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This is a blog for my students at the Official Language School in Valencia

CORPORATION November 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 12:57 am
    BEFORE WATCHING :How do you feel about corporations? Do they make they a positive contribution to our economy? Are they a threat? (watch Youtube Corpart 6)

    PART ONE: HOW CORPORATIONS RELATE TO PEOPLE

    Which of the following speakers…?

    1-Friedman a-blames a corporation for the execution of some activists
    2-Chomsky b-portrays CEOs who sack workers as helpless victims of the system
    3-Gibara c-compares helpless and frustrated activists with CEO’s positive role
    4-Moody d-distinguishes the goodness of individuals from the evils of the the system
    5-Narrator e-absolves corporations of moral responsibility

    PART TWO

    1-Shiva criticizes corporations that sell (genetically modified) seeds because they (the seeds)

    a-cannot be used more than once b-cannot be sown by farmers c-can be used in all seasons

    2-Barry offers people jobs

    a-in exchange for info b-that don’t exist c- that are better paid than his competitors’

    3-Moore would like Phil Knight to

    a- watch some tennis matches b-accept his friendly invitation c-meet his workers

    4-Anderson

    a-had an epiphanical experience b-thinks it is possible to make carpets sustainably

    c-thinks he will end up in prison for trashing the planet

    5-Basically, Brown has no qualms about linking

    a-his happiness with others’ misery b-gold with silver c-Sadam with September 11th.

    6-Since the Middle Ages the amount of public property and services

    a-never been so big b-never been so small c-been taken away from us

    7-Privatization means

    a-better service b-better organization c-theft

    PART THREE: CORPORATIONS HAVE BECOME TODAY’S GODS

    Match the elements that can be compared after watching the last part of the documentary

    Children’s indoctrination Pfizer
    Supernatural protection from angels Disney
    Temples with images of divine things Big Fat Inc
    Pervasive presence like the Holy Spirit Initiative Media Worldwide

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One Response to “CORPORATION”

  1. THE PATHOLOGY OF COMMERCE-THE CORPORATION AS A PSYCHOPATH

    Friedman: Can a building have moral opinions? Can a building have social
    responsibility? If a building can’t have social responsibility, what does it mean to say
    that a corporation can? A corporation is simply a artificial legal structure, but the people who are engaged init, whether the stockholder, whether the executives in it, whether the employees, they all have moral responsibilities.
    Chomsky: It’s a fair assumption that every human being, real human beings, flesh
    and blood ones, not corporations, but every flesh and blood human being is a moral
    person. We’ve got the same genes, we’re more or less the same, but our nature, the nature
    of humans, allows all kinds of behaviour. I mean every one of us under some
    circumstances could be a gas chamber attendant and a saint.
    Gibara: No job, in my experience with Goodyear, has been as frustrating as the CEO
    job. Because even though the perception is that you have absolute power to do
    whatever you want, the reality is you don’t have that power. Sometimes, if you had really a free hand, if you really did what you wanted to do that suits your personal thoughts and your personal priorities, you’d act differently. But as a CEO you cannot do that…Layoffs have become so wide-spread that people tend to believe that CEOs make these decisions without any consideration to the human implications of their decisions. It is never a decision that any CEO makes lightly. It is a tough decision. But it is the consequence of modern capitalism.
    Chomsky: When you look at a corporation, just like when you look at a slave owner,
    you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual. So, slavery, for example or other forms of tyranny, are inherently monstrous, but the individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you could imagine –benevolent, friendly, nice to their children, even nice to their slaves, caring about other people. I mean, as individuals they may be anything.
    In their institutional role they’re monsters because the institution is monstrous. And
    then the same is true here.
    Moody-Stuart: My wife and I, some years ago, had at our home, a demonstration,
    25 people arrived, they hung a big banner on the top of our house, saying,
    “murderers,” They danced around outside with gas masks and so on.
    Moody: As a public demonstration, it wasn’t very effective, due to the fact that this is
    a very rural area, two people and a dog, and it’s not a very big house, which I think
    rather surprised them. But then we sat down and talked to them for a couple of hours, and we gave them tea and coffee, and they had lunch on our lawn…
    Moody-Stuart: After about 20 minutes, they said, well the problem is not you, it’s
    Shell. So I said, now wait a minute let’s talk about, what is Shell, it’s made up of
    people like me.In the end, what we found in that discussion was all the things they were worried
    about, I was worried about as well. Climate, you know, oppressive regimes, human
    rights, the big difference between us was, I feel that I actually can make er
    contributions to this, these people were frustrated, because they felt that they had no,
    nothing to do.
    Chomsky: So, an individual CEO, let’s say, may really care about the environment.
    In fact, since they have such extraordinary resources, they can even devote some of
    their resources to that without violating their responsibility to be totally inhuman
    Narration: Which is why, as the Moody-Stuarts serve tea to protestors, Shell Nigeria can
    flare unrivalled amounts of gas, making it one of the world’s single worst
    sources of pollution. And all the professed concerns about the environment, do not spare Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other activists from being hanged for opposing Shell’s
    environmental practices in the Niger Delta. What’s the source?They were hanged
    for opposing shell’s practices.

