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TECHNIQUES ON CONSUMER
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE POPULAR MUSIC
INDUSTRY: A CONSUMER
A Dissertation submitted in the University of Manchester
Institute of Science and Technology. School of
Management for the degree of MSc in Marketing
This dissertation is an exploratory research into of the impact of promotions techniques on
product= in= terms= of= distinctive= sets= of= promotional= discourses= that= communicate= its=
features=to=select=audiences.=The=audience=at=hand=is=the=teen-market. and its segmentation
takes=place=against=life-style= characteristics.= The= aim= is= to= find= out= whether= the= cultural=
imagery`= disseminated= by= promotional= techniques= has= an= impact= on= consumers`=
relationship with their ego-ideal and situational self. as well as how a notion of selfhood is
established= via= musical= products.= In= addition.= the= aim= is= to= explore= whether= promotional=
discourses= impact= on= intra-group= coherence.= and= help= shape= the= sacred= character`= of=
musical products. Einally. this thesis aims to put forward a new approach in accounting for
as= to= demonstrate= how= its= operational= categories= can= be= put= into= use=and=yield=important=
results for consumer behaviour researchers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents iii
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Postmodern Consumer Research
1.2 The Hyperreal Space of the Music Industry
Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.1 Introduction: What is Popular Music?
2.2 What is the meaning of a musical product and how is it constructed?
2.3 The Icon of the Other as central to the concept of the musical product
2.4 The Semiotic perspective on the Icon
2.5 The Imaginary. the Symbolic. the Real: How the three Lacanian orders can help
us understand Consumer Psychology
2.6 Fetish-Taboo-Similacrum: The Triadic Definition of the Musical Product
2.6.1 What is a Fetish and how does it help us understand the way consumers of
musical products invest it with value?
2.6.2 What is a Taboo and how does it help us understand the way whereby
consumers of musical products gain access to their unconscious wish-fulfilment?
2.6.3 What is the simulacrum and how does it help us understand how musical
products as simulacra impact on consumer psychology?
2.6.4 Conclusion to the triadic definition of the musical product
2.7.1 Hedonic Consumption Pt.I: Is pleasure-seeking the driving force behind the
consumption of musical products?
2.7.2 Hedonic Consumption Pt.II: Consumption as the pleasure of ritualistic fusion
Chapter 3: Industry Overview
3.1 Introduction: Promotions Techniques and their place in the Music Industry
22.214.171.124 Print Advertising
126.96.36.199 TV Advertising
3.1.2 Sales Promotions
188.8.131.52 Premiums (gifts)
184.108.40.206 Point-of-sale displays
220.127.116.11 Below-the-line advertising/Special Events
18.104.22.168.1 Live shows
3.1.3 Public Relations
22.214.171.124 Press Relations
126.96.36.199 Product Publicity
3.2 The Virtual Organization: A Network Marketing approach to the Music
3.2.2 Top management of the record company
188.8.131.52 Sony Music
184.108.40.206 Warner Music
220.127.116.11 Thorn EMI & Virgin Music Group
3.2.3 A&R Department
3.2.4 The Artist
3.2.5 The Marketing Department
3.2.6 The Press Office (PR Department)
3.2.7 The 1ournalists
3.2.8 The D1
3.2.9 The Retail Outlet
3.2.10 The Consumer
Chapter 4: Methodology
4.2 Research Objectives
4.3 Research Design
4.3.1 Why Qualitative Methods?
4.3.2 Secondary Literature
4.3.3 In-Depth Interviews
4.3.4 Focus-Group Discussions
4.4 Analytical Techniques
4.5 What is Discourse Analysis?
4.6 Problems associated with Discourse Analysis
4.7 Implications of Discourse Analysis
4.8 Analysis at work
4.9 Conclusion: Interpretivism as a method to Consumer Psychoanalysis
Chapter 5: Discussion of Research-Findings
5.2 Exploring the nature of the Research Hypotheses
5.2.1 Hypothesis 1
5.2.2 Hypothesis 2
5.2.3 Hypothesis 3
Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations
6.2 Theoretical Contribution
6.2.1 Contribution on a Conceptual Model level
6.2.2 Contribution on a Methodological level
6.3 Implications of the research findings for brand management
6.5 Recommendations- Future areas of research
Appendix 1: Primary Data
1.1 Focus-Group Design
1.2 Transcribed Data
5.2.1 (a) Press clip and Virgin Records Official Press Release
1.1 Postmodern Consumer Research
purported= to= structure= socio-political= and= cultural= life= on= the= principles= of= theoretical=
these fleeting images anchor in the aesthetic media of music. film. fashion. mass media. In
this dissertation we set out on an Odyssey. both theoretical and empirical. into the popular
music= industry.= = The=Sirens= that= enchanted= us= bear= the= name= musical= products`.= The=
theoretical= apparatuses= employed= so= far= in= order= to= tackle= their= seductive= melodies= has=
been= found= to= be= far= too= modern`= for= their=elusive personae.= Time-hallowed=research=
various= researchers= in= the= field= of= Consumer= Behaviour.= such= as= Mick(1986).= Elliott=
(1995).= Belk= (1989).= Holbrook= and= Hirschman= (1992).= as= being= too= restrictive= and=
exclusive= in= accounting= for= certain= consumptive=phenomena.=While=acknowledging=their=
indispensable= usefulness= in= accounting= for= certain= product= classes= (such= as= cars.=
for= other= consumptive= phenomena.= such= as= that= of= musical= products`.= a= very= special=
product-class= indeed.= Whereas= in= the= aforementioned= product-classes= the= needs= and=
are= confronted= with= maior= definitional= problems.= when= applying= traditional= consumer=
behaviour= models.= such= as= AIDA= (AWARENESS-INTEREST-DESIRE-ACTION).
Having= been= personally= involved= in= the= industry= for= a= considerable= amount= of= time.=
conversed= with= people= who= work= for= various= departments.= artists.= and= consumers.=it=has=
become= apparent= that= this= consumptive= phenomenon= is= defined= by= extraordinary=
consumer= goods= can= be= conceptualized= as= regards= their= use= and= exchange= values= quite=
apart= from= the= promotional= activities= undertaken= as= part= of= a= marketing= communication=
plan. musical products are the outcome of such promotional activities.= and= in= fact.=
their use-value cannot be conceived apart from the ways whereby their image is
shaped through these activities.= The= place= of= the= consumer= amidst= this= promotional=
of= consumers= operate= on= the= basis= the= life-styles= they= proiect.= The= milieu= for= this=
exploratory= proiect= is= circumscribed= by= postmodern= discourses;= the= research= design.=
while= reviewing= relevant= fragments= from= the= existing= literature.= Through= this= reviewing=
process= a= model.= deemed= to= be= appropriate= for= the= research= at= hand.= was= constructed.=
tools (mostly Ereudian and Lacanian) have been operationalized in an attempt to define the
subiect`= and= its=Other.= Thorough= argumentation= has= been= provided= wherever= the=
reformulation or criticism of existing theories was called for. in order to elucidate concepts
that are obscure` by nature. as well as in order to render their applicability evident.
and the aspects in which it differs from meta-narratives.
'Eirst.= a= movement= away= from= universalistic= ambitions= of= master-narratives= where= the=
hierarchies= which= entail= canonical= iudgments= of= taste= and= value.= towards= a= populist=
collapse= of= the= distinction= between= high= and= popular= culture.= Third.= a= tendency= towards=
the aestheticization of everyday life which gained momentum both from efforts=within=the=
arts= to= collapse= the= boundary= between= art= and= life= (pop= art.= Dada.= surrealism= and= so= on)=
reduplicated=hallucinatory=veil=of=images=effaces=the=distinction=between= appearance= and=
reality.= Eourth.= a= decentering= of= the= subiect.= whose= sense= of= identity= and= biographical=
continuity= give= way= to= fragmentation= and= superficial= play= with= images.= sensations= and=
multi-phrenic`= intensities¨= (Mike= Eeatherstone.= Undoing= Culture:= Globalization.=
Postmodernism and Identity. Sage 1995. pp.43-44).
Parker= (1992.= p.70)= points= out= two= ways= in= which= the= postmodern= differs= from= the=
(i) there= is= a= shift= from= a= critical= stance= towards= the= world= which= attempts= to= realise=
human= values=and= needs= against= existing= institutions= and= patterns= of= culture= to= a=
positive stance which celebrates the way things are because any other way is as unreal.
uncover= deeper= underlying= structures= of= oppression.= experience= or= progressive=
dynamics of change. the attention is to meaning alone. In this sense. the postmodern
is an experience in which each and every thing is equally invested with meaning.
No= other= definitions=could= be= more= comprehensive= as= regards= the= contents= of= this=
• An emphasis on fragmentation: How is the consumer broken into the multiplicity of
heterogeneous images proiected by musical products?
• A dissolution of canonical aesthetic hierarchies:= Mozart= or= Pulp?= This= is= the=
for= those= who= invest= psychic= value= on= it.= be= it= a= group= of= two= consumers= or=
25.000.000.= What= matters= is= their= irreducible= difference`.=i.e.= the= impossibility= to=
Authenticity?= Is= this= possible= with= billions= of= copies= of= Mona= Liza= circulating= in= the=
loss of the aura` of the original in the era of mechanical reproduction).
• Simulational consumer culture:= What= this= means= essentially= is= that= products= are=
consumers= and= vice= versa.= As= it= will= be= explained= in= the= Literature= Review. musical
products= are= simulacra`= rather= than= representations`.= a= distinction= which= has=
tremendous= implications= for= members= of= Marketing= and= A&R= departments.= who= are=
mostly responsible for the R&D stage of a musical product.
• Decentering of the subject:= = = Alternatively.= the= consumer= is= never= one= with=
him/herself.= but= always= in= a= process= of= re-collecting= products= that= substitute= for= the=
lost= sense= of= selfhood.= Lacanian= and= Ereudian= psychoanalytic= terminology= will= be=
employed= in= order= to= show= how= the= decentering= of= the= subiect= is= an= essential= pre-
condition for the consumption of musical products.
Insofar= as= postmodernism= goes= hand-in-hand= with= the= notion= of= hyperreality.= we= should=
first of all turn our focus to that direction.
1.2 The Hyperreal Space of the Music Industry
The= purpose= of= this= section= is= to= give= a= general= theoretical= framework= within= which= the=
analysis of the function of promotions techniques and their impact o consumer psychology
embedded= within= a= cultural= space= of= interlocking= procedures.= which= are= interdependent=
and= inextricable.= This= space.= in= which= the= music= industry= is= situated.= is= called= the=
physical= entities= takes= place.= It= was= not= until= the= advent= of= modernity= and= its= maior=
reality.= that= imposes.= under= the= auspices= of= Reason.= an= ordered= movement= in= the=
which= was= termed= by= Kant= as= one= of= the= two= pure= forms= of= sensibility= (the= other= being=
time).= has= long= since=undergone= serious= attacks= by= thinkers= such= as= Hegel.= Schelling.=
Einstein. and more recently the post-modern philosopher Jean Baudrillard. who coined the
term= Hyperreal= Space`= in= an= attempt= to= explain= the=imaginarv= nature= of= space.= The=
Imaginary`.= for= Baudrillard.= is= conceived= not= in= contradistinction= with= reality`.= but= as=
what precedes the very distinction between imagination and reality.
Erom= the= time= of= Plato.= (and= with= slight= conceptual= differences= this= is= also= true= of=
Aristotelian thinking). Imagination=was=conceived=as=the=faculty=of=human=cognition=that=
allows= for= the= production= of= definite= images.= and= the= role= of= production= of= images= was=
the term according to its original signification embedded in the grammatical framework of
ancient Greek language. In this context imagination is translated into Greek as Phantasia`.
which= derives= from= the= verb= phaino`.= initially= denoting= to bring something into
existence= or= to let appear.= Reality.= as=what is given= or=what exists.= is= explicated=
as= imagination= is= responsible= for= bringing= something= into= existence.= and= given= that=
existence= is= equivalent= to= reality.= we= infer= that= imagination= is= the= faculty= of= cognition=
responsible for creating reality. i.e. what is.
of= substructure= to=what is.= = Reality`= is= irreducibly= an= arte-fact.= that= is= a= series= of= facts=
Art= can= thus= be= pictured= as= a= massive= manufacturing= plant.= where= reality= is= produced
through= the= machinery= of= imagination.= And= the= fact= that= art= is= not= iust= about=
entertainment`.= but= has= more= serious`= political= and= social= dimensions= is= attested= by=
different lenses. or create facta-ficta by drawing on the artistic skills of rhetoric. Therefore.
reality is not distinctive from its artistic renditions. but=rather=depends=on=them=for=its=very=
constitution. Reality has always already been hyperreal`.
'The= hyperreal= represents= a= much= more= advanced= phase.= in=
the= sense= that= even= this= contradiction= between= the= real= and=
the imaginary is effaced¨ (Baudrillard 1983.=p.142).=
The Hyperreal points out the fact that reality is a fabricated structure. which has important
implications for marketers because every time marketing managers segment a market. they
However.= given= that= every= kind= of= identifiable= structure= allows= for= modifications= in= its=
we= have= to= retain=an=invisible=side=inside=or=outside=the=artefact.=This=invisible=side=was=
termed= by= theologians= and= philosophers= throughout= millennia.= the= Real`= (starting= with=
realissimum`. and finally the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan who coined the Reel`. as what
does= not= exist= in= language).= Eor= the= purposes= of= this= dissertation= we= accept= this= kind= of=
Real.= as= a= structurally= necessary= excessive= element= that= poses= a= threat= to= the= structure.
the Real` is inaccessible. what we can investigate. modify. or interpret in this dissertation.
with its focus on the music industry in general. and the musical product in particular. is the
Hyperreal`.= that= is=our world.= i.e.= the= multiplicity= of= artefacts.= 'This= also= means= the=
collapse of reality into hyperrealism. in the minute duplication of the real. preferably on
the= basis= of= another= reproductive= medium-= advertising.= photo.etc.¨= (op.cit.p.14.= my=
emphasis).= or.= in= general.= the= promotional= discourses= (reproductive= media)= that= are=
responsible= for= producing= the= cultural= imagery= that= shapes= our= world.= The= constant=
reproduction= also= implies= the= absence= of= any=sense=of=originality`.=as=every=new=factum=
absence of originality` in a cultural artefact means that whatever is produced is alreadv its
double.=that=is=a=reduplication of itself. This cryptic remark simply means that there are no
fixed= properties= inherent= in= a= product.= but= that= its= properties= are= always=interpretativelv
and performativelv mediated by artists. advertisers. individual consumers and the multiple
reference= groups= of= which= they= form= part.= Dance= music= is= a= novel= repetition= of= ritual=
rhythms. and contemporary rock music is a repetition of African beats.
The= primacy= of= repetition`= in= describing= the= essence= of= a= musical= product= also= has=
important implications= for= its= value.= both= psychic= and= monetary.= The= value= of= a= musical=
product= is= not= determined= in= an= a= priori= manner.= but= rather= lies= in= the= perception= of= =
individual= evaluators.= The= theoretical= distinction.= often= used= by= authors= in= the= consumer=
behaviour= literature.= between= the= intrinsic= and= extrinsic= value= of= products= breaks= down.=
Otherwise. how could we explain the outstanding amount of money charged for a piece of
correspond= to= its= original= value.= In= fact.= it= is= highly= doubtful= whether= there= ever= was= an=
original value. On the contrary. it is the central argument of this thesis that the product has
always= been=other= than= what= it= is.= depending= on= the= different= interpretations= and=
evaluations= people= have= been= making= about= it= at= different= points= in= the= hyperreal= space.=
inception. an incessant process of reduplication. while being disseminated in the hyperreal
space and re-interpreted by the cultural mediators that are responsible for its fabrication.
