Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers

Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers

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by Alissa Quart
     
 

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Generation Y has grown up in an age of the brand, bombarded by name products. In Branded, Alissa Quart illuminates the unsettling new reality of marketing to teenagers, as well as the quieter but no less worrisome forms of teen branding: the teen consultants who work for corporations in exchange for product; the girls obsessed with cosmetic surgery who will do

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Overview

Generation Y has grown up in an age of the brand, bombarded by name products. In Branded, Alissa Quart illuminates the unsettling new reality of marketing to teenagers, as well as the quieter but no less worrisome forms of teen branding: the teen consultants who work for corporations in exchange for product; the girls obsessed with cosmetic surgery who will do anything to look like women on TV; and those teens simply obsessed with admission into a name-brand college. We also meet the pockets of kids attempting to turn the tables on the cocksure corporations that so cynically strive to manipulate them. Chilling, thought-provoking, even darkly amusing, Branded brings one of the most disturbing and least talked about results of contemporary business and culture to the fore-and ensures that we will never look at today's youth the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

Women's Review of Books
Quart's style is smart and sassy...a frightening and important book.
The Los Angeles Times
Quart makes it clear that being wary of advertising should be one of those childhood cautions, along with don't talk to strangers, and that it is our job to instruct our children, rather than stand by and wring our hands. She is right: There are people who are hellbent on buying your child's soul for the price of a hip new look. Branded is a cogent wake-up call for both generations. — Karen Stabiner
Dallas Morning News
Help[s] adults psychoanalyze the buying habits of their offspring.
New York Times
Deserves to command wide attention among millions of families...Quart makes a brilliant case...[and] her book is a necessary warning for parents.
Harvard Business Review
Quart makes a solid case that marketers have honed their approach to teens.
New York Post
[A] fascinating, highly readable, cultural study...Branded succeeds at exactly what the companies it chastises can only dream of: multigenerational approval.
Washington Post Book World
Quart excels in capturing the chirpy, soulless avarice that tends to characterize today's hyper-predatory kiddie-peddlers.
Santa Fe New Mexican
Quart has Gen X sensibilities that enable her to skeptically dissect the intentions of Madison Avenue as teens are mined and manipulated.
July 13, 2003
Publishers Weekly
For the readers still waiting for a substantive follow-up to Naomi Klein's No Logo, this is the book. Quart, a former media columnist for the Independent, follows the bread-crumb trail from the Fourth Annual Advertising and Promotion to Kids conference (no joke, unfortunately) to the mechanics of "peer-to-peer marketing," product placement in video games and the ever-escalating parties of the "bar mitzvah showcase." She hones in on teens' delicate self-fashioning and how it's manipulated for profit by adult "teen trendspotters" who insinuate themselves into the lives of "Influencer" teens in order to cop "youth buzz." Quart is brilliant on the world in which teens "obsessed with brand names feel they have a lack that only superbranding will cover over." She gets great quotes in her first-person encounters with her mostly female subjects, giving the book real voice. And Quart's analyses-of teen movies, SAT tutoring (to improve scores and pose college choices as brands), teen SUV ownership and the role of parents-are sharp and funny. Her exploration of how teens internalize and express market logic-through a process of "self-branding" that can include teen boob jobs and kid-produced anorexia Weblogs-is original and striking. The book lacks a broad cultural perspective: most interviewees are white, middle class and female, so it's difficult for Quart to generalize about how American teens and tweens as a whole use money and products to define themselves. Nevertheless, by the end, readers should be able to spot certain youth demographics and deconstruct their branded worlds instantaneously-and with empathy and anger. Agent, Peter McGuigan. (Feb. 1)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738208626
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
02/17/2004
Series:
Art of Mentoring Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
215,580
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.95(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Alissa Quart is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia School of Journalism. She has written features for publications ranging from the New York Times and Lingua Franca to Elle, The Nation, and Salon. She lives in New York City.

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