    MINDSET

    Shiva: The corporation is not a person; it doesn’t think. People in it think, and for
    them it is legitimate to create terminator technology. So that farmers are not able to save their seeds. Seeds that will destroy themselves through a suicide gene. Seeds that are designed to only produce crop in one season. You really need to have a brutal mind. It’s a war against evolution to even think in those terms. But quite clearly profits are so much higher in their minds.
    Barry: My work spans all industry sectors. I mean, I virtually have worked for, like, I’d
    say, twenty-five per cent of the Fortune 500… I’ve posed as an investment banker. I’ve posed as a venture capitalist. I set up front companies that are executive recruiting firms. Essentially, I’m a spy.I’ll locate your employees, and I will tell them that I’m calling from “Acme Recruiting
    Agency”, and that I’ve got a job that pays them considerably more than what they’re paying. Would they mind meeting me for an interview? And when the executive shows up, what he doesn’t realize is, I’m actually debriefing him on behalf of a competitor. That there is no job and that the office that he’s at has been rented, and the picture on my desk of my family is a phony, and it’s all just a big, elaborate ruse to glean competitive information from him… I don’t feel any guilt. It’s, you know, what, I mean you have to expect that guys like me are out there. We’re predators. It’s about competition, it’s about market share, it’s about being aggressive, it’s about shareholder value. What is your stock at today?…If you’re are CEO, I mean, do you think your shareholders really care whether you’re Billy Buttercup or not? You know, do you think that they would prefer you to be a nice guy, over having money in their pocket? I don’t think so. I think people want money. That’s the bottom line.
    Moore: The fact that most of these companies are run by white men, white rich men,
    means that they are out of touch with what the majority of the world is. Because the
    majority of this planet are not a bunch of rich white guys.
    They’re people of other colors, they’re the majority. Women are the majority, and the
    poor and working poor, make up the majority of this planet. So the decisions that they
    make come from not the reality that exists throughout the world.
    Moore: When I bought those two airplane tickets for Phil Knight and myself, to fly to
    Indonesia, I was prepared for him to say, “Okay, let’s go.”
    Knight: Oh no, not a chance. Not a chance.
    Moore: No? they’re transferable. I can change it to another day.
    Moore: And call me on it. Call my bluff. He’s a smart guy. I mean, he’s not, he’s not
    stupid. And so I thought, okay, get ready for this. Especially because, you know, I
    bought him first class tickets. So you know, it would be a comfortable ride at least,
    you know. And of course he tells me then, on camera, Knight: I’ve never been to Indonesia.
    Moore: And I’m like taken aback by this. I can’t believe it. The guy’s the head of the
    company, he’s never walked through his own factories
    Moore: Oh, you’ve got to go. Knight: I can’t go right now and the rest of this year.
    Moore: When we were done filming, he calls me up, a couple of weeks later, and he
    goes, “I may have a chance to go there with you
    to the factories. I’m going to the Australian Open to watch some tennis.”
    And uh, you know, “maybe I can get up there, or at least you can go there.
    Would you like to go to the Australian Open?” (laughs)
    Anderson: For 21 years, I never gave a thought to what we were taking from the
    earth or doing to the earth in the making of our products. And then in the summer of
    1994, we began to hear questions from our customers we had never heard before:
    “What’s your company doing for the environment?” And we didn’t have answers. The
    real answer was, “not very much.” And it really disturbed many of our people, not me
    so much as them.
    And a group in our research department decided to convene a taskforce and bring
    people from our businesses around the world to come together to assess our
    company’s worldwide environmental position to begin to frame answers for those
    customers…They asked me if I would come and speak to that group and give them a
    kick off speech and launch this new task force with an environmental vision—
    and I didn’t have an environmental vision, I did not want to make that speech…And at sort of the propitious moment, this book landed on my desk. It was Paul Hawkins book, “The Ecology of Commerce” And I began to read the “Ecology of Commerce” , really desperate for inspiration, and very quickly into that book, I found the phrase “the death of birth”. It was E.O. Wilson’s expression for species extinction, “the death of birth,” and it was a point of a spear into my chest, and I read on, and the spear went deeper, and it became an epiphanical experience, a total change of mindset for myself and a change of paradigm.
    Anderson: Can any product be made sustainably? Well not any and every product.