The= various= promotional= media= (such= as= advertising.= air-play.=live-shows.= and= related=
produced fictive facts` by reconstructing them into novel facts`. These facts are similar to
texts= (or.= better.= hypertexts)= in= the= sense= that.= iust= like= the= latter.= they= are= created= by=
drawing= on= certain= artistic=principles.= such= as= the= art= of= composing= a= literary= or= musical=
piece.= Every= meaningful= text.= either= belonging= to= the= realm= of= historiography= or= pop=
culture.= is= nothing= but= a= text= woven= with= mastery= in= a= completely= haphazard.= albeit=
meaningful= manner.= = The=sum= of= these= texts= (text= here= is= used= in= its= original= sense= as=
not= resembling= to= another= space.= but= resembling= only= to= itself.= = It= is= a= self-subsistent.
textual= surface= made= up= of= artistic.= fictive= facts= laden= with= meaning.= This= space=
circumscribes= the= procedure= of= encoding= messages= and= transmitting= them= through=
identifiable= channels= to= the= units= of= consumption= or= the= consumers.= = The= ways= whereby=
these messages are inscribed in the products of the popular music industry. and even more
down.= as= their= production= is= disseminated= in= and= through= various= loci.= including=
the= carriers= of= cultural= significance`= (or= cultural= mediators.= as= Bourdieu.= 1983.= calls
Therefore.= the= music= industry= is= an= abstract= artistic= machine= of= cultural= production.= in=
which= distinctive= classes= of= cultural= mediators= and= an= entire= range= of= promotional=
techniques= are= responsible= for= the= production= and= reproduction= of= musical= products= that=
assume value for groups of consumers.
use.= The= description= of= musical= products.= and= products= produced= in= the= entertainment=
in the dissemination and reduplication of their meaning(s). Promotions techniques=are=the=
vehicles of this communication. and largely responsible for shaping the concept of musical
of= cultural= mediation`= are= responsible= for= the= production= of= cultural= meaning=
communicated in and through this distinctive class of products.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction: What is Popular Music?
Popular= music= is= an= indispensable= part= of= people`s= lives= in= contemporary= post-industrial
societies.= Tagg= (1982.= p.37)= has= estimated= that= the= average= Westerner`s= brain= probably=
spends= around= twenty-five= per= cent= of= its= lifetime= registering.= monitoring= and= decoding=
popular music¨ (cited in Burnett 1996. p.1).
= = = = = = Popular= music= is= not= easy= to= define= due= to= issues= that= arise= once= the= questions= for=
' the sum total of those taste units. social groups and musical genres which coalesce along
certain taste and preference similarities in a given space and time¨. This definition suggests
that= a= particular= musical= trend= is= regarded= as= popular= by= a= given= audience= at= a= given=
spatiotemporal= moment.= This= claim= urges= us= to= dispel= every= consideration= of= a= musical=
style= as= popular= in= absolute= terms.= Even= though= the= term= popular`= (stemming= from= the=
latin= populus`= meaning= the= undifferentiated= mass= of= people)= is= used= to= define= a= mass=
market.= it= is= not= so= obvious= that= an= artist= who= cherishes= commercial= success= is= more=
popular= than= another= who=is=recognized=in=a=small=market=niche.=It=is=my=belief=that=each=
particular= audience= is=incommensurably different= to= another.= which= means= that= an=
contradiction-= between= imposed= and= authentic.= elite= and= common.= predominant= and=
subordinate.= then= and= now.= theirs= and= ours.= and= to= organize= them= in= particular=ways¨
(Middleton= 1990.= p.7.= my= emphasis).= Middleton= rightly= stresses= that= the= term= popular`=
tends= to= impose= a= dividing= line= between= consumer= segments.= Clustered= according= to=
similar psychographic and/or demographic characteristics. act followers gather around=the=
on=its=consumers.=The=consumers=form=distinctive=audiences sharing common preferences.
that= allow= them= to= cluster= under= the= name= of= a= particular= act.= which= is= popular=for= that=
audience.= The= impact= of= that= act= on= its= audience`s= comportment= towards= its= worldly=
generic definition encompassing all these features that form part of the audience-members`
everyday communicative activities among them. as well as with other group-members.
2.2 What is the meaning of a musical product and how is it constructed?
product=cannot=be=determined=in=an=a=priori manner. Its inevitably extrinsic value depends
on= the= image= formed= by= primary.= secondary.= and= tertiary= image-makers.= who.= in= turn.=
determine= the= product-concept.= The=image= of= the= musical= act= functions= as= a=mirror= in=
which=individual=members=that=form=its= audience= reflect= themselves= and.= concomitantly.=
mediators= (press.= radio.= di`s.= influencers.= opinion= leaders)= are= responsible= for= the=
consumption= spectrum.= Then.= consumers= are= responsible= for= inscribing= the= mirrored=
features= in= their= comportment.= and= reflect= them= back= to= the= cultural= mediators.= This=
incessant= process= of= mirroring=allows=the=movement=of=polysemic=dissemination.=i.e.=the=
dispersal of meaning inscribed in the musical product in multiple communicative contexts.
to= take= place= within= the= all-encompassing=hyperreal=cultural=space.=The=following=graph=
summarizes the process of the musical product`s image-making=or=product=concept:
Primary image- ==============================Secondary=
Product= concept= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= The= meaning= cultural= mediators= give= to= the= product= is= identical= with= the= promotional=
message.= which= is= defined= as= 'the= complex= of= significations=which= at= once= represents.=
advocates= and= anticipates= the= circulating= entity= or= entities= to= which= it= refers¨= (Wernick=
M. Ritson= &= R.= Elliott= have= termed= this= process=co-creation of meaning.=which=denotes=
that='the=reader=connects=the=meanings=derived from a text with their own experiences
and= repertoires= in= the= co-creative=act.=Not=all=the=meanings=derived=from=a=text=come=
directly= from= its= intended= sources.= many= stem= from= the= individual= connecting= and=
constructions of reality¨ (1995. p.1049).
simulacrum`).= Consumers.= in= the= process= of= mirroring= themselves= in= the= image= of= the=
artist.= are= mirrored= in= the= process= of= the= manufacture= of= culture.=Essentially. they 'live
always= already= in= an= aesthetic= hallucination= of= reality¨= (Baudrillard= 1983.= p.148).= The=
notion= of= hallucination`= does= not= presuppose.= in= this= context.= a= real= meaning= that= is=
Given= its= artificial= nature.= it= can= easily= be= re-placed= in= the= movement= of= re-doubling=(cf.=
Introduction).= and= enter= a= new= traiectory= (with= unexpected= behavioural= effects)= in= the=
communicative circulation of signifiers among=consumers=clustering=under=the=name=of=a=
particular act. What do I mean by that?
Simply. the following:
Encoding (Promotions people-=primary=image==========================Decoding=(Consumers)
======Press=people- secondary image)
The= above-used= notion= of= traiectory`= implies= that= this= model=takes=place=in=a=spiralling=
one= time= is= disseminated= from= the= PP= to= the= consumers= and= at= another= time= the= process=
works= vice= versa.= This= circulation= is= enabled= by=the= iconic`= dimension= of= the= musical=
' The icons have a power or magic stemming from the supernatural beings they are
supposed= to= represent.= They= do= indeed= resemble= their= obiects.= but= it= is= a= magical= or=
metaphysical= resemblance.= an= association= and= a= fixing= of= the= obiect`s= properties= in= a=
(Bradley 1991. p.25)
the type of promotions used for marketing a product and the feeling=the=consumer=gets=out=
of= associating= the= additional= features= (extra-value)= surrounding= the= product= of=
the= obiect= signified¨= (Barthes= 1990.= p.216).= And= as= always.= there= is= a= gap= between= the=
copy and the original. It is this gap 'iconic experiences encourage us subconsciously to fill
phrase= has= been= slightly= amended).= The= hierarchy= in= which= these= associations= between=
promotional= technique= and= added= value= are= stratified= will= be= explored= in= the= context= of=
The= relationship= between= extra-value`= and= promotional= techniques= is= most= strikingly=
manifested= in= the= memorabilia-collector`s=life-style.= This= person= structures= a= significant=
reinforcing the sense of belongingness. or the fundamental ontological need of being-with.
The= collector.= essentially.= is= never= alone.= S/he= is= always= accompanied= by= the= aesthetic=
phantasm of a generalized Other that is present in virtue of possessing an icon` (iust like a
die-hard= fan= of= Jimi= Hendrix= who= was= reported= to= believe= he= was= in= touch= with= the=
deceased= artist.= in= virtue= of= being= in= possession= of= his= scarf).= 'Icons= are= also= cultural=
ciphers.= They= help= us= to= de-cipher.= or= unlock.= the= mystery= of= our= attitudes= and=
assumptions.people=who=believe=in=them=also=operate=on=an emotional level-=the=level=of=
love and reverence¨ (Eishwick et al 1970. p.86).
2.3 The Icon of the Other as central to the concept of the musical product
= The= concept= of= Other`= is= central= to= the= Lacanian= psychoanalytic= oeuvre.= as= well= as=
operative= in= the= analytical= framework= of= this= thesis.= Eor= Lacan.= the= Other= can= only= be= =
referred= to= in= an= oblique= manner.= thus= precluding= any= direct= referential= relationship.= Eor=
explanatory= purposes.= we= could= say= that= the= Other= is=radical alterity.= irreparably=
separated= from= the= ego.= like= the= separation= that= takes= place= at= the= moment= of= birth.= The=
function=of=a=cultural=icon=is=to=provide=a=simulacrum=of=the=origin=(the=maternal lieu)= to=
which= the= consumer= cannot= return.= save= only= feel= like`= what= it= is= to= return= in=
dissimulation`. that is self-deception.=This=is=why=the=fetish`=is=described=by=Lacan=as=the=
petit= autre`= (obiet petit a
communicating among group-members a fundamental lack. which is the lack of the origin.
gap.= which= is= of= central= value= in= constantly= rekindling= the= desire= to= consume.= is= never=
closed=is=that=its=closure=would=amount=to=a dissolution of the ego. as it would become one
with its Other. 'The self`s only model for self-conception has been that of the idea of itself
as= what= it= allows= the= ego=to=approximate=is=its=ideal=image.=rather=than=the=Other.=which=
constitutes its essence` as gap.
The gap` is also the reason why the icon is an obiect of uncritical devotion. The processes
whereby devotees demonstrate psychic attachment to the icon have been called by Belk et
various fashions and in different degrees of ontological intensity¨ (1989. p.13). Collecting.
being=one=of=these=processes.=is=of=maior=significance in maintaining one`s self-concept= or=
conducted= with= collectors= who= had= lost= their= valued= obiects.= 'Such= an= occasion= is=
disturbing=because=it=destroys=the=possibility of eternal life for possessions that are closely
connected with the self¨ (op.cit.. p.30).
place.=All=the=obiects=have=some=relationship=to=separation. The breath. the voice. a song. all of these
things can be objects of desire. Evan a glance can be an objet-petit-a`¨.=(Sarup=1992.=p.69.=my=
= Although= Belk= stresses= that= 'advertising= has= the= potential= to= trivialize= the= sacred= by= its=
The= process= of= promotions= is= responsible= for= investing= the= musical= product= with= a=
Mick= 1986.= p.206.= also= cf.= Elliott= 1997.= p.285)= and=maintaining= its= iconic= status=
2.4 The Semiotic perspective on the Icon
Having.= thus= far.= hinted= at= how= musical= products= function= as= cultural= icons.= we=
shall= turn= to= analyse= the= effects= of= the= icon= on= consumers= of= musical= products= on= the
grounds= of= R.Barthes`= semiotic= system.= and= Ereud`s= and= Lacan`s= psychoanalytic=
Eor= Barthes.= Signifiance= arises= when= the= text= is= read= (or= written)= as= a= moving= play= of=
the= subiect= is= deconstructed= (lost).= overwhelmed= by= the= pleasures= of= iouissance.=
Signifiance= should= not= be= confused= with= signification.= Signification= presupposes= a=
that= are= drawn= between= the= signifier=and=the=deposit=of=signifieds=it=connotes=are=enabled=
by consumers` partaking of a common cultural predicament (more light will be shed to this
predicament`= when= interpretive= repertoires= and= their= value= in= creating= world-sense= for=
consumers is discussed). Therefore. in signifiance the signifieds are constantly transformed
This= connotative= relationship= between= signifier= and= signified= establishes= the= hyperreal=
framework=of=the=music=industry.='While=signification=covers=all=the=processes= related= to=
voluptuousness of its sound signifiers¨ (Middleton 1990. p.261-).=Eor=most=of=the=part=the=
language is everyday language- cliched. trite. familiar-=though=it=may=be=reassembled=into=
new= combinations.= 'The= point= is= to= defamiliarize= the= familiar`.= to= invest= the= banal= with=
affective= force= and= kinetic= grace.= to= draw= out= of= the= concrete= world= of= denotation= some=
plain= talk= dance¨= (idem..= p.229).= Middleton`s= point= echoes= Adorno`s= remark= that= 'The=
dissemination of the signifier or its redoubling. is called by Baudrillard passive magic`. i.e.
'the= interest= in= the= travelling= of= pure= images= |and= sounds|-= a= sort= of= fascination¨=
(Baudrillard= 1993.= p.167).= So.= when= we= are= dealing= with= sound= signifiers.= as= Middleton=
calls= them.= the= traditional= models= of= consumer= psychology= that= prioritize= the= level= of=
affection before awareness=become=defunct.=And=this=occurs=because=no=continuity=can=be=
signifier= has= no= original.= therefore= it= cannot= be= comprehended= as= fulfilling= a= particular=
relationship between signifier and signified. i.e. a correspondence relationship of=word=and=
semiotic= function= of= metonymy= in= which= the= part= is= related= to= the= whole= through=
contiguity. The aural signifier. which as Hirschman argues lies in another order than verbal
cues. provisionally turns into the signified through contiguity. i.e. a rhythm expressing the
enter the repetitive process of signifiance. 'In signification. signifieds are continually being
formed as signifiers. The signified becomes a signifier on the level of connotation
= Traditional= approaches= draw= on= the= psychological= paradigm= of= behaviourism.= 'which=
seeks= to= explain= complex= social= behaviour= in= terms= of= select= salient= variables.= Eor= tacit=
knowledge.= consumer= symbolism.= and= consumer= life= meaning.= such= approaches= are=
insufficient at best¨ (Mick 1986. p.207).
= '...consumer= satisfaction= is= an= indexical= sign= in= marketing= theory= that= some= desire= has=
been= fulfilled¨= (Mick= 1986.= p.199).= In= the= case= of= musical= products= no= such= ready-made
typology that links definite needs to definite obiects of satisfaction can be discerned. given
the= incessant= lack`= of= the=obiect= (oblique= reference= to= the= Other.= hence= the= Italics)= as=
of= satisfaction= musical= products= confer= on= their= purchasers= and= users= we= have= to= dig=
deeper. at the primary level of affection (Many authors. like Belk and Hirshman have tried
to show how this primary affect is evinced at a bodily level).
