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Branding to the hip-hop generation

Branding to the hip-hop generation

Wilson, Jonathan (2010) Branding to the hip-hop generation. In: 6th International Conference of the AM’s Brand, Identity and Corporate Reputation SIG April 9th-11th, 2010 ESADE - Univesitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain., 9-11 April 2010, ESADE Business School, Barcelona Spain. (Unpublished)

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Hip-hop culture has reached the domain of mainstream consumption. It proves to be a fertile ground for many marketers, drawing from Hip-hop orientated language, music, fashion, symbolism and ethea. Notably, Reebok have sponsored rappers as endorsers of their sportswear; HSBC have incorporated Hip-hop terms such as ‘bling’ in their advertising copy; MacDonald’s have paid lyricists to incorporate references to ‘Big Mac’ into their chart songs; and artists such as Banksy have been able to reframe their once frowned upon artistic ‘criminal practices’, towards being seen more as objects of desire. Further to this, mainstream business textbooks, journals and programmes now feature Hip-hop artists; exploring their commercial appeal.

This conceptual paper investigates the drivers behind why Hip-hop provides a natural synergy with brand theory, and how Hip-hop and brand architects independently (or perhaps at times collectively) have created similar methods by which they are able to attract and engage with the same audiences. One key factor appears to be the clear signalling of competitive intent within both. Evidence is provided through literature reviews, inductive reasoning and syllogisms - supported by existing empirical data, anecdotal evidence, personal observations and experience; culminating from in-depth interviews with music producers and artists.

The aim is to bring a new approach to the creation of brands, rooted in the Hip-hop inspired process of embedding cultural artefacts within popular culture. Through innovative and rich linguistic metaphor, symbolism and sampled music, brands continue to recycle and preserve popular aspects of culture; and in doing so create further wealth.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: branding, hip hop, creativity, brand communities, sub-cultures, tribes, culture, music
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:12

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