    Can you make landmines sustainably? Well, I don’t think so.
    There’s a more fundamental question than that about landmines. Some products
    ought not be made at all…Unless we can make carpets sustainably, you know, perhaps we don’t have a place in a sustainable world, but neither does anybody else, making products
    unsustainably…One day early in this journey, it dawned on me that the way I’d been
    running Interface, is the way of the plunderer.
    Plundering something that’s not mine, something that belongs to every creature on
    earth, and I said to myself “My goodness, the day must come when this is illegal,
    when plundering is not allowed”. I mean, it must come. So, I said to myself “My goodness, some day people like me will end up in jail.”
    Brown: I’ve got to be honest with you. When the September 11th situation happened,
    I didn’t know that the, and I must say, and I want to say this because it’s,
    I don’t want to take it lightly, it’s not a light situation. It’s a devastating act. It was
    really a bad thing, it’s one of the worse things I’ve seen in my lifetime, you know.
    But, I will tell you and every trader will tell you who was not in that building, and who
    was buying gold and who owned gold and silver, that when it happened, the first thing
    you thought about was well how much is gold up? The first thing that came to mind was my God gold must be exploding! Fortunately for us all our clients were in gold. So when it went up they all doubled their money…everybody doubled their money. It was a blessing in disguise. Devastating, crushing, heart shattering, but on the financial sense for my clients that were in the market they all made money. Now, I wasn’t looking for this type of help—
    but it happened. When the US bombed Iraq back in 1991 the price of oil went from
    $13 to $40 a barrel for Christ sake! Now we couldn’t wait for the bombs to start
    raining down on Saddam Hussein. We were all excited. We wanted Saddam to really create problems. Do whatever you have to do, set fire to some more oil wells, because the price is going to go higher. Every broker was chanting that, there was not a broker that I know of that
    wasn’t excited about that. This was a disaster this was something that was you know catastrophe happening. Bombing, wars. In devastation there is opportunity.
    Narration:
    The pursuit of profit is an old story, but there was a time, when many things
    were regarded either as too sacred—or too essential for the public good—to be
    considered business opportunities. They were protected by tradition and public regulation.
    BOUNDARY ISSUES
    Rifkin: We can really begin to take a look at the emergence of the modern age with
    the enclosure movements of the great European commons in the fourteenth, fifteenth
    and sixteenth century. Medieval life, was a collectively lived life. It was a brutish,
    nasty affair. But there was a collective responsibility. People belonged to the land; the land did not belong to people. And in this European world, people, farmed the land in a collective way, because they saw it as a commons. It belonged to God. And then it was administered by the Church, the aristocracy, and then the local manors, as stewards of God’s creation.
    Beginning with Tudor England, we began to see a phenomenon emerge, and that is
    the enclosure of the great commons by parliamentary acts in England, and then in
    Europe. And so, first we began to take the great land masses of the world which
    were commons and shared, and we reduced those to private property. Then we went
    after the oceans, the great oceanic commons, and we created laws and regulations
    that would allow countries to claim a certain amount of water outside their coastal
    limits for exploitation. In this century we went after the air, and we divided it into air corridors that could be bought and sold for commercial traffic for airplanes. And then of course the rest is
    history.
    Bernard: With deregulation, privatization, free trade, what we’re seeing is yet another
    enclosure and if you like private taking of the commons.
    One of the things I find very interesting in our current debates is this concept of who
    creates wealth. That wealth is only created when it’s owned privately.
    What would you call clean water, fresh air, a safe environment? Are they not a form
    of wealth? And why does it only become wealth when some entity puts a fence
    around it and declares it private property? Well, you know, that’s not wealth creation.
    Kingwell: Over the centuries, we have put more and more things in that public realm
    and lately, just lately, in the last, let’s say the last three or four decades, started
    pulling them out again. So fire-fighters, for instance…
    Kingwell: Fire-fighters started as private companies,
    Kingwell: And if you didn’t have the medallion of a given fire-fighter brigade on your
    house and it was on fire, those fire-fighters would just, you know, ride on by because