= Certain= promotional= techniques.= such= as= the= live= show.= employed= in= the= music= industry=
an enchanted mirror through which the most publicised celebrities leap off the celluloid. or
out= of= the= record= track.= into= direct= sensory= range¨= (Wernick= 1996.= p.115).= This= is= the=
process= of= the= promotional= text/artifice= becoming= real.= or= emerging= in= a= site= of= the=
recorded= live= are= novel= renditions= of= the= recorded= songs.= without= original|.= and= the=
producer= and= consumer= stand= in= an= equal= relation= to= the= product¨= (Pattison= 1987.= p.135.=
extend= ad= infinitum.= but= is= always= bound= up= with= definite= modes-of-Being.= to= use= a=
Heideggerian= term.= or= life-styles.= These= life-styles.= and= the= stereotypes= on= which= they=
impinge.= are= in= turn= mirrorings= of= a= certain= social= structure.= However.= the= mirroring=
implies a dynamic process of mutual change. i.e the social structure being modified by the
'A connoted system` is one whose plane of expression is itself constituted by a signifying system¨
|and promotional techniques in general| build their myriad product images are drawn from
constantly= re-articulated= and= re-worked= in= the= symbolic= universe= of= promotion= itself¨=
(Wernick 1996. p.93). Promotion techniques offer models of and for reality.
Therefore.= the= music= industry= is= not= segregated= from= other= parts= of= individuals`=
daily lives but plays an important part in shaping beliefs. attitudes=and=aspirations.=It=is=not=
agencies of socialization |and sacralization|. mediators of political reality. and should thus
be= seen= as= maior= institutions= of= contemporary= societies= with= a= variety= of= economic.=
political. cultural and social effects¨ (Kellner 1995. p.25). But how is this political reality`
2.5 The Imaginary. The Symbolic and the Real: How the three Lacanian Orders can
help us understand Consumer Psychology.
Lacan is laden with maior difficulties. mainly due to their unclear exposition in the original
texts.= At= this= point.= we= shall= venture= into= clarifying= their= role= and= significance= in=
understanding consumer psychology.
it= direction.¨= (Madan= Sarup.= Jacques= Lacan.= Harvester= 1992.= p.105).= 'The= Imaginary=
grows from the infant`s experience of its specular ego`. It arises with the mirror phase but
extends=far=into=the=adult individual`s experience of others and of the external world.¨
(idem. p.101. my emphasis). 'The concept of the mirror phase=draws=our=attention=to=the=
interdependency of image. identity and identification¨= (idem..= p.102.=my emphasis).
The= Imaginary= is= of= extreme= importance= in= understanding= consumer= psychology= as= it= is=
primarily= responsible= for= consumers`= shaping= with= ego-ideals= by= identifying.= with= the=
specular images of artists. 'Eor Lacan the ideal ego is an essentially narcissistic formation.
originating in the mirror phase and belonging to the Imaginary¨ . (idem. p.103).
the= world= and= creates= meaning= for= those= who= adhere= to= its=commands.=This=order=is=the=
sum of 'various codes that situate our behavioural utterances. rendering them meaningful¨
(The Symbolic Order. p.121). 'Symbolism can be analysed semiotically by examination of
an=infinite=regress=as=one=sign=leads=to=another=without there ever being anything real`
outside the system.=To=complicate=matters=further.=symbolic interpretation is essentially
unconscious= level= (Sperber= 1975)¨= (in= R.Elliott.= Existential= Consumption= &= Irrational=
Desire.= p.286.= my= emphases).The= way= it= complements= the= Imaginary= is= by= procuring= a=
chain of identifiable signifiers able=to=impose=a=scenario=on=the=act=of=reflecting=oneself=in=
favourite= artist= on= stage.= for= example.= Williamson= offers= a= lucid= account= of= the=
disseminated= through= advertisements.= Insofar= as= advertising= is= one= of= the= primary=
promotional means whereby the image of musical products is communicated to audiences.
it= is= useful= to= cite= her= arguments= at= a= considerable= length:= 'Ads= set= up.= in= your= active=
relationship= towards= them.= the= fictional= creation= of= an= impossibly= unified= self:= an= Ego-
Ideal. But this merging with an obiectified image of yourself is impossible: the desire for
it= is=simply= a= channelling= of= the= desire= for= the= pre-Symbolic.= Imaginary= Ideal-Ego.
for= the= impossible¨
.= Thus.= the= image= of= the= Other= on= whom= the= gaze= befalls= becomes=
ideal-selves.= from= the= image= of= the= successful= business-man= to= the= raving= dancer.= These=
responsibility etc. This is how the Symbolic is inscribed on the Imaginary and vice versa.
became= apparent= in= the= introduction= that= the= Real= is= not= tautologous= with= reality= or= the=
order to accommodate it within the referential framework of Reason. that is by saying it is
placing= it= in= the= realm= of= the= unconscious.= accessible= only= through= irrational= means= of=
expression.= more= poetic= than= logically= formulated.= Music= has= been= more= often= than= not=
identified= with= irrational= part= of= the= brain.= that= does= not= obey= the= dictates= of= rational=
that= it= was= not=rationally=calculated`.=but=rather=spontaneous.=emerging=in=the=process=of=
iamming= together= and= trying= to= develop= a= sound.= The= last= artist= to= give= this= answer= was=
Tom= = (guitar-player=of=Gomez.=a=rock=act=run=by=Virgin=Records.=interview=conducted=in=
April 1998 at the Roadhouse in Manchester). This empirically verified assumption suffices
to= corroborate= the= remark= that= 'The= Lacanian= concept= of= the= Real= harks= back= to= the=
Ereudian= id;= it= is= associated= with= the= sudden.= the= disconcerting= and= the= unpredictable¨
show= that= the= process= of= image-making= is= a= dialectic= between= consciousness= and= the=
unconscious. Isn`t this. in fact. the whole rationale that shapes the ways the music industry
functions. that is in an unpredictable. opportunistic. indeed unconscious` manner?
To= recapitulate.= the= order= of= the= Imaginary= is= primarily= responsible= for= motivating= the=
dialectic= of= recognition= through= which= the= consumer= is= urged= to= identify= with= his/her=
specular= image.= either= in= a= mirror-reflection= or= in= the= proiection= on= the= artist.= The=
imaginary and real) symbols also have an inherent tendency to move beyond the realms of
recognition= and= conscious= agreement.= Unconscious.= they= become= powerful= systems= that=
transcend.= pre-date= and= pre-order=those=humans=who=now=can=be=seen=less=as=the=makers=
of the symbol than its servants. less users of symbols than themselves mere instruments for
perpetuating= the= existence= of= symbols¨= (The= Symbolic= Order.= p.124).= This= passage=
illustrate= how= consumers= perpetuate= a= given= cultural= order.= alongside= the= means=
responsible= for= the= manufacture= of= culture.= i.e.= the= promotions= techniques.= In= the= post-
industrial.= post-modern= era= where= information= technology= has= taken= over= traditional=
cultural images. Within this general productive trend. the musical product is defined by the
same= features= that= make= up= the= hyperreal= character= of= the= products= of= the= entertainment=
industry (films. fashion. etc.) Let us gaze` at these features in the ensuing sections.
2.6 FETISH-TABOO-SIMULACRUM: THE TRIADIC DEFINITION OF THE
2.6.1 What is a Fetish and how does it help us understand the way consumers of
musical products invest it with value?
'The Eetish has an ordering power derived from its status as the fixation or inscription of a
unique originating event that has brought together previously heterogeneous elements into
fetish|= is= to= do.= to= make= (faire).= the= sense= of= to= imitate= by= signs`¨= (J.Baudrillard.= Eor= a=
Critique= of= the= Political= Economy= of= the= Sign.= Telos= Press= 1981.= p.91).= 'What= is=
substituted= for= the= sexual= obiect= is= some= part= of= the= body= (such= as= the= foot= or= the= hair)=
which= is= in= general= very= inappropriate= = for= sexual= purposes.= or=some inanimate object
that= person`s= sexuality.= Such= substitutes= are= with= some= iustice=linked= to= the= fetishes= in=
which= savages= believe= that= their= gods= are= embodied¨.= (Sigmund= Ereud.= Three= Essays= on=
Sexuality.= in= Peter= Gay.= The= Essential= Ereud= Reader.= p.249.= my= highlighting).= 'In= other=
cases=the=replacement=of=the=obiect=by=a=fetish=is=determined by a symbolic connection
of thought.= of= which= the= person= concerned= is= usually= not= conscious.= It= is= not= always=
possible= to= trace= the= course= of= these= connections= with= certainty¨= (idem.= p.250.= my=
The Eetish is primarily an obiect invested with libidinal energy. Hence. it is often viewed as
an= eroticized= obiect.= because= it= performs= a= function= that= accords= with= the= pleasure=
by the reality principle. or the commands of a given culture. The event` is singular. as well
as located in the realm of the primary process. or the unobstructed flow of libidinal energy.
Therefore.= it= takes= place= in= the= unconscious.= and= cannot= be= accessed= as= such= (i.e.= as= an=
event).= save= only= through= the= discursive= transformations= responsible= for= its= imagistic=
between= consciousness= and= the= unconscious.= and= are= responsible= for= imposing= an=
presented= to= the= analysand= in= the= form= of= a= reconstruction= of= the= event`.= therefore= it= is=
always= already= dependent= on= the= interpretative= capacity= of= the= analyst= or=sculptor= of=
a= large= extent= dependent= on= the= analyst`s= perception= of= the= event.= It= is= in= essence= an=
work=to=the=fetish`=can=be=rendered=intelligible if we think how these two texts function in
parallel= ways.= Just= like= the= interpretation= of= a= dream= is= the= result= of= condensation= and=
loops= (we= can= figure= their= succession= either= way).= so= the= fetish= is= a= pastiche= of=
ephemeral= character= of= the= fetish.= its= identity`= being= constituted= purely= by= chance.=
therefore= unreservedly= amenable= to= mutations= that= may= confer= radical= alterations= to= its=
The= musical= product= can= be= thought= of= in= the= same= terms.= An= artist`s= profile.= that= is= the
elements= that= make= up= his/her= identity.= changes= constantly= as= the= effect= of= promotional=
strategies= that= aim= at= targeting= the= artist= to= particular= audiences.= Witness= the= case= of=
Madonna.= Her= profile= has= changed= radically= over= the= years.= while= accommodating
divergent= elements= under= the= same= name.= Madonna`s= image= shifted= from= the=
Ray= of= Light`= (1998).= Madonna`s= profile= is= the= outcome= of= different= promotional=
discourses= that= reconfigure= the= event`= by= bringing= together= heterogeneous= elements.=
either in the form of text or photographic and music materials. 'The stockpiled commodity
they=produce- an imaged name-=represents=a=banked=and=transferable=store=of=promotional=
capital.= As= such.= its= results= are= detachable= from= the= practices= and= products= in= whose=
the= artist= is= a= simulacrum.= the= meaning= of= which= will= be= analysed= in= due= course.= that
sustains all the elements that feed in its dark continent. The fetish. then. is like a sculpture.
on= which= heterogeneous= elements= are= constantly= inscribed.= Madonna= is= a= product= on=
which this inscription assumes an ideographic character. Essentially. she resembles a wax-
subiective= communication.= either= in= the= form= of= gestural=imitation.=apparel.=whistling=of=
signifiers= in= order= to= approximate= the=primary=signifier.=the=repression=of=which=allowed=
the= function= of= the= taboo.= the= forbidden= that= cannot= be= accessed= save= only= through= the=
dissimulating= behaviour= that= replicates= the= process= of= primary= repression.= whence= stems=
the oblivion of the demand` laid upon consciousness from the unconscious.
2.6.2 What is the Taboo and how does it help us understand the way whereby
consumers of musical products gain access to their unconscious wish-fulfilment?
'Taboo= is= a= Polynesian= word.= The= meaning= of= taboo.= as= we= see= it.= diverges= in= two=
contrary= directions.= To= us= it= means.= on= the= one=hand.=sacred`.=consecrated`.=and=on=the=
which= means= common`= or= generally= accessible`.= Thus= taboo`= has= about= it= a= sense= of=
something=unapproachable.=and=it=is=principally expressed in prohibitions and restrictions¨
One= of= the= functions= of= the= taboo= is= to= 'guard= the= chief= acts= of= life-= birth.= initiation.=
marriage and sexual functions. etc.. against interference¨ (idem.. p.19). What Ereud means
by against inteference` is the preclusion of any activity that might deviate from the normal
taboo= in= controlling= the= behaviour= of= its= subiects.= is= met= with= punishment.= The= ultimate=
taboos= is= consciousness= or= the= ego.= The= transgression= of= its= boundaries= amounts= to= the=
dissolution of the notion of selfhood. and concomitantly the lapsing into the dark continent
of= the= unconscious.= The= ego= is= a= taboo= for= the= simple= reason= that= it= guards= against= the=
ultimate= transgression.= which= is= the= defiance= of= primary= repression.= this= function= being=
responsible= for= entering= the= symbolic= order= of= language.= In= so= far= as= Lacan= posits= the=
order of language. that is the chain of interlocking cultural signifiers. it assumes the role of
described as uncaniness`. that is the fright that arises as soon as the obiect` (or the event)
that= is= the= obiect= of= primary= repression= is= gazed= in= its= nudity= (i.e.= unveiled.= with= no=
fetishistic= images= to= make= up= for= its= absence).= The= primary= signifier= or= the= Phallus= was=
subiectivity= that= originally= takes= place= at= the= moment= it= enters=the= symbolic= order= of=
language.= i.e.= the= order= of= cultural= signifiers.= Any= further= attempt= to= identify= itself= with=
these signifiers or dislocate itself from them. is translated into an attempt to recuperate the
obiect`= that= was= lost= at= the= event= of= the= splitting.=and=at=the=same=time=as=the=inevitable=
that= have= been= displaced= from= the= realm= of= the= event= (or= the= realm= of= the=Reel)= into= the=
order= of= language.= are= responsible=for=the=maintenance=of=the=prohibitive=function=of=the=
or the signifiers that fetishistically make up the image of the artist. its name. 'Normally the
system= of= which= it= is= a= part
= and= so= expose= it= to= empirical= scrutiny= and= proof.= What= is=
being bought is not the whole bridge but a small part of it¨ (McCracken. p.112). Madonna
is a phallic woman. in so far as she upholds the primary taboo of the phallus. The disparate
constitutive= elements= of= her= image.= that= is= the= aesthetic= features= of= the= musical= product=
pieces= of= dismembered= Osiris= awaiting= to= be= recovered= at= the= point= where= the= mutating=
possibilities= of= the= hyperreal= pastiche.= figuratively= called= Madonna.= will= have= been=
exhausted (the impossible possibility par excellence). Therefore. each particular signifier is
prohibits inasmuch as it reveals the obiect` or the event` of prohibition. an obiect that has
always=been= absent= from= the= order= of= language.= and.= indeed.= allowed= this= order= to= be=
constituted as such by virtue of its absence. This absence is the main reason why the image
a= one-to-one.= symmetrical= relationship= might= hold= between= them).= but= rather= it= is= an=
promise=such=a=compelling=reflection=of=reality=that.=in=their=presence.=it= is= easy= to= forget=
Burke`s= warning= that= all= signs= also= entail= and= undeniable= deflection= of= reality¨= (Kent=
Grayson. The Icons of Consumer Research. p.15).
2.6.3 What is the simulacrum and how does it help us understand how musical
products as simulacra impact on consumer psychology?
