Antibusiness Movies and Folk Marketing

Shugan, Steven M.
November 2006
Marketing Science;Nov/Dec2006, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p681
Academic Journal
We observe a disproportional number of movies that vividly portray business and businesspeople with an unfavorable bias, often depicting ordinary business activity as zero-sum and sometimes depicting it as callous, immoral, and criminal. These movies also often aggrevate existing economic misconceptions that might include what we could call folk marketing. Folk marketing includes false ideas, such as marketing being a zero-sum game (rather than adding value), marketing research being intrusive clandestine surveillance (rather than advocating the buy viewpoint), and secrecy about market data being evidence of nefarious activities (rather than simply hiding strategies from competitors). Marketing scholars need to combat vigorously these false ideas. Moreover, when advertisements sponsor movies, it might be necessary to consider the conjoined movie content and the consistency of that content with the desired brand image.


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