    you didn’t have a deal. Well, we gradually evolved a public trust for the provision of
    safety on that very specific level. This is important. We should not go back from that and start saying, “Well, you know, why don’t we put that back in the market and see what that does? Maybe it will make it more efficient.”
    Chomsky: The privatization does not mean you take a public institution and give it to
    some nice person…It means you take a public institution and give it to an unaccountable tyranny. Public institutions have many side benefits. For one thing they may purposely run at
    a loss. They’re not out for profit. They may purposely run at a loss because of the
    side benefits. So, for example if a public steel industry runs at a loss it’s providing
    cheap steel to other industries, maybe that’s a good thing.
    Public institutions can have a counter cyclic property. So that means that they can
    maintain employment in periods of recession, which increases demand, which helps
    you get out of a recession. Private company can’t do that in a recession throw out the work force cause that’s the way you make money.
    Barlow: There are those who intend that one day everything will be owned by
    somebody and we’re not just talking goods here. We’re talking human rights, human
    services, essential services for life. Education, public health, social assistance,
    pensions, housing. We’re also talking about the, the survival of the planet. The areas that we, webelieve are— must be maintained in the commons, or under common control or we
    will collectively die. Water and air—
    Walker: Even in the case of air there’s been some progress. And here the idea is to
    say look We can’t avoid the dumping of carbon dioxide. We can’t avoid the dumping
    of sulphur oxides, at least we can’t at the moment afford to stopping it, so we’re
    dumping a certain amount of stuff into the environment. So we’re going to say with
    the current tonnage of sulphur oxides, for example, we will say that is the limit. And
    we’ll create permits for that amount and give them to the people who’ve been doing
    the polluting and now we will permit them to be traded. And so now there’s a price attached to polluting the environment. Now, wouldn’t it be marvelous if we had one of those prices for everything?
    Achbar: It sounds like you’re advocating private ownership of every square inch of
    the planet.
    Walker: Absolutely.
    Achbar: Every cubic foot of air, water…
    Walker: It sounds outlandish to say we want to have the whole universe, the whole of
    the earth owned. That doesn’t mean I want to have Joe Bloggs owning this square
    foot. But it means the interests that are involved in that stream are owned
    by some group or by some people who have an interest in maintaining it. And that,
    you know, that is not such a loony idea, it’s in fact the solution to a lot of these
    problems.
    Narration: Imagine a world in which one of the things owned by a corporation was the
    song “Happy Birthday”.
    In fact, an AOL/ TimeWarner subsidiary, holds the copyright.
    In the past, it has demanded over $10,000 to allow you to hear anyone sing this
    popular song in a film. We didn’t pay. We preferred to use the money to fly our crew to Boston and Los Angeles to bring you the following story.
    Linn: Comparing the marketing of yesteryear to the marketing of today is like comparing a BB gun to a smart bomb.
    It’s not the same as when I was a kid, or even when the people who are young adults
    today were kids. It’s much more sophisticated, and it’s much more pervasive.
    It’s not that products themselves are bad or good. It’s the notion of manipulating
    children into buying the products.
    Hughes: We asked parents to keep a diary for three weeks and to record every
    time—you could imagine— every time their child nagged them for a product, we
    asked them to record when, where, and why.
    Linn: This study was not to help parents cope with nagging. It was to help
    corporations help children nag for their products more effectively.
    Hughes: Anywhere from 20% to 40% of purchases would not have occurred unless
    the child had nagged their parents. That is, we found for example, a quarter of all
    visits to theme parks wouldn’t have occurred unless a child nagged their parents.
    Four out of ten visits to places like Chuck E. Cheese would not have occurred. And
    any parent would understand that, you know when I think of Chuck E. Cheese, oh my
    goodness, its noise…goodness, its noise…
    Hughes:…and there’s so many kids. Why would I want to spend two hours there?
    But if the child nags enough you’re going to go. We saw the same thing with movies,
    with, with home video, with fast food…kids ask for them.
    Hughes: We do have to break through this barrier where they do tell us, or they say,
    they don’t like it when their kids nag. Well that’s just a general attitude that they
    possess. It’s doesn’t mean that they necessarily act upon it a 100% of the time.
    You can manipulate consumers into wanting and therefore buying your products. It’s