'The simulacrum possesses no identity. since it is difference in itself and it only appears by
disguising= itself.= The= intensity.= the= potential= energy= of= metastable= states.= the= force= of=
difference. and reveals itself in the disiunctive use of the faculties as implicated difference.
difference-in-itself.= and= difference= from= itself.= In= both= cases.= it= discloses= itself= as= a=
simulacrum¨ (Ronald Borgue. Deleuze & Guattari. Routledge 1989. p.60).
The= notion= of= simulacrum= dates= back= to= Platonic= idealism.= 'Plato= distinguishes= between=
the= idea= and= its= physical= embodiment.= between= the= model= and= the= copy.= but= he= also=
a fleeting inscription. a bad copy of the original ideas of the Good and the Beautiful. What
images are copies of is the eternal realm of immobile Ideas. On the contrary. for Ereud and
signifiers in a process of displacement and condensation. Therefore.=the=concept=of=eikon
or= image`= becomes= redundant.= and= what= we= are= left= with= is= fleeting= phantasms`.=
The musical product is a simulacrum so long as its identity=is=not=constituted=as=a=result=of=
its= being= a= good= copy= of= an= Idea.= but= rather= as= the= temporary= fixation= of= the= flow= of= the=
unconscious.= This= flow= is= equivalent= to= what= was= termed= in= the= introduction= to= this=
dissertation=as=the=Real`.=and=it=is=its=inaccessibility that is masked by the simulacrum. Or.
reality whatsoever. It is the simulacrum of itself¨ (J. Baudrillard. Simulation et Simulacres.
about a distinction between essence and appearance. model and copy. 'It is not a degraded
terms= of= a= causal= nexus.= but= rather= in= terms= of= a= process= of= signification`=(processus de
a process of un-masking or. behind every mask. another=one.¨=(idem.=p.304).=
To= recapitulate.= the= simulacrum= is= different= than= the= image.= and= indeed= prior= to= and=
responsible for its formation for the following reasons:
Eirst. contrary to the image. it does not presuppose an obiect external to itself that causally
in= a= shot.= but= a= sign= or= trace= of= itself.= It= is= self-produced= and= self-subsistent.= It= alters=
constantly in itself. allowing for new signs to emerge in the process of the signifying chain.
which emerges as a result of its production.
Second.= it= does= not= perform= a= representative= function.= but= rather= conceals= a= radical=
absence.= which= is= that= of= the= Real.= or= the= primary= process= that= takes= place= in= the=
the= scenario= that= translates= the= coming-together= of= heterogeneous= elements= into= the=
The= musical= product= as= simulacrum= is= precisely= this= pastiche= of= heterogeneous=elements=
that= produces= and= at= the= same= time= differs= from= itself.= Its= place= in= the= realm= of= the=
Hyperreal is demarcated in terms of its capacity to give an aural and visual rendition of the
primary= process= of= the= unconscious= libidinal= flow.= thus=setting= the= stage= on= which= the=
affected= by= the= mutations= that= take= place= in= the= structure.= Consumers.= as= phantasmatic=
subiects= made= up= by= a= multiplicity= of= the= audiovisual= renditions= of= the= event.= are= not=
distanced from the signifying process that alters the fabric of the simulacrum. By inserting
discourse.= that= is= responsible= for= translating= the= primary= process= into= identifiable= and=
communicable signs.=Consumer-identity is embedded in and shaped by the hyperreal space
that= infinitely= produces= and= alters= the= simulacra= that= are= part= and= parcel= of= the= music=
2.6.4 Conclusion to the triadic definition of the musical product
Musical=products=do=not exist without consumers and vice versa. This simplistic statement
points= to= the= not-so-simply=discernible=remark=that=they=are=both=embedded=within=an=all-
embracing= sphere.= that= of= hyperreality= and= simulacra.= Both= subiects= and= obiects= are= the=
effects of an abstract productive machine (the bodv without organs. as Deleuze & Guattari
put= it)= that= generates= simulacra.= This= generation= is= of= a= discursive= order.= that= is= of= the=
order= of= aural.= verbal= and= visual= language= that= is= created= by= different= promotional=
discourses= aiming= to= infuse= cultural= signifiers= into= the= market.= emblems= of= everyday-life
and= perspectival= renditions= of= the= absent= event= of= the= splitting= of= subiects.= The= musical=
for= the= functions= it= performs= in= the= context= of= the= subiects`= attempt= to= recuperate= the=
event.= to= reach= the= originary= point= of= their= entry= or= birth= in= the= order= of= discourse= as= a=
circular=closure=of=each=particular=individual`s=odyssey.=The=desire= to= close= the= circle= by=
subscribing= to= distinctive= parts= of= the= signifying= chain= is= always= met= with= its= constant=
failure= and= renewal.= Or.= as= McCracken= puts= it= on= a= more= intuitive= level.= 'When= goods=
serve= as= bridges= to= displaced= meaning= they= help= perpetually= to= enlarge= the= individual`s=
tastes= and= preferences= and= prevent= the= attainment= of= a= sufficiency= of= goods¨=
(G.McCracken. Culture and Consumption: New Approaches to the Symbolic Character of
Consumer= Goods= and= Activities.= Indiana= University= Press= 1988.= p.105).= Therefore.= the=
consumption= of= musical= products= is= hedonic.= as= it= accords= with= the= subiects`= pleasure-
ecstatic= feeling= that= is= generated= in= certain= moments= of= the= consumption= of= musical=
products. and in particular in activities that emerge as effects of promotional activities. like
the participation in live-shows.=The=stage-setting guarantees a religious experience. which
in= what= respects= the= consumption= of= musical= products= is= hedonic.= as= well= as= in= what=
respects it is ritualistic.
2.7.1 Hedonic consumption Pt.I: Is pleasure-seeking the driving force behind the
consumption of musical products?
Let= us= begin= by= procuring= a= definition= of= Hedonic= Consumption`.= 'It= explores= the=
consumption= experience= not= as= an= information= processing= event= but= via= a=
phenomenological= or= experiential= view= defined= as= a= primarily= subiective= state= of=
consciousness with a variety of symbolic meaning . hedonic meaning and aesthetic criteria`
= Before= proceeding= to= analyse= how= hedonic= consumption= might= help= us= to= understand=
tautologous.=given=that=consciousness=is=either=used interchangeably with subiectivity. but
fails to account for the phenomenon of pleasure-seeking. and even beyond that. Above we
dealt= with= the= notion= of= taboo`.= and= attempted= to= examine= its= relevance= to= musical=
products.= In= that= section= emphasis= was= given= to= the= phenomenon= of= the= splitting= of=
subiectivity.= as= the= necessary= precondition= for= entering= the= symbolic= order= of= language.=
The event of the split does not simply generate pleasure`. but rather a mixture of pleasure
and pain. what was termed by bearing on Lacanian terminology Jouissance`. Jouissance is
a mood that transcends ioy. It is sometimes described as pain in pleasure and accompanies
ecstatic= experiences.= The= consumption= of= musical= products.= i.e.= products= invested= with=
sacred value. as Belk stresses.=is=to=a=great=extent=ecstatic.=i.e=it=urges=the=consumer=to=exit=
(Eishwick 1990. p.94).
that= are= part= and= parcel= of= the= music= industry= are= not= merely= responsive= to= stimuli= that=
constitute= the= outcome= of= rationalised= marketing= processes.= They= bear= the= burden= of=
articulating`= the= message= by= recreating= it= in= their= imagination= according= to= not= always=
specific needs and desires. A more common word for iouissance is fun` (although it does
not capture fully its semantic depth). Simon Erith has concluded that after all else has been
has= to= do= with= sensuality.= grace.= ioy.= energy.= vigour.= exhilaration¨= (Erith= 1978.= p.= 206).=
Jouissance is an experiential state that precedes the formation of subiectivity or overcomes
its= boundaries.= Therefore.= hedonic= consumption.= or= iouissance= consumption`.= properly=
that=align=with=a=pre-existing self-concept.=at=least=not=necessarily.=The=angle from which
we= wish= to= approach= hedonic= consumption= as= responsible= for= sheding= light= to= the=
consumptive= phenomenon= of= musical= products= prioritizes= a= less= subiective= view-point.
elements of the product becomes eminent. We shall return to this point in due course.
symbolic= meaning`= is= not= clear= how= it= actually= operates.= In= what= respects= are= musical=
products= symbols.= and= what= do= we= mean= by= symbols= in= the= first= place?= If= symbols`= are=
second= order.= In= order= to= illustrate= this= point= we= shall= refer= for= once= more= to= the=
promotional= technique= of= the= live-show.= People= who= attend=live-shows= do= not= primarily=
an= escapist= fusion= in= the= magical= (hyperreal)= world= of= entertainment.= This= is= why=
in numerous live-shows=so=far.=I`ve=gathered=that=the=attendance=is=an=ecstatic=experience.=
based solely on the pleasure of the spectacle.
Let= us= now= review= Hirschman`s= points= and= discuss= their= relevance= to= the= issue= at= hand.=
Eirst= and= foremost.= what= is= successfully= called= fantasy-fulfilment`= is= at= the= explanatory=
core of hedonic consumption. 'Eantasy fulfilment purchasing is the=use=of=products=to=help=
Hyperreal. imagination and reality co-mingle.=and=in=fact=the=former=is=responsible=for=the=
creation= of= the= latter.= as= Baudrillard= stressed= (cf.= Introduction= for= reference).= Hedonic=
consumption= is= motivated= by= the= drive= for= maximising= pleasure.= that= is= for= proliferating=
one`s= adherence= to= visual= and= aural= renditions= of= the= absent= signifier.= in= short= for= the=
enrichment=of=one`s=fantasy-world (The= role= of= imagination= in= shaping= the= Order= of= the=
Imaginary that precedes the Symbolic Order in Lacan`s system. will be dealt with shortly).
Hirschman= also= stresses= that= escapism`= is= a= tendency= that= is= generated= from= the= wish= to=
avoid unpleasant events and circumstances. Even though no further mention of what those
structures that help us ascribe certain general interpretive categories to observed instances.
Hence.= un-pleasure= is= = not= the= result= of= a= one-to-one= causal= relationship= between=
circumstance= and= reason= for= buying= a= record= or= attending= a= live-show.= but= rather= the=
outcome= of= the= failed= attempt= to= recuperate= the= primary= signifier.= the= Phallus.= that= is=
the= record`s= layout= or= the= sound= /vision= whole= of= a= live-show= the= more= the= consumer`s=
attention= is= decentralized.= that= is= focused= on= a= multiplicity= of= diverse=aesthetic=elements.=
This= results= in= the= following= paradox= that= lies= in= the= heart= of= hedonic= consumption:= The=
alternatives= hovers= over= every= experience.= In= so= far= as= the= aesthetic= elements= are= loaded=
with= meaning= in= the= context= of= a= general= cultural= sphere= that= circumscribes= pleasure-
seeking= activities.= it= becomes= evident= that= culture= is= also= the= generator= of= unpleasure.=
products=is=laden=with=both=pleasure and displeasure. that is iouissance. The image reveals
as= much= (and= even= less)= as= it= conceals.= This= is= why= musical= products= are= revelatory`= in=
nature. as they provide a glimpse of the inapparent side of the simulacrum. and at the same
time=force=consumers more deeply into oblivion. as the outcome of the loss of the primary
signifier. whence stems displeasure.
The= final= point= I= wish= to= stress= with= regard= to= hedonic= consumption= concerns= Lacher`s=
partial= treatment= of= the= musical= product= as= music`.= This= means= that= she= disregards= the=
equally important aspects of the product. i.e. packaging. label-reputation.=artist=biography.=
that are inextricable determinants of the style of music at hand. Her concentration on what
she= calls= personality= traits`= imposes=an= ego-centred= viewpoint= on= the= examination= of=
hedonic= consumption.= thus= paying= insufficient= attention= to= the= group-effects= on=
into= consideration= how= participation= in= a= group= of= an= act`s= followers= is= responsible= for=
we= shall= take= in= analysing= how= particular= promotions= techniques= are= responsible= for=
creating= the= product-concept= and= how= consumers= inscribe= and= alter= this= concept= in= their=
inter-subiective communicative exchanges.
2.7.2 Hedonic Consumption Pt.II: Consumption as the pleasure of ritualistic fusion.
We= have= already= stressed= the= importance= of= shifting= our= focus=from= an= ego-centric
of= communicative= exchanges.= that= is= in= the= circulation= of= legitimate= signifiers= in= the=
traiectory=of=intra-group discourse. 'People look to specific musics as symbolic anchors in
regions.= as= signs= of= community.= belonging.= and= a= shared= past¨
= (John= Street.=
(Dis)Located?= Rhetoric.= Politics.= Meaning= and= Locality.= in= Popular= Music=-= Style= &=
Identity. Willstram et al. |ed|. The Centre for Research on Canadian Cultural Industry and
Institution= 1995.= p.257).= This= point= was= confirmed= by= Sarah= (singer= of= the= popular= act=
pages.= reminded= of= past= experiences¨= (interview= conducted= in= Manchester= 11/97).= Thus.=
activating stars can. in the practice of the ritual of the star-cult.=work=to=produce=a=positive=
psycho-social= experience= of= ecstacy¨= (Konstanze= Kriese.= Rock= &= Ritual.= op.cit..= p.187).=
'The expressive power and excitement of a live performance depends upon the ambiguity
of its symbols and images=and=the=ability=of=the=audience=to=relate=them=to=their=personal=
in= musical= symbols= and= images= aims= at= linking= this= observation= to= our= analytical=
framework.= in= the= sense= that= musical= images= or.= better.= simulacra.= retain= a= fundamental=
ambiguity that is evinced in the ways of the irrational modes of displacement. substitution.
condensation.= Insofar= as= the= image= of= the= musical= product= is= a= coming-together= of=
different consumers according to particular perceptions. lived-experiences and aspirations.
Thus. the aural and visual experience of a musical product is inherently polysemous. i.e. it
consists= of= multiply= layered= meanings.= = The= musical= product= is= always= open= to=
individuals= within= audiences.= Thus.= it= is= a= customized= product.= as= it= is= exchanged= for=
different= things= according= to= individual= consumers`= expectations.= And= yet.= they= all=
participate in a common consumptive predicament. be it the live-show.=the=exposition=to=a=
print-ad or the reading of a review.
