No Logo [NOOK Book]

Overview

NO LOGO was an international bestseller and "a movement bible" (The New York Times). Naomi Klein's second book, The Shock Doctrine, was hailed as a "master narrative of our time," and has over a million copies in print worldwide.

In the last decade, No Logo has become an international phenomenon and a cultural manifesto for the critics of unfettered capitalism worldwide. As America faces a second economic depression, Klein's analysis of our ...

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No Logo

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Overview

NO LOGO was an international bestseller and "a movement bible" (The New York Times). Naomi Klein's second book, The Shock Doctrine, was hailed as a "master narrative of our time," and has over a million copies in print worldwide.

In the last decade, No Logo has become an international phenomenon and a cultural manifesto for the critics of unfettered capitalism worldwide. As America faces a second economic depression, Klein's analysis of our corporate and branded world is as timely and powerful as ever.

Equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé, No Logo is the first book to put the new resistance into pop-historical and clear economic perspective. Naomi Klein tells a story of rebellion and self-determination in the face of our new branded world.

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Editorial Reviews

NY Times
Klein is a gifted writer; her paragraphs can be as seductive as the ad campaigns she dissects."
New York Times Book Review
Nathan Rabin
The global economy described in Naomi Klein's No Logo is one in which American CEOs collect millions for closing down factories, companies devote endless resources to creating and developing a brand identity because their products are manufactured by abused 16-year-olds in Indonesia working for slave wages, consumers are inordinately loyal to companies who throw their economic support behind sweatshops and treat American employees like a disposable commodity, and international law favors heartless corporations over the rights of individuals. Klein does such an effective job of illustrating the crimes of corporate America, in fact, that the second half of her enlightening and frustrating book--which documents the work of anti-corporate activists fighting the good fight--can't help but pale in comparison. With the exception of a chapter on "alternative" culture that's misguided when it's not just plain wrong (Klein, for example, defines alternative music as "music that's hard to listen to"), the first half of No Logo does an excellent job of convincing readers that, metaphorically speaking, the economic sky is falling as never before. All of which can't help but make the small group of activists documented in the book's second half (culture jammers, performance artists, activists, zine editors) seem mighty inadequate by comparison. As much as Klein would like to convince readers that the anti-corporate fight is winnable, too much of her faith seems tied up in the unrealistic notion that activists being able to e-mail each other all over the world will somehow even the score between them and the giant, powerful entities they're fighting. Klein's dense, fact-heavy book is compelling, enlightening, damning, and a surprisingly good read.
Onion A.V. Club
Jodi Molen
No Logo is emblematic of our day...and a handbook for activists of all ages.
The Progressive
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the global economy, all the world's a marketing opportunity. From this elemental premise, freelance journalist and Toronto Star columnist Klein methodically builds an angry and funny case against branding in general and several large North American companies in particular, notably Gap, Microsoft and Starbucks. Looking around her, Klein finds that the breathless promise of the information age--that it would be a time of consumer choice and interactive communication--has not materialized. Instead, huge corporations that present themselves as lifestyle purveyors rather than mere product manufacturers dominate the airwaves, physical space and cyberspace. Worse, Klein argues, these companies have harmed not just the culture but also workers--and not just in the Third World but also in the U.S., where companies rely on temps because they'd rather invest in marketing than in labor. In the latter sections, Klein describes a growing backlash embodied by the guerrilla group Reclaim the Streets, which turns busy intersections into spaces for picnics and political protest. Her tour of the branded world is rife with many perverse examples of how corporate names penetrate all aspects of life (who knew there was a K-Mart Chair of Marketing at Wayne State University?). Mixing an activist's passion with sophisticated cultural commentary, Klein delivers some elegant formulations: "Free speech is meaningless if the commercial cacophony has risen to the point where no one can hear you." Charts and graphs not seen by PW. Agent, Westwood Creative Artists. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-In this examination of the style and substance of "branded life," a young Canadian journalist presents her thesis in a highly entertaining style. In chapters such as "Alt.everything: The Youth Market and the Marketing of Cool," Klein shows how advertising exploits teens (17 is the optimum age) and points out marketing tactics and trends. As the advertising industry has evolved to become a major shaper of culture, a sea change in corporate climate has transformed companies from producers of products to purveyors of image and dreams. Brand names such as Gap, Nike, or Tommy Hilfiger have come to have "talismanic power" for many in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. However, the author reveals the disturbing economic realities underlying the production of these magic products-often through the stories of the young people who work to produce them. The final chapters describe individual and community activities in the arts, politics, and courts in the pursuit of human rights and other values. For readers who want to know more about what lies behind street demonstrations recently in the news, or for those who are ready to rise above being manipulated, this title provides an excellent model of how to think critically about contemporary culture.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"No Logo has been a pedagogical godsend. I used it to illustrate contemporary applications of complex cultural theories in an introductory social science sequence. It worked so beautifully, word about the book spread across campus, and other students were begging to read it in their sections of the course."—Bruce Novak, Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago

"A complete, user-friendly handbook on the negative effects that 1990s überbrand marketing has had on culture, work, and consumer choice."—The Village Voice

"The Das Kapital of the growing anti-corporate movement."—The London Observer

“Klein is a sharp cultural critic and a flawless storyteller. Her analysis is thorough and thoroughly engaging.”—Newsweek.com

No Logo is an attractive sprawl of a book describing a vast confederacy of activist groups with a common interest in reining in the power of lawyering, marketing, and advertising to manipulate our desires.”—The Boston Globe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429956499
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: 10th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 270,166
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Naomi Klein, born in Montreal in 1970, is an award-winning journalist. She writes a weekly column in The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, and is also a frequent columnist for the British Guardian. For the past five years, Klein has traveled throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, tracking the rise of anti-corporate activism. She is a frequent media commentator and has guest-lectured at Harvard, Yale, and New York University. She lives in Toronto.


Naomi Klein is the award-winning author of the acclaimed international bestsellers No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, both of which have been translated into more than 25 languages with over a million copies in print. The Shock Doctrine was a New York Times Critics' Pick of the year, and The Literary Review of Canada named No Logo one of the hundred most important Canadian books ever published. She is also the author of the essay collection Fences and Windows. With Avi Lewis, she co-created the documentary film The Take, which was an Official Selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best Documentary Jury Prize at the American Film Institute's Film Festival in Los Angeles. She is a contributing editor for Harper's, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular, internationally syndicated column. She has won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King's College, Nova Scotia. Born in Montreal, she now lives in Toronto.
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Read an Excerpt

No Logo

Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies


By Naomi Klein

Picador

Copyright © 2009 Naomi Klein
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-5649-9



CHAPTER 1

New Branded World


As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard. Where every prospect pleases, man is at his vilest when he erects a billboard. When I retire from Madison Avenue, I am going to start a secret society of masked vigilantes who will travel around the world on silent motor bicycles, chopping down posters at the dark of the moon. How many juries will convict us when we are caught in these acts of beneficent citizenship? —David Ogilvy, founder of the Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency, in Confessions of an Advertising Man, 1963


The astronomical growth in the wealth and cultural influence of multinational corporations over the last fifteen years can arguably be traced back to a single, seemingly innocuous idea developed by management theorists in the mid-1980s: that successful corporations must primarily produce brands, as opposed to products.

Until that time, although it was understood in the corporate world that bolstering one's brand name was important, the primary concern of every solid manufacturer was the production of goods. This idea was the very gospel of the machine age. An editorial that appeared in Fortune magazine in 1938, for instance, argued that the reason the American economy had yet to recover from the Depression was that America had lost sight of the importance of making things:

This is the proposition that the basic and irreversible function of an industrial economy is the making of things; that the more things it makes the bigger will be the income, whether dollar or real; and hence that the key to those lost recuperative powers lies ... in the factory where the lathes and the drills and the fires and the hammers are. It is in the factory and on the land and under the land that purchasing power originates [italics theirs].


And for the longest time, the making of things remained, at least in principle, the heart of all industrialized economies. But by the eighties, pushed along by that decade's recession, some of the most powerful manufacturers in the world had begun to falter. A consensus emerged that corporations were bloated, oversized; they owned too much, employed too many people, and were weighed down with too many things. The very process of producing—running one's own factories, being responsible for tens of thousands of full-time, permanent employees—began to look less like the route to success and more like a clunky liability.

At around this same time a new kind of corporation began to rival the traditional all-American manufacturers for market share; these were the Nikes and Microsofts, and later, the Tommy Hilfigers and Intels. These pioneers made the bold claim that producing goods was only an incidental part of their operations, and that thanks to recent victories in trade liberalization and labor-law reform, they were able to have their products made for them by contractors, many of them overseas. What these companies produced primarily were not things, they said, but images of their brands. Their real work lay not in manufacturing but in marketing. This formula, needless to say, has proved enormously profitable, and its success has companies competing in a race toward weightlessness: whoever owns the least, has the fewest employees on the payroll and produces the most powerful images, as opposed to products, wins the race.