    a game.
    Linn: Children are not “little adults”; their minds aren’t developed. And what’s
    happening is that the marketers are playing to their developmental vulnerabilities.
    Linn: The advertising that children are exposed to today is honed by psychologists,
    it’s enhanced by media technology that nobody ever thought was possible.
    Hughes: The more insight you have about the consumer
    the more creative you’ll be in your communication strategies. So if that takes a
    psychologist, yeah, we want one of those on staff.
    Linn: I’m not saying it’s wrong to make things for children. You know, and I also think
    it’s important to distinguish between psychologists who work on products for children
    who help, help, you know, toy corporations make toys that are developmentally
    appropriate. I think that’s great, that’s different from selling the toys directly to the
    children.
    Hughes: Initiative is huge. I think in the US we place about 12 billion dollars of media
    time. So we’ll put it on TV, we’ll put it in print, we’ll put it up in outdoor, we’ll buy radio
    time; so we’re the biggest buyers of advertising time and space in the US, and in the
    world.
    Linn: one family cannot combat an industry that spends 12 billion dollars a year trying
    to get their children. They can’t do it.
    Hughes: They are tomorrows adult consumers, so start talking with them now, build
    that relationship when they’re younger… and you’ve got them as an adult.
    Hughes: Somebody asked me, “Lucy is that ethical?” You’re essentially manipulating
    these children. Well, yeah, is it ethical? I don’t know. But our, our role at Initiative is to
    move products. And if we know you move products with a certain creative execution
    placed in a certain type of media vehicle then we’ve done our job.
    Kingwell: Every institution provides the people who are members of it with a social
    role to occupy. And typically institutions that are vibrant and have a lot of power, will
    specify that role in some sense as a list of virtues.
    It’s true for churches, for schools, for any institution that has power over people and
    shapes them.
    Archival: “… one nation…”
    Kingwell: The corporation likewise. It provides us with a list of virtues, a kind of
    social role, which is the “good consumer”.
    Chomsky: The goal for the corporations is to maximize profit and market share. And
    they also have a goal for their target, namely the population. They have to be turned
    into completely mindless consumers of goods that they do not want. You have to
    develop what are called “created wants”. So you have to create wants. You have to
    impose on people what’s called a philosophy of futility. You have to focus them on the
    insignificant things of life, like fashionable consumption.
    I’m just basically quoting business literature. And it makes perfect sense. The ideal is
    to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another. Who’s conception
    of themselves, the sense of value, is just how many created wants can I satisfy?
    Archive narrator: “…These people are customers because they are willing to trade
    money for widgets. And all the customers take their widgets home to all parts of the
    country.Look at all that money the widget builder has taken in from the sale of his widgets…”
    Chomsky: We have huge industries, public relations industry is a monstrous
    industry, advertising and so on, is uh, which are designed from infancy to try to mold
    people into this desired pattern.
    Luke: We saw Tiger Woods on TV with a hat with a Nike logo on it and we figured
    you know he probably gets like millions of dollars just to wear the hat on a press
    conference. And therefore we figured we can do that for someone else. And
    hopefully get money in time so we can go to school.
    And that’s how we came up with being corporately sponsored.
    Chris: We made our sponsor announcement on the Today Show on June 18.
    Luke: And so we gave First USA a good name in the media, and include them in our
    news stories, and then through there they get as much advertising as we can give
    them.
    Luke: They’re not just out there for the money and they’re just. I mean they want to
    work with us, and be our friends and let us help them help us and vise versa.
    11.12.03 Luke: “…and we became walking billboards to pay for our college tuition…”
    (applause)
    Luke: Cool Site of the Day picked us as cool site and Yahoo picked us and we were
    in USA Today.
    Luke: When we did our photo shoot for People Magazine this is where we stood, up
    on top.
    Chris: We stood up here and we smiled.
    Luke: We smiled and took the picture.
    Chris: Our parents had war stories and stuff to tell us. We have our corporate
    sponsor story
    Luke: Exactly.
    Luke: I have a lot of faith in the corporate world because it’s always going to be
    there so you may as well have faith in it because if you don’t then it’s just not good.
