Daily Brand Timeline Portrait

I just came across “Jane’s Brand-timeline Portrait“, a visualization of the brand names that one is exposed to each day.

Jane's Brand Timeline Portrait

All that talk about brand perception got me thinking about how brands affect our daily lives. Have you ever thought about how many brands you use in a typical day? Well I did and created a visual representation of my Typical Friday in Brands. I have to admit that I was pretty surprised at how at how big this thing got once I started working on it. I am also surprised at how much this reveals about me …

Creating similar brand portraits through a classroom assignment could help students gain deep and meaningful understanding of the marketing forces around them, even those students who perceive themselves as impervious to the effects of advertising.

As a compliment or reinforcement to this activity, I would recommend this video from Derren Brown that demonstrates the power of subliminal advertising.

Note: I am always skeptical of videos like this, and I haven’t looked to how accurately this experience was portrayed, but believe the basic concepts are sound.

9 thoughts on “Daily Brand Timeline Portrait

  1. Pingback: Daily Brand Timeline Portrait | Politics in America

  2. Very interesting idea, indeed. I like how you point out how much one’s brand selection says about oneself; it’s a very powerful demonstration of the depth to which ‘positioning’ of brands in marketing has been successful. We can’t help but associate certain brands with certain types of people and situations.

    In fact, this seems quite relevant to an article from last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about companies that buy ‘dead’ brands: brands that still exist as intellectual property, but are no longer actually sold anywhere, like Brim Coffee. They bank on the high degree of recognition–and maybe a little nostalgia–for the brands to stick them back on products (products which are often actually different from the original).

    This also brings up the old question of how many brands we’re actually “exposed to in one day.” I think the number may be higher than what you’ve got listed, but the interesting thing is that it’s actually quite hard to tell. There’s a frequently-quoted bit about the average American seeing “3000 ads a day,” but there’s quite a lot of dispute about the number (see here and here.) What seems sure, though, is that most of us see quite a lot of branded marketing that we don’t even notice.

    Thanks for the though-provoking piece!

  3. Fascinating post, Alec, and an exercise I’d like to use too.

    Like you, I’m really skeptical about how the subliminal experiment was portrayed in the video. I’ve ridden in a lot of cabs, and I just can’t fathom picking up an array of images and slogans, neatly hidden in their complex environments, and then assembling them into a single presentation that mimics another person’s assemblage of the imagery. It isn’t even very likely that I would look out of the cab window at the right times to get everything I was supposed to discover. For me, “that dog don’t hunt.”

    But I do buy the idea that the subconscious is very powerful and even a little mysterious. And the brand names/logos we are exposed to every day are working on us subconsciously, even if they are not all that subliminal.

  4. I agree, we are at the mercy of the advertising giants. I believe that if you are saying that we are exposed subconsciously then it is subliminal – read a good post about what subliminal really means at the blog

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