But= where= the= sacred= character= of= the= musical= product.= that= is= its= capacity= to= veil= the=
Belk= called= sacralizing= processes`.= In= his= article= he= points= to= the= direction= of= a= future=
research= into= the= 'cultural= consequence= of= the= sacralizing= processes¨= (Belk= et= al.= 1989.=
p.31). He stresses that 'Sacredness exists at a cultural level to ensure the ongoing integrity
of= culture= itself.= Through= definitions= of= sacredness.= culture= hallows= itself.=working= to=
compel belief¨ (idem). We have already shown how the cultural values inscribed in musical
products are metaphorically invoked through the reproduction of their aesthetic features in
the= sphere= of= communicative= exchanges.= 'Through= such= ritualization= an= individual=
its= critical= structural= categories¨= (idem).= What= remains= to= be= shown= is= how= these= values=
circulate.= We= are= of= the= opinion= that= their= dominance= is= reproduced= not= via= consumers=
fusion.= that= is= in= the= participation= in= a= mystery.= The= stage-setting= for= this= mystery.= as=
already=hinted=at=in=the=section=on=the=taboo`.=is=procured by the paraphernalia` (or neo-
which= consist= of= the= stage-appearance= of= the= band.= the= photo-sessions.= the= lay-out.= the=
musical= style.= = The= stage-setting= is= responsible= for= the= creation= of= the= star`.= viz.= the= '=
mobile= sign= which= can= be= linked= to= any= practice.= product= or= language.= freed= from= any=
their= authentic= relation= to= their= performance.= or= even= the= possibilities= of= an= audience=
proiecting= its= fantasies= on= to= them.= The= star= is= a= commodified= and= mobile= sign.= moving=
across= the= broad= terrain= of= cultural= tastes= and= entertainment¨.(Grossberg= et= al..= Cultural=
Many= authors= in= the= Consumer= Behaviour= literature= (Solomon.= Hirschman.= Belk)= have=
discussed= the= symbolic= value= of= products.= but= few= have= developped= a= formal= system= in=
order= to= account= for= the= ways= whereby= consumers= become= products= and= vice= versa.=
beyond= a= mere= description.= backed= by= a= quantification= of= product= use/symbolic= value=
equivalences= (such= as= the= product= image/self= concept= congruence= hypothesis.= Eor= more=
detailed= criticisms= of= psychological= accounts= cf.= Elliott`s= points= exposed= in= the=
Elliott. that is representations 'composed of two mental entities. concepts and images. and
the iconic aspect usually dominates the abstract in the construction of a figurative nucleus¨
(Richard= Elliott.= Exploring= the= Symbolic= Meaning= of= Brands.= British= Journal= of=
Management.= Vol.5.= June= 1994.= p.S17).= 'Social= representations= are= shared= images= that=
= Mafessoli= (1995)= explored= the= phenomenon= of= neo-tribalism`= into= great= depth.= He= stressed= that= 'these=
swarming= multiplicity= of= heterogeneous= values`.= This= draws= attention= to= features= of= the= contemporary=
world= which= more= rationalistically= orientated= sociologists= are= apt= to= neglect:= the= persistence= of= strong=
affectual= bonds= through= which= people= come= together= in=constellations with fluid boundaries= to=
experience= the= multiple= attractions.= sensations.= sensibilities= and= vitalism= of= an= extra-logical= community.=
a= sign= which= is= recognizable= by=others¨= (Eeatherstone= 1995.= p.47.= my= emphasis).= = The= most= manifest=
have= become= associated= with= and= signify= different= images.= which= in= turn= connote= particular= attitudes.=
values=and=beliefs.=At=the=same=time=the=visual=images=connote=certain=sounds.=This is most apparent at
live performances= .= When= male= hard= rock= fans= share= the= long= hair.= leather.= buckles= and= bodily= postures=
and= imitate= the= musicians= on= stage=by=playing=imaginary=guitars;=and=when=rap=performers=and=audiences=
permit= us= to= give= obiects.= persons= and= events= a= definite= form.= locate= them= in= a= given=
category and gradually establish them as a model of a certain type. distinct and shared by a
the= limitations= of= linguistic= meaning-structures= and= engaging= with= the= complexity= of= a=
need to be applied to the study of brand symbolism in order for us to better understand the
insights= into= the= phenomenon= of= what= we= called= simulacral= consumption`.= This= model=
operates at the borders of symbolic consumption and fills in some of the black holes` in its
preclude= its= potential= interpretative= force= when= it= comes= to= related= sites= in= the= hyperreal=
realm= of= the= Entertainment= Business`= (for= similar= psychoanalytic= excursions= cf.= Sarup.=
produced categories are elevated to deductive principles.
Upon= returning= to= our= analytical= corpus.= it= must= be= noted= that= the= way= ritualistic= fusion=
among= consumers= inscribes= the= aesthetic= features= of= musical= products= in= the= formers`=
you= can= call= it=intellectual animism-= sic).= through= a= process= of= repetitive= imagistic=
reflections= of= the= one= over= the= other.= or= in= a= Do= what= the= other= does`= way.= to= put= it=
bluntly.= The= non-rationally= mediated= circulation-reflection= of= these= cultural= signifiers=
points= to= the= simulacral.= instead= of= symbolic.= character= of= this= transference.= which= is=
sensorily= conditioned= by= the= gaze`.= The= ritualistic= fusion= functions= at= the= order= of= the=
value-grid= of= the= Symbolic.= Let= us= recall= that.= for= Lacan.= the= Imaginary= precedes= the=
Symbolic. while operating in complementarity with it. I believe that this is the main reason
text.= By= the= way.= this= accounts= for= the= increase= in= films= ticket-sales.= and= the= crisis`= in=
relocate them in the irrational realm of unconscious processes. The processes that replicate
the= other`= processes= (taking= place= in= the= other`= scene.= as= Ereud= put= it)= were= termed
products. Contamination`. being one of these processes. is responsible for transferring the
aesthetic= features= of= musical= products= to= the= communicative= (communal)= sphere= within=
of the specular experience in which the images that guard the centre of the simulacrum are
reflected= back= and= forth= in= the= consumers`= uncosncious= wax-tablets.= Where= does= this=
sacralizing process become more apparent. if not in the live show? 'Public events resemble
sacred. religious ceremonies. as exemplified by.the reverential lighting of matches at the
end= of= a= rock= concert¨= (Solomon.= Consumer= Behaviour.= p.620).= And= by= a= slight=
experience.= that= is= the= mixed= feeling= of= pleasure= from= temporarily= identifying= with= a=
decentralised= signifier.= and= pain= caused= by= the= permanent= absence= of= the= centre= of= the=
What= was= all= this= about?= In= short.= about= consumer-psychoanalysis= in= relationship= to=
musical= products.= Psychoanalysis= differs= markedly= from= traditional= consumer= behaviour=
approaches= in= that=it= does= not= prioritize= certain= personality-traits= and= dispositions= as=
is= through= distinct= sets= of= discourses.= the= term= encompassing= linguistic.= gestural= and=
pictorial= structures.= These= structures= are= primarily= created= by= various= promotional
which=the=identity=of=consumers.=and=the=groups=in=the=activities=of=which they participate.
procuring= sets= of= aural.= visual= and= verbal= signifiers= that= constitute= the= essential=
paraphernalia` around which the communicative exchanges of group-members revolve. as
part of the sacralizing process of contamination`. The consumption of musical products is
fetishistic. calling for an imaginary identification with the speculum` of a hyperreal world.
and= simulacral.= i.e.= based= on= the= cultural= icons`= that= are= self-subsistent= and= possess= the=
of attracting hordes of disciples.
as= well= as= how= the= effects= of= the= simulacra= are= inscribed= in= consumers`= everyday=
comportment= towards= their= peers.= and= reflected= back= to= promotional= discourses.= thus= re-
cycling= the= spiralling= movement= of= the= co-creation= of= meaning.= In= Chapter= 4= it= will= be=
shown= how= the= exploratory= methods= of= focus-group=discussions=and=in-depth=interviews=
can= help= us= gain= useful= insights= into= the= phenomenon= of= simulacral= consumption`= of=
musical= products.= Meanwhile.= let= us= proceed= to= give= a= descriptive= account= of= which=
promotions= techniques= and= how= they= are= used= in= the= music= industry.= as= well= as= examine=
who` make up this industry.
3.1 Introduction: Promotions techniques and their place in the music industry
In= the= introduction= to= this= dissertation= it= was= claimed= that= promotions= techniques= are=
actually responsible for producing the musical product.
process. W hat= seems= at= first= glance= a= maior= mistake= becomes= acceptable= if= we= view= the=
create= awareness= of= a= new= cd= or= enhance= sales= by= bombarding= consumers= with= repeated=
advertising= messages.= but= as= actually= playing= an= indispensable= part= in= the= production=
quite= distinct= category= of= products= (like= films= and= books)= that= are= characterized=by=both=
high-involvement/high psychic investment and value. and high intangibility. The value` of
a= musical= piece= is= not= easy= either= to= describe= or= price= on= the= basis= of= tangible= features.=
structure= of= the= advertising= message.= design= the= press= release= sheets= that= convey= the=
communications media to be used and press-people=to=be=contacted=when=a=new=product=is=
about= to= be= launched.= Therefore.= the= value= of= the= musical= product= is= not= intrinsic.= but=
depends= on= the= perceptions= of= many= people= involved= in= the= different= nodes`= of= the=
perception of the consumer who stands at the final part of a long chain.
People= who= work= in= the= promotions= part= of= the=industry= are= mainly= responsible= for=
Section=2.2.=fig.1).=Having=shown=how=promotions techniques are responsible for creating
this= image.= we= should= proceed= to= outline= the= various= promotions= techniques= used= in= the=
The most popular techniques usually employed are:
• Sales promotions
• Public Relations
Amongst= these= three= tools.= the= first= two= are= by= far= the= most= popular= when= it= comes= to=
draw upon P.Kotler`s comprehensive listing of the various promotion tools:
Record labels when advertising their new releases use both print and audiovisual media. It
budget of individual labels for individual products. and the promotion goals that have been
set. Each particular advertising tool has its own benefits. as well as its own costs.
18.104.22.168 Print Advertising
Print advertising is normally used when a new product has been launched in the market. Its
or= coined= by= the= members= of= the= label`s= advertising= department.= The= benefits= of= print-
advertising=are.=firstly.=timeliness.=that=is=informing=the=target-audience= about= the= release
one=week=or=more=(according=to=the=sales-forecast). secondly. durability. that is the reader
is= exposed= more= than= once= to= the= advertising= message= while= skimming= through= the=
In addition. as Kotler (1997. p.651) stresses. it covers a selective geodemographic area.
Air-play=is=normally=used.=like=print-advertising.= at= the= introduction= phase= of= the= Product=
Life-Cycle.= It= is= less= costly= than= print-advertising.= but= lacks= some= of= the= important=
advantages= yielded= by= the= latter.= It= lacks= durability.= as= the= listener= is= exposed= to= the=
has= to= increase= the= frequency= of= transmission.= which= raises= its= budget= significantly.=
However.= frequency= of= transmission= is= not= the= only= variable= that= affects= sales-figures.
be= launched= at= the= right= place= and= on= the= right= time.= but= that= the= pre-launch time-period
planning= in= the= past= has= resulted= in= consumer= dissatisfaction= due= to= the= unavailability= of=
products.='Some singles are now being presented to radio up to nine weeks before release.
downside of this marketing ploy. Every week hundreds of potential customers wander into
a record store and ask for a single only to be told it isn`t released yet. How many lost sales
Week).= Chart-placement= of= singles= allows= companies= to= make= sales-forecasts.= with= the=
comes= to= musical= products.= radio-advertising= is= often= a= more= fruitful= medium.= as= the=
product=is=not=simply=promoted=through=iingles.=but=through=air-play of recorded material.
live= shows.= and= interviews.= It= has= been= a= trend= over= the= last= 25= years= to= invite= bands= to=
perform= tracks= from= either= forthcoming= or= recently= released= records= live= on= the= radio.=
of= particular= radio-programs= that= appeal= to= specific= targeted= audiences= by= record-labels
Steve Lamacq`s Radio 1 Evening Session and John Peel`s session are regarded as the seal
whose= opinion= has= more= gravity= and= potential= influence= for= further= dissemination= of= the=
message through word-of-mouth communication.
22.214.171.124 TV Advertising
highly= commercial= records.= like= Madonna= or= the= Verve.= It= does= not= have= the= benefits= of=
selectivity.= and= durability.= Although.= iust= like= with= air-play.=effective=communication=is=
tool for record labels. unless it is part of a promotional campaign for a high-profile artist.
3.1.2 Sales Promotions
releases= are= distributed= to= the= press.= These= copies= either= contain= the= full= track-list= of= the=
album=or=part=of=it.=Second.=sample-tapes= or= cd`s= are= distributed= to= the= consumers= either=
through= the= press= or= at= live= shows.= These= samples= usually= appear= in= the= form= of= a=
compilation of tracks from various artists that are signed up with a record label.
Reduced-price= packs= are= used= by= record= labels= to= stimulate= short-term=sales.=particularly=
catalogue items. which are subsequently sold at low or mid-price. The promotional benefit
of= this= technique= is= that= if= its= employment= coincides= with= the= recent= success= of= an= act`s=
after= its= place= in= the= charts= has= started= to= decline.= as= well= as= capitalise= on=its= chart-
placement= for= selling= back-catalogue= material.= Eor= example.= 'EMI`s= decision= to= issue=
Radiohead= catalogue= at= mid-price= for= a= limited= period= of= time= to= exploit= the= interest=
surrounding= the= release= of= OK= Computer= resulted= in= a= sales= surge= that= saw= the=album=
Pablo= Honey= dominating= the= mid-price= charts= and= selling= more= than= 100.000= units¨=
(1998:=Year=of=the=Mid-Price=Star-Wars`. in Music Week). In addition. it is often the case
that retailers will decide about reduced price-packs. on the basis of the stock-availability of
past= releases.= In= contrast.= independent= labels= tend= to= use= this= tool= for= more= pragmatic=
stock after a specified period of time.
126.96.36.199 Premiums (gifts)
'Merchandise= offered= at= a= relatively= low= cost= or= free= as= an= incentive= to= purchase= a=
Two kinds of premiums are usually employed by record-labels:
= 'it= accompanies= the= product= in-pack= or= on-pack. The package itself can serve as a
premium¨= (idem.= my= highlighting).= 'Eor= the= casual= browser.= eye-catching= sleeves= can=
make= the= difference= between= no= sale= and= an= impulse= buy.= Despite= an= ever= diversifying=
market.= record= labels= still= regard= packaging= as= one= of= the= most= important= tools= for=
sell-by= date?`.= in= Music= Week).= With-pack= premiums= vary= from= insert= posters.= photos.=
vinyl=colour.=to=extra=products=( such as a limited edition single or album accompanied by
a= second= album= with= extra= live= tracks.= for= example).= 'Despite= the= regulations.= record=
bands with singles targeted at acquisitive teenagers. More often than not these proiects are
handled by in-house=design=teams=who=aim=for=the=novelty=factor¨=('The=Exclusive=Band=
of Packaging Pioneers¨. in Music Week 17/5/97).
2.Eree in-the-mail premium
'is an item mailed to consumers who send in a proof of purchase¨ (idem)
to= newsletters.= informing= consumers= about= an= act`s= and/or= label`s= future= releases= and/or=
tour dates and interviews.