    Narration:Some of the best creative minds are employed to assure our faith in the
    corporate world view. They seduce us with beguiling illusions designed to
    divert our minds and manufacture our consent.
    PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT
    Grossman: Corporations don’t advertise products particularly, they’re advertising a
    way of life. A way of thinking. A story of who we are as people and how we got here
    and what’s the source of our so-called liberty, and our so-called freedom. You know,
    so you have decades and decades and decades of propaganda and education
    teaching us to think in a certain way.
    When applied to the large corporation, it’s that the corporation was inevitable, that
    it’s indispensable, that it is somehow remarkably efficient, and that it is responsible
    for progress and the good life.
    Komisarjevsky: Perception management is a very interesting concept. It’s basically
    a methodology which helps us when we work with our clients to go through a very
    systematic thoughtful process in order to be able to help our clients identify
    what the resources are that they have. What the barriers to their success are and
    how we can use communications to help them accomplish their objectives.
    If Michael or Angelica came to me and said dad what do you do and why is it
    important?
    Chris Komisarjevsky, CEO Burson My answer to that question is basically that I help corporations have a voice. And I help corporations share the point of view about how they feel about things.
    Grossman: They’re selling themselves, they’re selling their domination, they’re
    selling their rule, and they’re creating an image for themselves as just regular folks
    down the block.
    Kline: Hi, How y’all doing today? Good to see you. How are you doing today?
    Hi. How you doin’ today? We’re from Pfizer.
    We’re your neighbors. You’re in the new houses? Are you in the new houses?
    Oh! These are some neighbors. Can we say hello? Can we say hello just for a
    minute?
    Kline: So, what do you think of the neighborhood now?
    Miss Fraser: It’s alright, it’s good.
    Kline: Yeah, I think it’s been getting better over the last 20 years that I’ve been
    comin’ here. Ya.
    So I think together, you know, working with you, and Pfizer and our other partnership,
    we’ll make this a better place.
    Miss Fraser: Okay.
    Kline: Okay, nice to see you, Miss Frazier, bye.
    Pfizersubsidized
    housing
    development
    Kline: (voiceover going into subway) There used to be a lot of crime at this subway.
    One night as I was going home I got caught and was almost mugged.
    So we decided to make a change to make this community better.
    Kline: We’re looking at turnstiles that prevent fare-beating. It used to be you could
    just hop right over.
    So Pfizer, in collaboration with the transit authority, actually purchased these
    machines.
    Kline: This is a talkback box that allows us to speak to the Pfizer guard which is
    approximately 500 yards from here.
    Now I haven’t seen the Pfizer guard today, but I’m going to see if I can call him. If
    he’s not, I’ll have to go wake him up. Hello. Hello. Tom Kline speaking…
    So I’m sure before we’re through he’ll call back. But particularly on the off-hours, this
    allows a passenger to call directly to the Pfizer desk for assistance. And then the
    Pfizer guard calls the transit police and the transit police respond to any crime
    situation. As a result of all this, crime is down in the station. It’s much safer for our
    community partners. Thank you.
    I’ll press the other button just to be sure…. We’ll go over and talk to him personally.
    Tom speaking, Hello?
    We’ll stop over and see him personally.
    Grossman: It’s tough, you know – they’re putting some taxpayer and shareholder
    money into helping and who can say? But that money should be going to the
    taxpayers to decide what to do.
    And while they’re doing those sort of nice things, they’re also playing a role in
    lowering taxes for corporations and lowering taxes for wealthy people, and
    reconfiguring public policy.
    What we don’t see is all that reconfiguring going on; we don’t see all that vacuuming
    up of money, vacuuming out the insides of public processes, but we do see the nice
    façade .
    A PRIVATE CELEBRATION
    Klein: When I was researching the take over of public space when I started off I
    thought okay this is just advertising. We’ve always had advertising. It’s just more
    advertising. But what I started to understand and what I understand now is that branding is not
    advertising it’s production. And very successful corporations, the corporations of the
    future do not produce products.
    They produced brand meaning. The dissemination of the idea of themselves is their
    act of production. And the dissemination of the idea of themselves is an enormously
    invasive project. So how do you make a brand idea real? Well, a good place to start
    is by building a three dimensional manifestation of your brand.
