The Anthropology behind Brands

A page that I came across on the popular website stumbleupon.com I felt was not only appropriate for this class blog discussion, but also reminded me of memories that I have experienced in my own life adventures.  You may want to take a look at the actual page that I am referring to, it is listed in the link below.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2NkcIo/www.behance.net/gallery/ANTHROPOLOGY-AND-THE-BRAND/2453625/

In this article it talks about how certain brands are shared between people and how they “Manage society”.  It shows a few different major companies that usually anywhere you go in the world, are recognizable.  It shows a few pictures, in one of the pictures, it displays a number of pots, with a sign in the back round that says “Drink Coca-Cola”.  No matter where you go, what country you are in, that sign, is written in english, and everyone knows that the slogan states “Drink Coca-Cola”.  It is truly amazing how such brands and slogans can reach places that are completely on the other side of the hemisphere, and are interpreted the same.

Another reason that this particular page stuck my attention is because of my own life experiences.  For my entire life, my father has been apart of a corporation that is recognizable anywhere you go in the world.  For 40 plus years, my father has worked for McDonalds Corporation.  While growing up, My family and I had the opportunity to attend the McDonalds Worldwide Convention in Orlando, Florida.  At this convention, people from all over the world, representatives of McDonalds, from every country you could think, or point out on a globe, was represented.  Seeing this page pop up on stumbleupon.com made me think back to this convention.  It was always interesting because you would always get to try the food from each country, and how the culture changes the menu, that is set in stone, but at the same time changes for each culture.  It was amazing that everyone in the convention was from different back rounds, but were all meeting together in a central location, all recognizing the same company.

This page was very interesting to me because it made me start looking further into brands, and how they are recognized.  It shows on this page a picture of a few Coca-Cola adds, and a McDonalds add.  It is Ironic, because anywhere you go in the world, if you were to ask three universal brands that everyone knows, the majority of the people you ask will say McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Disney. All three of which have corporate partnerships.

Brands in our modern society, are what shape humanity.  No matter where you go in the world, there are certain symbols that every individual can identify in just the same fashion as someone that lives 500,000 miles away from them, and speak a completely different language.  The power of the brand is what pulls our society together, and separates us apart.

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4 Responses to The Anthropology behind Brands

  1. jenahmoody says:

    I too find this completely amazing! I was stationed in Japan for 3 years and they have a McDonald’s on every corner and on one side they have the menu in Japanese and on the other side the menu is in English. But the signs all over the sit-down areas are all in English and yet most Japanese people know what they say despite the language difference.
    There are Coke products in every size and shape bottle you could ever think of, which in the beginning I actually collected the different Coke products because I thought they were so much fun. every now and then I’d find a Coke can that was completely written in Japanese but I still knew it was Coke since it’s so iconic.
    There is a Japanese Disneyland and despite the cultural differences, all the kids know the American versions of the Disney characters. In Tokyo there is a Disney store that is FULL of every kind of Disney character memorabilia you could ever want. And other than the price tag, which is in yen, everything is in English.

    • jbent008 says:

      It is interesting that people all over the world can recognize certain things, and even though language barriers sometimes prevent the ability to understand and communicate with certain people, that children, adults, men, and women, all know that Cinderella is Cinderella, it doesn’t matter where you are, and that a Coca-Cola can is a Coca-Cola can, Whether you are american or Japanese, the word you use to describe these different things are still universally in English. Its an incredible phenomenon.

  2. I guess I don’t really see the connection being that our class is about Sex and Gender, but it is interesting to note the intersection of anthropology and advertising. This is a definite growth area for “applied anthropology” which is a nice way of saying its something you can actually get a job doing!

    I almost, almost talked my way into a job with a small ad agency. They didn’t know what I was doing but the boss seemed interested. Or maybe he had just had too much coffee, you’d have to meet this guy to believe him. What a piece of work!

    • jbent008 says:

      I know this article didn’t have exactly what our class was asking for when it comes to anthropology between sex and gender, but it just seemed interesting to me, and close to home, how women and men perceive certain brands the same as people from countries thousands of miles away. With my father working for McDonalds and having close personal ties with Coca-Cola representatives it makes for interesting meetings at company conventions I have been to with my father. Through my entire childhood I have kept in touch with people I have met at these worldwide conventions and the common ground that we can always consider our meeting points were tied back to McDonalds.

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