Merchandise has always been a very profitable area in the music industry. As an additional
the promotional discourse of merchandise. Industry people have recognised that 'If we are
to= survive.= we`ve= got= to= behave= the= same= way= as= the= fashion= industry¨= (Chris= Parkes.=
Merchandising= for= Life.= in= 'The= Big= Sell¨.= Music= Week= 26/7/97).= 'At= this= level.=
merchandising= has= unlimited-= and= more= lucrative-= retail= possibilities.= BIG= is= currently=
handling= the= licensing= of= an= Action= Man-style= Peter= Andre= doll= to= be= sold= into= stores=
their= own= range= of= perfumes.= birthday= cakes=and= even= a= fizzy= cola= drink¨= (idem.).= The=
availability= of= merchandise= has= also= significantly= increased= the= profit= margins= of= retailer=
products¨(idem.).=As=regards=primary consumes (that is press people and di`s) 'things like
slipmats.= mousepads= and= record-bags= are= ideal= promotional= items.= as= they`re= functional=
and that usefulness means that they`ll be around as a reminder to a DJ or a iournalist when
a=label`s=next=record is released¨ (idem.). 'As with all forms of merchandising. posters are
only as successful as the bands they depict and companies have to second-guess=the=trends=
the= one= hit= wonders`.= says= Copley= Dunn¨= ('Those= Little= added= Extra¨.= in= Music= Week=
6/12/97).= Gifts.= such= as= branded= dolls= or= clothing.= are= also= used= as= rewards= for= loyal=
retailers= and= incentives= for= new= ones.= In= the= context= of= this= dissertation= the= function= of=
music-related= merchandise= will= be= explored= in= terms= of= its= power= as= communication=
vehicle` among groups of consumers.
described= as= the= die-hard`= fans= of= an= act.= and= range= from= people= who= dedicate= a=
them on= their= tour.= A= striking= example= of= die-hard`= fans= is= given= by= the= people= who=
followed= the= famous= blues/rock= band= Grateful= Dead= all= around= the= world.= These=
consumers= tend= to= structure= their= lives= around= the= image= of= the= band.= in= this= example=
around= the= image= of= the= easy-rider`.= bohemian= type.= and= are= highly= influenced= by= the=
active= marketers= in= rock`n`roll.= even= after= the= death= of= band= leader= Jerry= Garcia.= In=
addition= to= having= been= one= of= the= world`s= highest-grossing= live= music= acts= the= group=
boasts= of= a= series= of= licensed= products.= Without= the= concerts.= the= Grateful= Dead= had= to=
has= been= The= Goods= of= the= Dead¨= (Marketing= News.= Vol.31.= Sep.29= 1997).= a= fan-club
based=mail-order= list= that= allows= fans= to= acquire= band= memorabilia.= Ean-club=members=
receive= premiums.= like= posters= and= badges.= and= sometimes= limited= edition= records= with
Eree-trials= are= normally= used= at= the= point= of= purchase.= that= is= the= retail= outlets.= Specially=
the= product= before= purchasing=it.=Trials=through=the=Internet=have=also=gained=increasing=
popularity= over= the= last= three= years.= where= the= consumer= can= visit= the= web-site= of= the=
record-label and listen to parts or the whole song(s) from a new release.
188.8.131.52 Point-of-sale Displays
Point-of-sale= displays= include= posters= with= the= title= and= cover= of= a= new= product= used= in=
gadgets= they= receive= from= record= labels.= Aware= of= this= fact.= labels= sometimes.= and=
free. if the retailer agrees to place their records and posters at a prominent position.
184.108.40.206 Below-the-line advertising/ Special events
past thirty years is widespread. Especially in the music industry. a particular form of sales-
promotions.= viz.= below-the-line= advertising= or= the= organization= of= special= events= is
considered= a= more= effective= promotional= means= than= advertising.= Also.= the= degree= of=
customer= loyalty= is= often= measured= by= the= level= of= participation= in= these= events.= Three=
maior types of events are used in the music-industry:
220.127.116.11.1 Live shows
The= cost-effectiveness= of= this= tool= depends= on= the= already= established= popularity= of= the=
highly= profitable.= whereas= when= Mogwai= (= a= newly= signed= post-rock= band.= highly=
acclaimed= by= national= press)= play= live= it= is= likely= that= the= returns= will= iust= manage= to=
balance= the= costs= of= organizing= the= show.= In= other= cases= the= profit= made= out= of= a= live=
show.=depending=on=the=type=of=contract=the=band=has=signed=with the record label. will be
Jay Gray (keyboard player of the very successful neo-rock band Kula Shaker. run by Sony
Music) said that they didn`t make any profit out of their 2-year long world-tour (including
costs=for=the=new=album=(personal=interview 10/12/97). In general. the effectiveness of the
live-show= in= terms= of= returns= has= been= radically= re-evaluated= over= the= last= few= years.=
'Gone= are= the= days= when= bands= could= squeeze= a= living= out= of= touring= the= UK=
independently=of=record=releases.=or.= indeed.= of= record= contracts.= Costs= are= now= so= high=
that= only= the= best= established= acts= can= afford= to= go= on= the= road= without= significant=
iniections of cash from their record labels. Consequently. the maiority of record labels still
to=boost=first-week sales¨ (A Gig Too Ear?. in Music Week).
The= most= popular= event= other= than= live= shows= is= the= organization= of= a= special= night= in= a=
club.= where= a= new= record= is= played= for= the= first= time= and= gifts= (ranging= from= T-shirts= to=
branded condoms!) are given away.
Press=conferences=are=usually=organized=either=on=the=initiative=of=the=record-label itself or
for positive coverage. such as alcoholic drinks. luxurious hors d`oeuvres. free records. and
sometimes promotional mobile-phones.=and=other=gadgets=are=provided=during=the=course=
of a press-conference.
3.1.3 Public Relations
A= Public`= is= defined= by= Kotler= (op.cit..= p.671)= as= 'any= group= that= has= an= actual= or=
potential=interest=in=or=impact=on=a=company`s ability to achieve its obiectives¨. Given this
people= and= the= consumers.= Public= relations= tools= are= not= always= distinct= from= sales-
promotions= tools.= as= it= is= often= the= case= that= they= constitute= aspects= of= the= sales=
promotions functions. As with sales-promotions. the task of public-relations is to create an
interface= between= the= primary= consumers= (press-people)= and= secondary= consumers= (the=
purchasers). Three maior types of public relations can be singled out:
18.104.22.168 Press relations
This function is performed by the press-office. the operations of which are described in the
22.214.171.124 Product Publicity
' Sponsoring various efforts to publicize specific products¨ (Kotler. op.cit.. p.671)
The various tools falling under this type were described in the Below-the-line advertising`
tour= by= Miller= during= January= 1998.= This= event= was= an= attempt= by= the= popular= musical=
newspaper= NME= to= promote= 4= new= acts= (Asian= Dub= Eoundation.= The= Audience.= Warm=
Jets.= Stereophonics)= appearing= live=in=10=selected=venues=all=over=the=country==under=the=
sponsorship of Miller beer.
Owners and top executives of record companies have always been involved in the political
Creation rec. (an indie label distributed nation-wide by Sony Music. which also deals with
independents= are= now= distributed= by= maiors.= as= an= outcome= of= the= so-called
the= Labour= Party.= The= Beatles= were= elevated= to= the= status= of= knighthood`= by= the= Queen=
for= their= cultural= impact= around= the= globe.= Lobbying=is=a=very=important=public=relations=
tool as it increases record labels` influence over legislative procedures.
place= in= the= hyperreal= space= of= the=music=industry=is=a=central=one.=as=they=are=primarily=
responsible for building the product-concept=in=terms=of=the=primary=image=of=the=product.=
and=public=relations= has= occurred= over= the= past= twenty= years.= as= an= attempt= to= create= an=
interface= between= producers= and= consumers.= 'The= intertext= of= product= promotion= has=
become= absorbed= into= an= even= wider= promotional= complex= founded= on= the=
commodification. and transformation into advertising. of produced culture itself¨ (Wernick
1996.= p.95).= The= impact= of= these= techniques= on= consumer= psychology= remains= to= be=
within a complex virtual network.
3.2 THE VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION: A NETWORK MARKETING
APPROACH TO THE M USIC INDUSTRY.
The= Network= approach= to= marketing= has= become= increasingly= influential= over= the= past=
theoretical steps taken by the IMP group have yielded a conceptualization of how complex
buyer-seller networks operate. Alternative approaches have been made towards describing
how= particular= industries= are= organized= = as= a= web= of= interlinking= and= interacting=
departments.= which= cannot= exist= independently= of= each= other.= The= music= industry.= in=
informal) infrastructure. which has not merited any analysis hitherto. 'The infrastructure is
the= artist.= the= management.= the= record= company.= the= publisher.= the= agent.= the= promoter.=
lawyers and accountants¨ (The Guardian 23/8/97).
that= is= due= to= the= fact= that= it= cannot= be= exhaustively= described= in= a= formal= way.= like= the=
various= parts= that= make= up= a= living=organism.= Rather.= its= parts= extend= in= ever-new
As= Ibarra= (1992)= stresses.= 'it= is= not= clear= how= much= of= the= network= organization= is=
emergent= or= prescribed¨.= = The= characterisation= of= networks= as= virtual= organizations= is=
is a manifestation of chance-events and cultural forces working at a wider cultural level. as
identified in the introductory discussion of the hyperreal space.
this= structure= are= dynamically= interrelated.= and= how= the= actors= that= constitute= its= most=
musical= act= popular= and= meet= the= profit-driven= goals= of= record-comoanies.= The=
with= people= working= in= the= relevant= fields= (also= cf.= 4.3.3).= and= in= part= from= literature=
.= = The=
obiective of this section is twofold:
-Eirstly.= to= illustrate= the= distinctive= nodes`= of= the= network= in= numerical= order.= with= no=
traditional entrepreneurial hierarchy.
-Secondly.= to= illustrate= how= these= nodes= interlock= in= the= form= of= concentric= circles.= the=
centre= of= which= is= the= record= company.= and= the= periphery= is= occupied= by= the= various=
directly= and= indirectly= related= areas= of= interest.= This= picture= is= regarded= as= valid= when=
examining the product where its tangible features are concerned. like the production of the
is= valid= when= examining= it= from= the= viewpoint= of= its= cultural= significance`.= where= the=
impact= of= the= various= cultural= mediators`.= as= have= been= defined= by= bearing= on= existing=
literature.= alters= the= relationship= between= the= centre= and= the= periphery= (= INSERT=
CONCENTRIC= CIRCLES= EIGURE).= The= concept= is= derived= from= the= work= of= the=
production= and= consumption= of= consumer= cultural= imagery= and= information.= working= in=
such= areas= as= marketing.= advertising.= design.= public= relations.= radio= and= television.=
iournalism. research. consultancy. counselling and the helping professions.
3.2.2 Top management of the record company
The record company is obviously the core of the virtual organization. Before analysing the
role= of= its= top= management.= we= should.= first=of=all.=clarify=the=distinctive=kinds=of=record=
there= are= the= transnationals= or= maiors.= who= control= the= lion`s= share= of= the= market.=
manufacture and distribute their=own=product.=Second.=there=are=the=middle=tier=or=minors.=
distribution= deals= with= the= maiors.= or= with= independent= studios.= presses= and= production=
facilities. Third. are the 'alternative or indie labels¨ which operate less conventioanlly than
the= maiors= through= a= network= of= independent.= often= short-term= contacts= and= contracts.=
are responsible for making the final decisions about which artists are going to be allocated
the financial resources necessary for recording the music. pressing it on cd/vinyl/ cassette.
packaging= the= product= and= marketing= it= by= using= one= or= more= of= the= promotions= means=
available.= The= only= people= that= may= influence= their= decisions= are= the= president= of= the=
company= and= the= shareholders.= If= it= is= a= small.= independent= company.= top= management
functions= are= usually= performed= by= the= owner= and= trained= personnel.= Decision-making
about developing and marketing new acts is an extremely strenuous process. especially for
heading= for= rock`n`roll= suicide?`.= The= Observer.= 16= Nov.= 1997).= These= figures= exceed=
=A=useful=reference=in=this=field is Michael Wale`s Voxpop: Profiles of the Pop Process. Harrap London
K.Negus`= estimations= who= reported= that= = 'at= the= beginning= of= 1990`s= a= maior= record=
18= months= of= an= average= deal= for= a= new= act;= roughly= broken= down= into= 100.000= for=
advances= to= the= artists.= 150.000= for= recording= costs= and= 80.000= for= basic= promotional
expenses¨ (Negus 1992. p.45). Due to increasing production costs labels` decision-making
has shifted emphasis from building long-term=careers=to=manufacturing=quick=hits.=At=this=
point=it=is=important=to=provide=some=historical=information=about the five maior players in
the popular music industry:
126.96.36.199 SONY MUSIC
'In December 1987 the Japanese consumer electronics corporation Sony paid $2 billion to
purchase= CBS= Records= division= from= its= American= parent= company= Columbia=
Broadcasting= Systems= Inc.= At= the= time= of= the= sale.= music.= including= music= publishing.=
accounted= for= iust= 25= per= cent= of= the= corporation`s= total= turnover;= broadcasting= for=
approximately 40 per cent. In addition to seven book publishing companies and more than
60= magazines.= CBS= subsidiaries= included= toy= manufacturing.= Steinway= pianos.= Eender=
its= biggest= market.= representing= 50= per= cent= of= total= sales.= Europe= accounts= for= 30= per=
cent. while Japan=for=another=10=per=cent=of=world=sales¨=(Burnett=1996.=pp.51-52)
188.8.131.52 WARNER MUSIC
outcome= of= a= number= of= mergers.= The= beggining= of= Warner`s= record= production= was= in=
1958 when the Warner Bros movie company formed a record label. Warner Bros Records.
Warner= took= over= Reprise= Records= in= 1964.= Warner= and= Reprise= comprise= one= of= three=
Warner= subsidiaries= in= the= field= of= record= production.= the= other= two= being= Atlantic=
includes= movie.= television= and= publishing= interests.= Atari= Inc..= Knickerbocker= Toy=
Company.= maior= shares= in= Coca-Cola.= maior= shares= in= Bausch= and= Lamb= Optical= and=
several= US= Cable= TV= companies.= Warner`s= most= important= marketing= areas= are= the=
English-speaking countries. USA. Canada. UK. Australia and New Zealand. Warner is the
fastest= growing= transnational=record=company=internationally=with=sales=tripling=between=
software= oriented.= Thus= its= turnover= has= been= the= most= volatile= as= its= various= divisions=
have prospered or suffered. depending on changing market conditions. Music accounts for
approximately= 26= per= cent= of= its= sales= and= films= for= 30= per= cent.= but= because= of= the=
year on the basis of blockbuster successes or flops¨ (idem.. pp.52-53).
184.108.40.206 THORN EMI & VIRGIN MUSIC GROUP
and=EMI=Records.=EMI=was=formed=in=1931=as=a=result=of=a=merger between the Columbia
Gramophone= Co.= and= the= Gramophone= Co.= Columbia= and= Gramophone= continued= to=
American= United= Artists= record= company.= Ironically= in= 1980.= 25= years= after= selling= to=
software-oriented=EMI=was=clearly=planned=with=an=eye=to=the=video=and cable revolution.
EMI= can= now= produce= the= hardware= to= go= along= with= the= software.= As= a= result= of= its=
imperial past and subsidiaries formed in the 1920`s. Thorn-EMI=also=has=a=strong=foothold=
of= Virgin= Music= Group= was= particularly= interesting.= Virgin= was= established= in= 1970= as= a=
and= opened= record= stores= that= have= grown= into= a= maior= chain.= In= the= 1980`s= Virgin= had=
diversified=into=youth-culture= related= activities= such= as= films.= music= videos.= books= and= a=
transatlantic= airline= company.= The= purchase= of= the= Virgin= Music= Group.= the= last= of= the=
maior= independent= labels.= brought= such= stars= as= the= Rolling= Stones= and= Janet= Jackson=
under= the= EMI= umbrella.= In= a= further= attempt= to= strengthen= the= company= position= in= the=
field=of=music.=EMI=purchased=the=SBK=Entertainment World. a publishing company. and
of= aggressive= acquisitions= has= included= Chrysalis= Records.= SBK= Records.= SBK=
Entertainment=World.=all=in=1989.=In=1992=EMI=spent=$960=million to purchase the Virgin
iust= slightly= behind= the= industry`s= Big= Three:= Warner= Music.= Sony= Music= Entertainment=
and Polygram¨ (idem.. pp. 53-54)
Polygram= is= a= management= and= holding= company= originally= based= on= the= interlocking=
by= Deutsche= Grammophon.= which= is= a= subsidiary= of= the= German= electrical= corporation=
Siemens). It= is= Phonogram= International= and= Polydor= International= that= produce= and=
market= records= under= the= Polygram= umbrella.= Thus= Polydor= plus= Phonogram= equals=
Polygram.= Polygram`s= labels= include= the= Phonogram-controlled.= Phillips.= Vertigo.=
Mercury.= and= the= Polydor-controlled.= Deutsche= Grammophon.= Polydor= and= MGM.= In=
marketing and distribution=as=well=as=publishing.=In=a=bid=to=boost=its=weak=position=in=the=
Island= Records= in= 1990.= It= also= acquired= the= US= distribution= rights= to= Motown= in= 1991.=
and=took=the=logical=step og buying the label outright in 1993. A significant presence in the
American= market= is= vital= to= all= transnationals= since= it= represents= by= far= the= single= most=
important= music= market= in= the= world.= Polygram= is= also= into= film= production= as= well= as=
with Universal under the general label of Seagram.
