Logo & Imago: Identity in Media Culture
Full course description
'Logo' and 'imago' are crucial concepts in marketing and advertising practices. At the same time, they have been subject to fierce debates in media and cultural studies, as well as the political, economic, and social sciences. This course introduces students to main theories, practices and debates regarding modern, visual media culture. In particular, it focuses on advertising, (cultural) branding, and marketing. The course is subdivided into four workshops: The first workshop introduces the general topic of the course and reflects on concepts such as signs, icons, symbols and the idea of "cultural branding". In order to provide a (methodological) framework, students are introduced to semiotics. In the second workshop, students analyse historical TV commercials. Moreover, they investigate the use of persuasion and rhetoric in advertising. The third workshop focuses on the concept of discourse and different methods of discourse analysis. Since the specialisation Media Culture also studies contemporary media developments and related cultural changes, the fourth and last workshop focuses on viral media and marketing. Throughout the course, students share their insights on a (private) weblog. Therefore, an initial skills training introduces them to the use of the blogging software WordPress.
Students will be introduced to: theories related to advertisement, strategic communication and (cultural) branding; semiotics and discourse analysis; maintaining a weblog. For the course assignments, they will have to write critical analyses of recent and historic examples and developments in the field of advertising and branding.
Klein, N. (1999). No Logo. Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. New York: Picador.