2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Does the Philosophy of Existentialism Provide an Insight into the World of Branding?

Clare Bevan, 2006, Stage 3

Territory: Branding (the world’s largest include Coca-cola, Microsoft, IBM and Nokia) Philosophy: Existentialism, notably that of Jean-Paul Sartre(1905-80), (right). The aim of my project is to explore the world of branding and assess the relevant applications of existentialism. I shall examine how an investigation into existential freedom can reveal new and intriguing insights into the world of brands. I consider the significance of branding to my own existential freedom, (and issues including brand loyalty), asking such questions as: In what way does branding affect my freedom? Is my freedom diminished by brand loyalty? Is brand loyalty merely a symptom of existential freedom; perhaps an inevitable outcome in light of the vast choice offered? Is it a safe option, to avoid anguish and anxiety over my freedom, to choose the big brand? Through investigating our everyday existence, I hope to explore, the relationship between ourselves, our freedom, and branding. I aim to develop these ideas through the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, and existential philosophy, which itself has undergone considerable change, from its birth to its present-day form. However the most important element of change, that I discuss in my project, is the movement from my own existential freedom in relation to brands, to the existential freedom of the brand itself –an existential brand/’brand existentialism’.

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