220.127.116.11 BERTELSMANN MUSIC GROUP (BMG)
The= Bertelsmann= Music= Group= is= a= division= of= one= of= the= world`s= largest= media=
player= by= purchasing= American= RCA= records= in= 1986.= RCA= did= its= best= business= in= the=
1930`s= and= 1940`s= when= it= rivalled= Columbia= as= the= top= American= label.= In= the= last= two=
decades it has achieved a powerful international position. BMG has updated its production
and= made= maior= changes= within= management.= These= changes= have= been= directed= at=
improving= the= company`s= position= in= the= rock= market.= In= this= regard= BMG= has= in= the=
1980`s= acquired= both= the= European= Ariola-Eurodisc= label= and= the= American= Arista=
Records= which= was= originally= formed= in= 1974= by= Columbia= Motion= Pictures.= The=
publishing (books. magazines) and record industries are its principal activities in the global
marketplace¨. (idem.. pp.56-57)
It= should= be= noted= that= the= competitive= position= of= each= of= these= record-companies=in=
terms= of= market-share= is= quite= flexible.= due= to= shifting= market= trends= that= alter=
continuously= the= competitive= landsacpe.= as= well= as= due= to= mergers= and= acquisitions= that=
confer changes to the companies` organizational structure.
3.2.3 A&R department
The= Artist= and= Repertoire= department= is= usually= based= at= the= headquarters= of= the= record=
company=and==normally=comprises=of=1-3=(sometimes= more.= according= to= the= size= of= the=
record company) members. These individuals are the talent-scouts` of the company. those
who= look= for= new= talent= to= be= exploited= and= developed.= The= A&R= personnel= do= not=
necessarily=have=any=formal=qualifications.=but=they= must= be= able= to= discern= catchy= tunes=
and= acts= with= potential.= Their= iob= is= to= frequent= clubs= where= gigs= take= place= in= order= to=
of acquaintances so that they can learn about new artists before anybody else does. Lavish
members= of= the= A&R= department= are= confronted= by= great= anxieties= due= to= the=
opportunistic= nature= of= their= iob= and= the= pressure= from= above= to= discover= a= minimum=
amount= of= acts= for= a= designated= time-period=for=new=product=development.=It=suffices=to=
say=that=ASH.=a=very=popular=indie/rock band. the sales of which has reached a seven-digit
after an old classmate of his mentioned them in the course of a friendly discussion!
3.2.4 The artist
the= visible= one.= which= is= the= cover= and= insert= design.= as= well= as= the= design= on= the= cd).=
(IME).= the= industry`s= trade= organization.= insists= that= 'Without= talent= the= whole= of= the=
one.= Especially= in= the= music= industry= it= is= very= difficult= to= decide= whether= a= product= is=
to= the= perceptions= and= comprehension= of= individual= critics= and= personal= opinions= of=
consumers= to= decide= about= the= degree= of= novelty.= An= interpretation= of= the= multiple=
functions= performed= by= the= artist= = within= the= hyperreal= space= occupied= by= the= musical=
will further explored in Ch.5.
3.2.5 The Marketing Department
'Marketing= does= not= merely= involve= record= companies= transmitting= products= and=
information= to= potential= audiences.= who= then= rationally= select= from= what= is= available.
Marketing stuff must actively construct consumers as identifiable markets¨. (Keith Negus.
The Discovery and Development of Recording Artists in the Popular Music Industry. PhD
Thesis Southbank University 1991. p.120)
The=marketing=department=of=a=record label mostly plays a coordinating role. Its personnel
working= for= different= departments.= like= the= producer= (who= is= responsible.= as= the= title=
denotes.= for= developing= the= artist.= including= controlling= the= recording= procedure.=
interacting= with= the= A&R= personnel.= the= gig-organizers.= designers).= and= the= A&R=
personnel.= Also.= they= are= responsible= for= establishing= and= updating= a= database= of= all= the=
contacts= involved= (either=directly= or= indirectly)= with= a= particular= act.= Depending= on= the=
artist.= the= number= of= people= that= are= included= in= the= database.= may= number= from= 100= to=
many= thousands.= The= database= includes= people= that= range= from= iournalists= to= individual=
consumers.= According= to= Pat= Carl.= marketing= manager= of= the= independent= British= label=
Infectious= Records`.= who= manages= popular= names= of= the= indie/rock= scene= such= as=
Symposium= and= Ash= .= the= number= of= people= included= in= the= database= for= the= first= act=
continually= monitored= and= cleared= of= unnecessary= names.= The= importance= of= creating= a=
loyal=fan-base= has= been= recognized= over= the= past= five= years.= As= a= rule.= fill-in= cards= are=
included in new=releases=that=guarantee=the=sender=transmission=of=updated=information=in=
the= form= of= a= quarterly= newsletter.= Sometimes= questions= in= the= form= of= a= mini-
questionnaire= are= printed= on= the= card= that= ask= the= consumer= to= give= information= about=
whether= s/he= liked= the= design= of= the= product= and/or= the= music.= Thus.= monitoring=
marketing= and= = a= sales= department.= Pat= Carl`s=first=response=when==asked==What=are=the=
though profitability is the key-task=for=small=independent=labels=who=have=to=strive=against=
big players (personal interview 2/98).
3.2.6 The Press Office (or PR Department)
or= an= in-house= department.= i.e.= directly= controlled= by= and= accountable= to= the= record-
company`s= management.= specialising= in= promoting= the= musical= product= to= the= various=
communications= media.= including= magazines.= newspapers.= radio-stations.= night-clubs.
and=label-owned= department.= according= to= whether= the= label= is= dealing= with= domestic= or=
by= Sony= Music.= whereas= domestic= press= (UK)= is= dealt= with= by= Bad= Moon= Productions=
are the following:
1.To= put= together= biographical= information= about= particular= artists= in= order= to= create= a=
profile= that= differentiates= one= musical= act= from= another.= The= biographical= information= is=
usually accompanied by photos and promotional copies of upcoming releases. These three
components=make=up=the=standard=promotional=package`.=as=it=is=called.=that is distributed
2.To= establish= and= control= a= database= of= the= individuals= working= for= the= various=
communications= media.= that= constitute= the= connecting= link= between= production= and=
act.= are= prioritized= in= the= list= of= contacts.= The= database.= as= a= function= of= MKIS.= also=
involves keeping a file of all publications relevant to particular acts. which in turn. serve as
a useful background and additional profile feedback for future releases by an act.
3.To arrange for interviews of the artist with particular communications media. in order to
give=a=first-person=view=of=the=aims=of= a= new= product= with= regard= to= the= expectations= of=
the= consumers.= However.= especially= in= the= music= industry.= the= concepts= of= consumer-
trends= change= with= a= speed= that=is=perhaps=unparalleled=in=any=other=industry.=Therefore.=
the element of risk with regard to consumer satisfaction about a new product is minimized
1-3= pounds)= in= order= to= instigate= trial= from= the= consumers.= This= allows= the= company= to=
calculate the potential for profitability when the album finally appears in the market.
INSERT FIGURE FROM MUSIC WEEK LISTING IN-HOUSE AND
AUTONOMOUS PR OFFICES IN THE UK
3.2.7 The 1ournalists
Journalists= are= press= offices`= primary= target= group= and= constitute= the= opinion= leadership=
shows. or writing reviews in newspapers and/or magazines. or presenting it on screen. It is
very= important= to= recognize= that.= since= the= advent= of= the= Internet.= iournalists= are= not=
the= blossoming= of= the= music= industry.= The= possibility= created= by= this= innovative=
communicative medium for individual=consumers=to=express=their=opinion=and=even=set=up=
to= render= the= traditional= function= of= the= iournalist= obsolete.= Especially= when= someone= is=
descriptive account of obiective features. for the simple reason that they do not exist in the
first= place.= The= essence= of= the= product= is= the= outcome= of= discourses= on= it.= and= their=
capacity= to= superimpose= upon= each= other= rests= with= the= relative= influence= the= opinion-
leader exerts on his/her audience. Usually. iournalists rely for their descriptions on general
features.= like= the= musical= trend= to= which= an= act= belongs.= its= value= in= maintaining= or=
furthering established trends (like. for instance. this record is a fine moment in the history
cliches= that= communicate= the= musical= identity= of= the= artist= to= the= consumer).= and= its=
psychological value (such as. for example. when iournalists stress the cathartic` effects of
the= music.= that= is= its= capacity= to= cleanse= the= soul= from= any= anxiety= and= transfer= the=
consumer= to= another= plane).= Journalists= as= cultural= mediators`.= have= a= much= more=
of the virtual organization. as their impact in attitude and value formation is tremendous. If
to= communicating= the= features= of= a= product= (i.e.= multiplying= through= word-of-mouth
communication).= we= can= see= that= communication= is= structured= to= a= large= extent= on= the=
basis of opinions formed by iournalists.
3.2.8 The D1
The=DJ=is=responsible=for=playing=a=record=in=a=club. thus monitoring people`s preferences
according to their degree of participation in the tune established by the song. The inclusion
of= a= song= in= a= di-set= performs= the= function= of= either= creating= awareness= of= a= new= act= or=
repeating older hits. thus potentially regenerating demand for previous products.
3.2.9 The retail outlet
The retail outlet is one of the most significant loci where the effectiveness of promotions is
importance= of= retail= outlets= by= naming= them= 'the= public= cathedrals= that= enhance= the=
over=the=past=two=years=about=the=potential=substitution=of=store-retailing through internet-
the= Internet.= Of= course.= this= alternative= will= save= record-companies= a= huge= amount= of=
their= products.= However.= 'industry= insiders=scoff= at= the= idea= of= the= traditional= record=
regard= the= whole= shopping= experience= as= a= ritual= that= grants= them= access= to= the=
transcendent`. albeit in a secular manner. The retail outlet is still an important node in the
hyperreal= space= of= the= music= industry.= a= node= that= adds= to= the= aesthetic= fascination`=
surrounding the musical product.
3.2.10 The consumer
The consumer is the final node in the virtual organization if examined from the producer`s
point of view. However. once the consumer`s cultural significance and his/her contribution
in maintaining and furthering the iconic status=of=the=musical=product.=then=s/he=moves=to=
consumer and What` does s/he want from the musical product will be explored in Ch.5.
These= are= the= various= nodes= of= the= virtual= organization= of= the= music= industry.= the=
methods= that= will= be= used= in= the= gathering= and= analysis= of= research= data.= with= view= to=
sets of promotional discourses. impact on consumer psychology.
been= given=in= the= Literature= Review.= as= well= as= the= proposed= methodological= tools= to= be=
used= for= exploring= them.= The= chapter= starts= from= an= exposition= of= the= obiectives.= and=
continues= with= an= outline= of= the= research= design.= which= includes= the= rationale= for= using=
particular= qualitative= methods.= The= description= of= the= qualitative= methods= to= be= used=
ensues.= giving= its= place= to= the= method= of= analysis= of= the= primary= and= secondary= data=
as= well= as= limitations.= The= chapter= ends= by= an= overview= of= the= theoretical= field= of=
Interpretivism. in which the general oeuvre of this dissertation is embedded.
4.2 Research Objectives
hypotheses.= which= emerged= in= the= process= of= reviewing= the= relevant= literature.= will= be=
1a. The primary image` (i.e. image formed through the various promotions means applied
by= the= primary= agencies= of= cultural= mediation.= the= ranking= of= which= will= be= decided=
formed= through= the= reflection= of= the= promotion= messages= on= the= discourse= of= the= press=
image` (i.e product-image formed by the consumers).
The= effect= of= the= product= image= on= consumer= psychology= is= related= to= the= circulation= of=
the= constantly= re-doubled=signifiers=in=the=communicative=traiectory=that=promotes=intra-
group=coherence through sacralizing ritual processes.
The circulation of signifiers is responsible for the creation and maintenance of the iconic`
function of musical products. Iconic consumption` (as against symbolic consumption. the
difference= being= that= whereas= the= latter= assumes= a= link= between= the= product= and= the=
simulacrum`.=i.e.=a=self-refential= unit= that= encloses= the= meaning= it= represents)= has= wider=
cultural= implications= for= the= maintenance= of= the= sacred= character= of= musical= products.=
which is enforced through promotional techniques.
The= research= is= exploratory= in= essence.= which= means= that= qualitative= methods= have= been=
used= in= order= to= shed= light= into=the= above= hypotheses.= The= rationale= for= choosing=
qualitative methods is presented in the next section.
4.3 Research Design
The= research= design= encompasses= three= qualitative= methods.= viz.= meta-analysis. in-depth
interviews= and= focus-group= discussions.= Before= proceeding= to= illustrate= and= iustify= the=
to employ qualitative. rather than quantitative methods.
4.3.1 Why Qualitative methods?
Data collected by employing=qualitative=methods=are=often=described=as=soft`.=because=of=
their= flexible= character= (Gordon/Langmaid= 1988).= Their= opponents= claim= that= the= data=
the= sample= is= drawn.= due= the= latter`s= small= numerical= value.= In= this= chapter= we= do= not=
limited time-frame is called for in order for managerial decisions to be enabled). but rather
deemed= more= appropriate= for= the= proiect= at= hand.= On= a= general= level.= the= task= of=
account=for.=take=action=and=otherwise=manage=their=day-to-day lives¨ (Miles & Huberman
1994.= pp.6-7).= and= qualitative= data= are= applicable= 'where= the= results= will=increase
range= of= behaviour.= explore= and= explain= consumer= motivations.= attitudes= and= behaviour.=
identify= distinct= behavioural= groups.= provide= input= to= a= future= stage=of= research= and=
development¨= (Gordon/Langmaid= 1988.= p.3).= Let= us= now= attempt= to= illustrate= how= these=
key= driving-themes= of= qualitative= research= match= the= interpretive= oeuvre= of= this=
constellations with fluid boundaries`.= that= is= social= groups= that= are= not= necessarily=
defined by sociodemographic variables. like gender. class. status.=but=rather=by=adopting=a=
Age plays an indispensable part in defining consumer segments when it comes to different
in= the= age= of= the= selected= sample= must= be= secured.= in= order= to= ensure= a= minimal=
commonality= in= the= interpretive= repertoires= that= allow= consumers= to= make= sense= of= the=
world.= In= this= respect= we= have= concentrated= on= the= teen-market.= which= has= the= highest=
consumption= rate= for= popular= music= products= and= merchandise= that= pertains= to= the= life-
styles= they= suggest= Secondly.= attitudes= and= behaviour= lie= at= the= forefront= of= our=
exploratory= research.= given= that= one= of= the= driving= hypothetical= forces= behind= this=
dissertation= is= that= promotional= discourses= are= to= a= great= extent= responsible= for= shaping=
life-styles= by= feeding= images.= words= and= sounds= into= the= sphere= of= consumers`= everyday=
communicative exchanges. Thirdly. it is indubitable that an analysis of how the meaning of
musical= products= is= co-created= will= provide= useful= input= to= the= future= research= and=
development of musical acts. by providing a meta-language which can function as a useful
manual= for= translating= and= patterning= social= representations= that= ground= distinctive=
consumer= groupings.= = In= the= following= section= we= proceed= to= analyse= the= qualitative=
methods that will be used in the primary and secondary data collection process.
