The Merchandizing of Identity
The media and marketing machinery continually spins out an excess of products and services to increasingly ad-swamped consumers looking for social emancipation, a sense of identity, and meaning in life through the acquisition of goods and services. The “I am Canadian” beer campaign broke the mold of sex-based beer advertising. Successful advertising for alcoholic beverages that doesn’t appeal to sexuality offers consumers images and jingles that become signposts of an individual’s history by equating alcohol consumption with life’s great moments. The brand, the badge, and the label personalize a beer. The “I am Canadian” campaign proved to be a very successful campaign even though it didn’t opt for the usual “sex sells” marketing approach so common in the advertising of alcoholic beverages. The commercials gave an amusing take on “Canuck” patriotism and played off ethnic stereotypes to nationalize a brand and acculturate good taste using the cultural politics of identity and difference.
KeywordsConsumerism Taste Popular culture Aesthetics Identity
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