Read Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson’s “Capital’s Brandscapes” (2006), which is a neo-cultural analysis of branding. Branding, as opposed to brands, is the corporate practice of raiding cultural signs to serve the “contradictory” goals of capital accumulation (profit) and legitimation (public relations). Another way of putting it, branding is the attempt on the part of corporations to achieve and sustain a “Wow!” factor in the minds of consumers. What happens when the entire culture is reduced to fodder for branding campaigns? This is the big question entertained by Goldman and Papson.
Pay close attention to the concepts, fractal value and hemorrhaging of meaning. Goldman and Papson attribute the first concept to Baudrillard, the second to Baudrillard’s contemporary, Roland Barthes. While the concepts aren’t synonymous, they do have a fairly similar sense.
For this exercise, you need to demonstrate the meaning of either of these concepts by deconstructing or interpreting a brand ‘site’ of your choosing. The site in question could be an ad, corporate logo (this is the focus of Goldman and Papson’s paper), website, social media feed or actual retail space or environment.
Basically, you need to think about and explain the ambience or “Wow!” factor that the brand is aiming for, along with the cultural signs that the brand is appropriating or exploiting to achieve this ambience.

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