will happen (Monbiot, 2009). Some people who loss jobs were corner shop owners, and they created 5 times job opportunities than supermarkets originally (Monbiot, 2009; Simms, 2007). Due to corner shop owners are almost local people, the shop could be the connection for community, and residents have chance to have conversation usually (Simms, 2007; NewStatesman, 2003). Figure 1 (Arnold, 2004) Simms argued that big supermarket chains like Tesco may kidnap local authorities to ask what they want (2007). Over 90% of the population choose to go to supermarkets as first option when they want to shopping (Arnold, 2004). This means supermarkets have been vital role in our daily life and government should follow them. Another advantage of supermarket chains is they can keep on appealing local authorities base on their tremendous financial power, for example, the turnover of Tesco in 2008 is 47 billion (Simms, 2007). Supermarket chains provide conveniences to people before they become profit earning machine. People can enjoy shopping and have chance to get cheaper but good quality products. However, supermarkets tie up the whole society and transform the traditional shopping habit of all consumers, even authorities cannot beat them. Supermarket is good for using resources more effectively, but appropriate control is necessary. 5. Is that acceptable to buy fake brands? Counterfeiting of named brands is an international commercial problem today. Piracy is illegal and unethical, however, people still buying. There are two types of consumers perspective on counterfeits purchasing behaviourdeceptive and non-deceptive (Wilcox et al, 2009; Nia Zaichkowsky, 2000). Deceptive counterfeiting damages consumers benefits because it exists among genuine products and hard to be distinguished. Non-deceptive counterfeiting is fully recognised by consumers but they wish to purchase (Wilcox et al, 2009). No matter what kind of reason, it is not acceptable to buy counterfeit brands. Some people argued that counterfeits helped genuine brands promoting to customers. Counterfeits may increase awareness of named brands and bring additional orders for genuine manufactories (Staake et al, 2009). McCartney stated that people buy counterfeits when they young and ignorant, but genuine products are their pursuit when they become elder (2005). Indeed, customers may think counterfeits are inferior and cannot be compared with original products on quality. Therefore, fake products cannot devalue the genuine brands, manufactories and marketers concentrate on creating strong positive images and good quality products will bring success (Nia Zaichkowsky, 2000). The counterfeits may have positive effects as stated above, but this is not the reason to buy fake products. Meanwhile, it is impossible to ban all counterfeits because of high profit and consumers desire of luxury brand which encourage counterfeiters to take risks (Wilcox et al, 2009). Counterfeiters can obtain high profit because there is no expensive design and advertising cost, and raw material cost is low because of quality (Juggessur Cohen, 2009). Consumers will to buy fake named fashion products because of psychological reason. Counterfeits such as clothes, bags and shoes seem harmless and cheaper, especially some counterfeiters could provide the products which similar as genuine, this may be why people could accept fake products (Cathcart, 2007). However, fake brand products disrupt normal commercial life and bring social problems. Companies like Burberry claimed loss every year because of counterfeits, for example, US counterfeit market was worth $155 million in 2006 (Hilton et al, 2004). Furthermore, counterfeiters are also invading in low-end markets and bring negative effects. Take an instance, Kiwi label in Africa lose 20% sales overall because of counterfeit products, as a result, some plants have to be closed and people lose their jobs (Businessweek, 2008). Purchasing fake products would decrease the income of named companies and increase unemployment rate, this is bad for development of economy and security of society. Therefore, stop buying counterfeits and learning knowledge about anti-counterfeit is necessary. Moreover, purchasing fake products is not respect on creation. Branded companies invest huge capital to develop new products for consumers. This is the cost which should be collected back on selling. However, it is not sustainable development if people do not buy genuine products but counterfeits (Staake et al, 2009). For example, Microsoft lost $2 billion in China in 2007 because of counterfeiting (Microsoft, 2007). It is a disaster if China is main market of Microsoft because that means the company cannot obtain money back on time to develop new product. To sum up, fake brands might have some positive effects which are proved. However, negative influences are main part of discussion. People buy counterfeits will bring legal and moral considerations, and affect on normal business life. Indeed, unemployment and slower creating may attribute to this behaviour.