    For a company like Disney it goes even further where it’s actually building a town,
    Celebration Florida.
    Finger: Currently there are about 5000 residents who call Celebration home. And
    there are about 1300 single family homes, a town center that’s a place where people
    gather. It has about four or five restaurants and about a dozen other shops.
    Klein: Their inspiration, their brand image, is the all American family. And the sort of
    bygone American town.
    Timon: Their brand driver is “family magic” and everything that that company does is
    in and around those two words.
    If you take that, a branded environment such as a Disney World or a Disney Land, is
    a logical extension of that brand. Film, animated film, family oriented film, it’s a very
    logical extension of that.
    As a business though, they also know that if they want to get into other forms of
    entertainment that does not fit “family magic”, they do not brand it Disney.
    If they want to get into adult, more serious type fare, when it comes to film they brand
    it Touchstone.
    Finger: The Disney brand speaks of reassurance, it speaks of tradition, it speaks of
    quality. And you can see that here, in this community that we’ve built.
    quality. And you can see that here, in this community that we’ve built.
    Klein: And that’s where you see the truly imperialist aspirations of branding which is
    about building these privatized branded cocoons.
    Which maybe you start by shopping in and then you continue by holidaying in but
    eventually why not just move in.
    Rifkin: What happens if we wake up one day, and we find out that virtually all of our
    relationships that are mediated between us and our fellow human beings are
    commercial?
    We find out that virtually every relationship we have is a commercially arbitrated
    relationship with our fellow human being?
    Can civilization survive on that narrow a definition of how we interact with each other?
    TRIUMPH OF THE SHILL
    Ressler: I can give you the day in the life of a person who might be the target of
    undercover marketing. And I will tell you this that some of these things are happening
    right now, around you.So you walk out of your building in the morning, in some city, and you walk by thedoorman and say, hey good morning! And you notice there’s a bunch of boxes at his
    feet from some on-line or mail-order retailer. And there’s a bunch of boxes there with
    of course big brand message on it.You walk out, thinking, wow! A lot of people must be ordering from that company.Well, what you don’t know is that we paid the doorman to keep those empty boxes there.You walk out into the street and you hear some people having kind of a loud
    conversation about a musical act and they are passing the head phones back and
    forth and wow this is great! Hey do you know that I heard this CD is really hard to find
    but I heard they sell it at store X.Woman: “I better go pick it up. It’s so good.”Man: “It’s great, isn’t it?”
    Ressler: You hear that and you register it and you might kind of pick up on that and
    may be later on you’ll think hey I wonder what the hot act is, bang, that might be in
    your head. Now you get into your office and there’s a certain brand of water in the
    refrigerator. What is that?You take it out, you drink, you slug it down, it’s there, not really thinking about it.Wow! That’s pretty good water.Who knows? Maybe someone placed the water there. You kind of go out for yourlunch break, you’re sitting in the park and people are kind of out there, talking in the park and bang, all of a sudden you hear another message.
    By the time you go to bed you’ve probably received eight or nine different undercover
    messages.
    Jonathan Ressler, CEO Big Fat Inc. Ressler: People are always thinking, “well, oh I know product placement. That’s when they put stuff in movies!” Well, yes kind of. I mean, that’s definitely traditional product placement. But real life product placement is just that: placing stuff in movies but the movie’s actually your life.
    Ressler: We’ll take a group of attainable, but still aspirational people, they are not
    supermodels, they are kind of people just like you, they’re doing something for us,
    whether they are having a certain kind of drink or they are using a certain laundry
    detergent, whatever it may be.They are kind of the roach motel, if you will. People are going to come over to themand they are going to give them this little piece of brand bait. It could be a sound bite of knowledge or a ritual, consumers will get that piece of roach bait, then they would
    take it. “Oh, pretty cool!” Then they go out and spread it to their friends…If you want to be critical, if you want to go through your life like that, sure, be critical of
    every single person that walks up to you. But if they are showing you something that
    fits, and something that works, and something that makes your life better in some
    way, well then who cares. We, again, just say thanks!


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