And so the wave of mergers in the corporate world over the last few years is a deceptive phenomenon: it only looks as if the giants, by joining forces, are getting bigger and bigger. The true key to understanding these shifts is to realize that in several crucial ways—not their profits, of course—these merged companies are actually shrinking. Their apparent bigness is simply the most effective route toward their real goal: divestment of the world of things. Since many of today's best-known manufacturers no longer produce products and advertise them, but rather buy products and "brand" them, these companies are forever on the prowl for creative new ways to build and strengthen their brand images. Manufacturing products may require drills, furnaces, hammers and the like, but creating a brand calls for a completely different set of tools and materials. It requires an endless parade of brand extensions, continuously renewed imagery for marketing and, most of all, fresh new spaces to disseminate the brand's idea of itself. In this section of the book, I'll look at how, in ways both insidious and overt, this corporate obsession with brand identity is waging a war on public and individual space: on public institutions such as schools, on youthful identities, on the concept of nationality and on the possibilities for unmarketed space.


The Beginning of the Brand

It's helpful to go back briefly and look at where the idea of branding first began. Though the words are often used interchangeably, branding and advertising are not the same process. Advertising any given product is only one part of branding's grand plan, as are sponsorship and logo licensing. Think of the brand as the core meaning of the modern corporation, and of the advertisement as one vehicle used to convey that meaning to the world.

The first mass-marketing campaigns, starting in the second half of the nineteenth century, had more to do with advertising than with branding as we understand it today. Faced with a range of recently invented products—the radio, phonograph, car, light bulb and so on—advertisers had more pressing tasks than creating a brand identity for any given corporation; first, they had to change the way people lived their lives. Ads had to inform consumers about the existence of some new invention, then convince them that their lives would be better if they used, for example, cars instead of wagons, telephones instead of mail and electric light instead of oil lamps. Many of these new products bore brand names—some of which are still around today—but these were almost incidental. These products were themselves news; that was almost advertisement enough.

The first brand-based products appeared at around the same time as the invention-based ads, largely because of another relatively recent innovation: the factory. When goods began to be produced in factories, not only were entirely new products being introduced but old products—even basic staples—were appearing in strikingly new forms. What made early branding efforts different from more straightforward salesmanship was that the market was now being flooded with uniform mass-produced products that were virtually indistinguishable from one another. Competitive branding became a necessity of the machine age—within a context of manufactured sameness, image-based difference had to be manufactured along with the product.

So the role of advertising changed from delivering product news bulletins to building an image around a particular brand-name version of a product. The first task of branding was to bestow proper names on generic goods such as sugar, flour, soap and cereal, which had previously been scooped out of barrels by local shopkeepers. In the 1880s, corporate logos were introduced to mass-produced products like Campbell's Soup, H.J. Heinz pickles and Quaker Oats cereal. As design historians and theorists Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller note, logos were tailored to evoke familiarity and folksiness (Aunt Jemima), in an effort to counteract the new and unsettling anonymity of packaged goods. "Familiar personalities such as Dr. Brown, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, and Old Grand-Dad came to replace the shopkeeper, who was traditionally responsible for measuring bulk foods for customers and acting as an advocate for products ... a nationwide vocabulary of brand names replaced the small local shopkeeper as the interface between consumer and product." After the product names and characters had been established, advertising gave them a venue to speak directly to would-be consumers. The corporate "personality," uniquely named, packaged and advertised, had arrived.

For the most part, the ad campaigns at the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth used a set of rigid, pseudoscientific formulas: rivals were never mentioned, ad copy used declarative statements only and headlines had to be large, with lots of white space—according to one turn-of-the-century adman, "an advertisement should be big enough to make an impression but not any bigger than the thing advertised."

