Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are

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Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are

BUYING IN THE SECRET DIALOGUE BETWEEN WHAT WE BUY AND WHO WE ARE Rob Walker New York Times Magazine "Consumed" columni

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BUYING IN THE SECRET DIALOGUE BETWEEN

WHAT WE BUY AND WHO WE ARE

Rob Walker New York Times Magazine "Consumed" columnist

B

rands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned

on liVo, the Internet, and other emerging technologies,

the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Consumers are "in control." Or so we're told . In Buying In, New York Times Magazine "Consumed" columnist Rob Walker argues that thi s accepted wisdom misses a much more important and lasting cultural shift. As technology has created avenues for advertising anywhere and everywhere, people are embracing brands more than ever before-creating brands of their own and participating in marketing campaigns for their favorite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel virally, whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or becoming word-of-mouth "agents" touting products to friend s and family on behalf of huge corporations. In the process, they-we-have begun to funnel cultural, political, and community activities through connections with brands. Walker explores this changing cultural landscapeincluding a practice he calls "murketing," blending the terms murky and marketinrby introdu cing us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs, artists, and community organizers who have found a way to thrive within it. Using profiles of brands old and new, including limberland, Ameri can Apparel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, iPod, and Livestrong, Walker demonstrates the ways in which

buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities. Part marketing primer, part work of cultural anthropology, Buying In reveals why now, more than ever, we are what we buy- and vice versa .

ROB WALKER writes the weekly column " Consumed, " a blend of business journalism and cultural anthropology, for The New York Times Magazine. Previously, he created and wrote the popular "Ad Report Card " column for Slate, and he has contributed to a wide range of publications, from Fast Company and Fortune to The New Republic and AdBusters. Walker continues to write about the secret dialogue between what we buy and who we are at his own website, Murketing.com . He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife, photographer Ellen Susan .

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