Why It Sells: Decoding the Meanings of Brand Names, Logos, Ads, and Other Marketing and Advertising Ploys

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Advertising plays a key role in defining contemporary culture worldwide, creating a variety of meanings in the minds of consumers. Intrigued by this process, Marcel Danesi—an entertaining and insightful tour guide—decodes the messages woven into the advertisements, commercials, brand names, and logos we see on a daily basis. Marketing-oriented messages are made, he notes, through techniques not unlike those used by artists, musicians, and other creative sources. Guiding readers through the basics of how to interpret ads, Danesi explores everything from product and package design to jingles, cyberadvertising, ad campaigns, global impacts, culture jamming, and advertising effects. Why It Sells will fascinate and inform all readers interested in how ads, marketing, and branding take hold in the consumer psyche.

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Editorial Reviews

Vol. 45 No. 6 (February 2008) CHOICE
This volume is easy to read and understand, and is supported with a glossary, reference, and list of online resources. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty.
Paul Colilli
Marcel Danesi achieves a goal to which many aspire: to write a book that is a pleasure to read, but which is informed by the most recent theories regarding how media's messages are created and then conveyed to the general public. We discover that the compelling, yet seemingly simple, information that ads provide rests on a profound insight into how meanings are produced and subsequently interpreted. This outstanding book adds to our growing understanding of how messages are created in our daily lives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742555457
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/21/2007
  • Series: R&L Series in Mass Communication Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,556,132
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcel Danesi is professor of anthropology, semiotics, and communication theory at the University of Toronto. His books include My Son Is an Alien: A Cultural Portrait of Today's Youth and Cool: The Signs and Meanings of Adolescence, and he is the editor-in-chief of Semiotica.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 1 What Is Advertising? Chapter 3 2 General Techniques and Strategies Chapter 4 3 Brand Names Chapter 5 4 Logos Chapter 6 5 Language-Based Techniques Chapter 7 6 Art Chapter 8 7 The Meanings of Ads Chapter 9 8 Marketing Chapter 10 9 Advertising and Society Chapter 11 Glossary Chapter 12 References Chapter 13 Further Reading Chapter 14 Online Resources

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