But there were those in the industry who understood that advertising wasn't just scientific; it was also spiritual. Brands could conjure a feeling—think of Aunt Jemima's comforting presence—but not only that, entire corporations could themselves embody a meaning of their own. In the early twenties, legendary adman Bruce Barton turned General Motors into a metaphor for the American family, "something personal, warm and human," while GE was not so much the name of the faceless General Electric Company as, in Barton's words, "the initials of a friend." In 1923 Barton said that the role of advertising was to help corporations find their soul. The son of a preacher, he drew on his religious upbringing for uplifting messages: "I like to think of advertising as something big, something splendid, something which goes deep down into an institution and gets hold of the soul of it.... Institutions have souls, just as men and nations have souls," he told GM president Pierre du Pont. General Motors ads began to tell stories about the people who drove its cars—the preacher, the pharmacist or the country doctor who, thanks to his trusty GM, arrived "at the bedside of a dying child" just in time "to bring it back to life."

By the end of the 1940s, there was a burgeoning awareness that a brand wasn't just a mascot or a catchphrase or a picture printed on the label of a company's product; the company as a whole could have a brand identity or a "corporate consciousness," as this ephemeral quality was termed at the time. As this idea evolved, the adman ceased to see himself as a pitchman and instead saw himself as "the philosopher-king of commercial culture," in the words of ad critic Randall Rothberg. The search for the true meaning of brands—or the "brand essence," as it is often called—gradually took the agencies away from individual products and their attributes and toward a psychological/anthropological examination of what brands mean to the culture and to people's lives. This was seen to be of crucial importance, since corporations may manufacture products, but what consumers buy are brands.

It took several decades for the manufacturing world to adjust to this shift. It clung to the idea that its core business was still production and that branding was an important add-on. Then came the brand equity mania of the eighties, the defining moment of which arrived in 1988 when Philip Morris purchased Kraft for $12.6 billion—six times what the company was worth on paper. The price difference, apparently, was the cost of the word "Kraft." Of course Wall Street was aware that decades of marketing and brand bolstering added value to a company over and above its assets and total annual sales. But with the Kraft purchase, a huge dollar value had been assigned to something that had previously been abstract and unquantifiable—a brand name. This was spectacular news for the ad world, which was now able to make the claim that advertising spending was more than just a sales strategy: it was an investment in cold hard equity. The more you spend, the more your company is worth. Not surprisingly, this led to a considerable increase in spending on advertising. More important, it sparked a renewed interest in puffing up brand identities, a project that involved far more than a few billboards and TV spots. It was about pushing the envelope in sponsorship deals, dreaming up new areas in which to "extend" the brand, as well as perpetually probing the zeitgeist to ensure that the "essence" selected for one's brand would resonate karmically with its target market. For reasons that will be explored in the rest of this chapter, this radical shift in corporate philosophy has sent manufacturers on a cultural feeding frenzy as they seize upon every corner of unmarketed landscape in search of the oxygen needed to inflate their brands. In the process, virtually nothing has been left unbranded. That's quite an impressive feat, considering that as recently as 1993 Wall Street had pronounced the brand dead, or as good as dead.


The Brand's Death (Rumors of Which Had Been Greatly Exaggerated)

The evolution of the brand had one scary episode when it seemed to face extinction. To understand this brush with death, we must first come to terms with advertising's own special law of gravity, which holds that if you aren't rocketing upward you will soon come crashing down.

The marketing world is always reaching a new zenith, breaking through last year's world record and planning to do it again next year with increasing numbers of ads and aggressive new formulae for reaching consumers. The advertising industry's astronomical rate of growth is neatly reflected in year-to-year figures measuring total ad spending in the U.S. (see Table 1.1), which have gone up so steadily that by 1998 the figure was set to reach $196.5 billion, while global ad spending is estimated at $435 billion. According to the 1998 United Nations Human Development Report, the growth in global ad spending "now outpaces the growth of the world economy by one-third."

This pattern is a by-product of the firmly held belief that brands need continuous and constantly increasing advertising in order to stay in the same place. According to this law of diminishing returns, the more advertising there is out there (and there always is more, because of this law), the more aggressively brands must market to stand out. And of course, no one is more keenly aware of advertising's ubiquity than the advertisers themselves, who view commercial inundation as a clear and persuasive call for more—and more intrusive—advertising. With so much competition, the agencies argue, clients must spend more than ever to make sure their pitch screeches so loud it can be heard over all the others. David Lubars, a senior ad executive in the Omnicom Group, explains the industry's guiding principle with more candor than most. Consumers, he says, "are like roaches—you spray them and spray them and they get immune after a while."

So, if consumers are like roaches, then marketers must forever be dreaming up new concoctions for industrial-strength Raid. And nineties marketers, being on a more advanced rung of the sponsorship spiral, have dutifully come up with clever and intrusive new selling techniques to do just that. Recent highlights include these innovations: Gordon's gin experimented with filling British movie theaters with the scent of juniper berries; Calvin Klein stuck "CK Be" perfume strips on the backs of Ticketmaster concert envelopes; and in some Scandinavian countries you can get "free" long-distance calls with ads cutting into your telephone conversations. And there's plenty more, stretching across ever more expansive surfaces and cramming into the smallest of crevices: sticker ads on pieces of fruit promoting ABC sitcoms, Levi's ads in public washrooms, corporate logos on boxes of Girl Guide cookies, ads for pop albums on takeout food containers, and ads for Batman movies projected on sidewalks or into the night sky. There are already ads on benches in national parks as well as on library cards in public libraries, and in December 1998 NASA announced plans to solicit ads on its space stations. Pepsi's ongoing threat to project its logo onto the moon's surface hasn't yet materialized, but Mattel did paint an entire street in Salford, England, "a shriekingly bright bubblegum hue" of pink—houses, porches, trees, road, sidewalk, dogs and cars were all accessories in the televised celebrations of Barbie Pink Month. Barbie is but one small part of the ballooning $30 billion "experiential communication" industry, the phrase now used to encompass the staging of such branded pieces of corporate performance art and other "happenings."

That we live a sponsored life is now a truism and it's a pretty safe bet that as spending on advertising continues to rise, we roaches will be treated to even more of these ingenious gimmicks, making it ever more difficult and more seemingly pointless to muster even an ounce of outrage.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from No Logo by Naomi Klein. Copyright © 2009 Naomi Klein. Excerpted by permission of Picador.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments,
No Logo at Ten,
Introduction: A Web of Brands,
No Space,
One: New Branded World,
Two: The Brand Expands: How the Logo Grabbed Center Stage,
Three: Alt. Everything: The Youth Market and the Marketing of Cool,
Four: The Branding of Learning: Ads in Schools and Universities,
Five: Patriarchy Gets Funky: The Triumph of Identity Marketing,
No Choice,
Six: Brand Bombing: Franchises in the Age of the Superbrand,
Seven: Mergers and Synergy: The Creation of Commercial Utopias,
Eight: Corporate Censorship: Barricading the Branded Village,
No Jobs,
Nine: The Discarded Factory: Degraded Production in the Age of the Superbrand,
Ten: Threats and Temps: From Working for Nothing to "Free Agent Nation",
Eleven: Breeding Disloyalty: What Goes Around, Comes Around,
No Logo,
Twelve: Culture Jamming: Ads Under Attack,
Thirteen: Reclaim the Streets,
Fourteen: Bad Mood Rising: The New Anti-Corporate Activism,
Fifteen: The Brand Boomerang: The Tactics of Brand-Based Campaigns,
Sixteen: A Tale of Three Logos: The Swoosh, the Shell and the Arches,
Seventeen: Local Foreign Policy: Students and Communities Join the Fray,
Eighteen: Beyond the Brand: The Limits of Brand-Based Politics,
Conclusion: Consumerism Versus Citizenship: The Fight for the Global Common,
Afterword: Two Years on the Streets: Moving Through the Symbols,
Notes,
Appendix,
Reading List,
Photo Credits,
Index,

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2010

    This book explains why I feel so frustrated.

    This is excellent book that is still very relevant today. It describes one of the fundamental topics that get repeated over and over again during political/social upheaval (a.k.a. terrorist acts, civil disobedience). These acts are generally facilitated through the oppression or exploitation of one group or another, and generally carried out against symbolic targets.
    When brands become so large that they overshadow our government then they eliminate our voice in their actions, in turn leads us to attack the brand, the symbol, to facilitate the change that we want. We cannot vote for the leaders of a company but we can sure hit them in the wallet.
    It's funny reading this book now in 2010 looking back to 1995 when I was in high school. Our school was a part of the branding wars; suddenly coke showed up with all their vending machines and took over the school. Some students did vandalize the machines, they were frequently unplugged. I was too clueless to even realize what was going on around me. The machines were later pulled out under protest several years after I left. I wish someone would have woke me up.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Great to read!

    This book talks about everything which happen in the past and present. It mentions the pros and cons of the company.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 21, 2010

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    Posted November 19, 2009

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    Posted March 4, 2011

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    Posted November 19, 2009

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    Posted October 6, 2010

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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