4.3.2 Secondary literature
This=method= is= called= meta-analysis=in=the=research=methodologies=literature.=The=reason=
for= this= description= is= that= it= is= not= of= inductive= nature.= i.e.= drawing= inferences= from=
for model-revision in the case of a radical mismatch between data and model) on collected
The rationale= for= employing= this= method= is= that= it= allows= us= to= formulate= a= theory= of=
iconic= consumption`.= and= show= how= in= the= case= of= the= products= of= the=music industry.
promotions= techniques= enhance= their= value.= This= model= will= allow= companies= to= trace=
different= psychic= values= that= exist= in= the= products= for= consumers.= as= 'the= records=
companies. whilst they might control the way music is produced. are unable=to=control=the=
meanings= invested= by= audiences= and= the= uses= to= which= they= are= put.= These= are=
identities.= symbolic= resistance.= leisure= pursuits= and= musical= creation= in= everyday= life¨.=
(Keith= Negus.= The= Discovery= and= Development= of= Music= Artists= in= the= Popular= Music=
Industry. Phd Thesis. Southbank University 1988. p.8)
key-terms to be used. as well as their relevance to the present research will be provided.
4.3.3 In-depth interviews
As= a= background= to= the= theoretical= exploration= of= the= concept= of= iconic consumption`.
information= that= has= been= collected= by= numerous= in-depth= interviews= with= musical= acts=
over= the= last= year.= as= well= as= with= members= of= record= companies`= promotions= and=
marketing= people.= will= be= used.= The=rationale= for= this= method= is= that= it= offers= the=
opportunity= to= gain= first-person= information= = about= how= cultural= mediators`= reflect= on=
not= appear= in= the= Data= Analysis= chapter.= but= rather= they= are= cited= wherever= deemed=
appropriate= in= order= to= add= emphasis= to= argumentative= points.= 'In= generating= interview=
data.=a=range=of=quite=different=cases=are=usually=selected. which may. for example. include
acknowledged atypical cases such as extremes¨ (Silverman 1985. p.114). It is effectively a
multiple= case= approach.= each= case= casting= further= light= on= the= situation= as= a= whole.=
Generalisation from such research follows=what=Mitchell=(1983)=terms=a=logic=of=analytic=
induction`.= which= is= far= removed= from= the= logic= of= statistical= inference.=It does not
guarantee representativeness in the statistical sense. but it is possible to extrapolate
results by an appeal to the causal relations which characterise the object of study.=In=
is important to recognise that what an interviewee says is usually a partial and rationalised
account= of= what=s/he=thinks=and=does.=which=implies=that=interpretation=has=to=come=into=
play.= This= will= enable= a= far= more= complete= reconstruction= of= the= understandings= and=
thought= processes= of= the= interviewees= than= simply= taking= accounts= at= face= value.=
Eurthermore.= what= interviewees= say= or= think= they= do= may= well= differ= from= what= they=
actually= do.= Of= course.= interview= data= from= one= interviewee= who= works= in= one= of= the=
interviewee. there may still be significant contradictions between what is generally thought
to happen. and what actually does happen in reality. On these grounds. responses gained in
the= process= of= in-depth= interviews= are= integrated= in= the= interpretive= framework= of= the=
as= a= virtual= organisation.= thereby= demonstrating= the= dynamic= and= on-going= character= of=
every interpretive venture undertaken in the realm of the social sciences.
4.3.4 Focus-group discussions
This method will be used as part of exploratory research into the perceptions of fans about
their=preferred=musical=act(s).=as=well=as=promotions=techniques=(like=air-play. live shows.
premiums-gifts)= they= think= have= exerted= an= impact= on= their= formation= of= opinions= and=
attitudes= about= that= act.= In= addition.= an= attempt= will= be= made= to= show= how= the= three=
psychoanalytic=categories=of=fetish. taboo. simulacrum.=are=inscribed=in=their=behaviour=
and help shape their interaction with others.
As=with=every=proiective=technique.=focus-group discussions suffer from the limitations of
time-consuming= interpretation.= as= well= as= from= the= difficulty= of= making= generalisations=
about the findings. given the limited number of participants.
In= addition.= given= that= the= hypotheses= to= be= explored= include= = the= impact= of= promotions=
techniques= on= intra-group= coherence.= it= is= important= to= observe= how= consumers= of= a=
other= in= the= process= of= communicative= exchanges= that= rely= on= the= employment= of=
commonly shared. meaning-laden=signifiers.=As=Gordon=and=Langmaid=stress='groups=can=
be= observed.= which= is= particularly= useful= for= members= of= the= creative/marketing=
hand.the= social= and= cultural= influences= on= attitudes= and= behaviour= are= highlighted¨=
The selection of the sample will be made on the basis of musical preferences. Mini-groups
(4-6= participants)= have= been= preferred= over= the= conventional= 6-8= group= as= 'focused=
information= on= the= individuals= is= required¨= (idem.= p.12).= Representativeness
= has= been=
secured=insofar=as=the=focus-group=members=were=selected from the list of the fan-clubs of
THE= SMITHS.= DEPECHE= MODE= (Virgin= Records).= MADONNA= (Warner= Music)= and=
does not limit the applicability of the findings and the discussion that revolves around them
to= consumers= of= other= ethnic= backgrounds.= as= popular= music= is= one= of= the= global`=
products par excellence. 'Music speaks a universal language of emotions. Popular music is
fair= to= say= that= music= is= the= most= universal= means= of= communication= we= now= have.=
instantly traversing language and other cultural barriers.Indeed. whereas consumption of
other= media= products= is= often= limited= by= geographical availability and consumer income.
almost= anyone.= anywhere= can= listen= to= popular= music.= often= regardless= of= whether= they=
want=to=or=not.=In=this=respect=popular music is certainly the most global aspect of our
The= discussion= will= be= based= on= a= set= of= driving= themes= (a= list= of= which= is= provided= in=
Appendix I). while giving significant space for improvisation on behalf of the participants.
as= it= is= crucial= to= give= them= the= opportunity= to= articulate= meaning= in=their=own=way.=The=
the interpretative ground. and will be recorded on tape.
The= analysis= of= the= data= will= be= undertaken= by= bearing= on= semiological
conscious= responses.= but= to= hidden/unconscious= implications= as= well.= as= Mick= stresses=
INSERT FIGURE FROM MICK
This is one of the main reasons. as well. why qualitative methods have been preferred over
they= are= thought= to= meet= a= number= of= reservations= about= the= uncritical= use= of=
quantification= in= social= science= practice.= In= particular= the= problem= of=inapproapriately
fixing meanings where these are variable and renegotiable in relation to their
context of use;= the= neglect= of= the= uniqueness= and= particularity= of= human= experience¨=
(Henwood & Pidgeon. p.16. my highlighting).
4.4 Analytical techniques
shape=great=part=of=their=life-style on the basis of cultural imagery offered by promotional discourses. As
The concepts of=signs=and=codes=is=an=important=one=in=semiology.=Signs=reflect=the=social=mores=and=
communication=takes=place=when=the=advertising=message=(a=set=of=encoded signs) is decoded by recipients
general.=such=as=packs. products. concepts etc.) comprise a set of layers of meaning¨ (Robert Worcester &
The= primary= and= secondary= data= collected= by= using= qualitative= research= methods= will= be=
analysed= on= the= basis= of= discourse= analysis.= the= task.= analytical= tools= and= limitations= of=
which are outlined in the following sections.
4.5 What is Discourse Analysis?
Discourse= analysis= is= the= study= of= language= seeing= it= not= as= simply= reflecting=
psychological and social=life.=but=constructing=it.=Discourse=analysts=argue=that=language.=
central to how we think. 'Language embodies the sediment` of social structure and social
Discourses= themselves= have= been= = given= a= variety= of= definitions.= for= example.=
Parker= said= that= discourses= were= 'a= system= of= statements= which= constructs= an= obiect¨
(Discourse= Dynamics.= Routledge= 1992.= p.5).= Parker= summarizes= the= meaning= of=
discourses under seven headings. as follows(op.cit. pp. 6-17):
reproduced in any form that can be given an interpretative gloss¨.
2. A= discourse= is= about= obiects.= meaning= that= 'Discourse= constructs=
representations`= of= the= world= which= have= a= reality= almost= as= coercive= as=
gravity. and. like gravity. we know of the obiects through their effects¨.
3. A= discourse= contains= subiects.= meaning= that= '= a= subiect= is= a= location=
constructed= within= the= expressive= sphere= which= finds= its= voice= through= the=
cluster of attributes and responsibilities assigned to it as a variety of obiect¨.
systems= of= terms= used= for= characterizing= and= evaluating= actions.= events= and=
other= phenomena.= a= limited= range= of= terms= used= in= particular= stylistic= and=
6. A discourse=reflects=its=own=way=of=speaking.=meaning=that=a=text=is=articulated=
showing how its terms interlock.
7. A= discourse= is= historically= located.= meaning= that= 'discourses= are= located= in=
by the discourse or related discourses¨.
The= main= protocol= behind= discourse= analysis= is= looking= at= what= the= discourses=
that='later=elements=in=the=discourse may have special functions with respect to previous ones¨.
forces= that= operate= behind= utterances.= 'The= question= is= not= so= much= why= people=
understand= one= another.= or= even= what= they= understand.= but= the= organisational= forms=
through= which= they= achieve= that= understanding¨= (Silverman.= p.118).= And= more=
importantly.= 'Discourse= is= not= assumed= to= necessarily= reflect= underlying= attitudes= and=
dispositions¨= (Elliott.= op.cit.= a= point= we= have= made= repeatedly= throughout= the= Literature=
Review.= especially= while= mentioning= the= weak= interpretive= value= of= product= image/self-
concept= congruence= hypothesis).='The=relativism=and=reflexivity=which=discourse=analysis=
prompts= constitutes= one= more= discipline= in= the= social= sciences= as= postmodern¨= (Parker.=
Discourse= analysts= seek= to= examine= how= people= use= language= to= construct= their=
own= social= world.= and= believe= that= no= particular= reading= of= a= text= is= superior= to= another.=
therefore all discourse analysis rests on the same level in terms of quality.
4.6 Problems associated with the use of Discourse Analysis
As= Ian= Parker= and= Erica= Burman(1993)=has= pointed= out= in= his= criticism= of= discourse=
analysis.= there= are= many= fundamental= flaws= which= underlie= the= process= of= discourse=
these are iust extensions of these six main points.):-
1. ~It is very labour intensive.¨ -= Analysts= have= to= waste= time= transcribing= interviews=
and sorting out which parts of the masses of information are linked. making the process
quite difficult. simply because there is so much information present in the texts.
2. ~It is difficult to ascertain whether different discourses are present within the text
as discrete phenomena. or whether the changes in context are in fact responsible
for the changes in meaning.¨ -i.e.=are=apparent=changes=in=the=text=due=to=the=fact=that=
the= interviewee= has= changed= the= topic= they= were= speaking= about= or= have= they= iust=
changed their opinion?
3. ~It becomes too difficult to view the text in terms of empirical generalisations.
therefore the wider context is often not considered.¨ - Discourse analysts often have
particular aspects of a single. specific text.
4. ~The methodology of discourse analysis is not rigorous enough. cutting down the
variety of possible interpretations made available by the text.¨ - In= general.= the=
way= in= which= discourse= analysis= is= undertaken= unfairly= limits= the= number= of= ways= in=
5. ~The analyst has the power to impose meaning onto sections of the interviewees`
text which may not have been originally present.¨ This problem of reading too much in
they= are= effectively= attributing= their= own= meanings= onto= text= which= might= have= been=
intended= to= be= taken= in= a= completely= different= light= by= the= speaker.= resulting= in= a=
considerably inaccurate analysis. Eor example.=interviewees=may=attribute=slang=meanings=
to sentences which the analysts take literally (therefore analysts do require some degree of
cultural competence to understand the complete meanings of certain phrases.)
In= conclusion.= these= five= points= seem= to=shed= a= rather= dim= light= upon= the= validity= of= the=
technique= of= discourse= analysis.= If= no= piece= of= discourse= analysis= is= more= accurate= than=
other.= how= can= standards= be= set.= and= how= can= an= accurate= representation= of= a= person`s=
beliefs= be= given= without= being= coloured= by= the= attitudes= of= the= analyst= involved?= This=
methodological= adequacy= of= the= psychological= approaches= most= common= in= marketing=
research.= in= that= it= is= posited= that= the= methods= that= underlie= attitude= theory= fail= to= take=
account=of=the=variability=of=human=thought=and=bolster=a=spurious model of thinking as
uniform. rational and divisible into equal interval categories¨=(Burman=1991.=quoted=
in Elliott. op.cit.. my highlighting).
4.7 Implications of Discourse Analysis
The= methodological= implications= of= discourse= analysis= are= multifarious.= Here= follows= a=
1. Texts used in discourse analysis=vary=from=written=reports=and=reviews=to=broadcast=
2. Sample size is not the major issue. but rather how language is used in accounting for
a= particular= phenomenon.= In= our= case.= the= employment= of= discourse= analysis= in=
analysing= focus-group= discussions= aims= to= show= how= the= three= elements= that= are=
definitive= of= musical= products= (fetish.= taboo.= simulacrum)= surface= in= consumers`=
discourse= and= provide= useful= cultural= cues= for= the= construction= of= coherent= and=
meaningful intra-group communication.
3. Representativeness is the key criterion.= therefore= the= participation= in= the= focus-
groups of consumers with similar musical tastes and life-styles is essential.
4. Variability in accounts= ('Interpretive= repertoires¨= verging= on= distinctive= world-
single source (be it a song. a cd-cover=or=a=print-ad. a review etc)
5. Generation of patterns=that=accommodate=similarities=and=differences=in=responses.=
allowing= for= comparisons= with= the= hypotheses= that= provide= the= general= conceptual=
framework of the research-proiect.
My=aim=is=to=use=certain=visible=cues=(record-covers.= press-clips)= that= have= been= used= as=
part= of= promotional= discourses= in= order= to= shape= the= image= of= a= musical= product.= during=
the= course= of= the= focus-group= discussions.= This= method= offers= the= opportunity= to= elicit=
ways= meaning= is= constructed= out= of= the= consumptive= experience.= as= well= as= how= this=
meaning is made part of and reflected in consumers` daily communicative exchanges with
their peers and group members.
The= responses= will= be= clustered= under= general= categories= in= order= to= make= inferences= as=
regards the ways whereby the general features indicative of musical products. as have been
singled= out= and= described= in= Ch.2.= are= inscribed= in= their= situational= responses= to= the=
aesthetic= features= of= musical= products.= as= it= should= not= be= forgotten= that= the= meaning= of=
these=features=is=not=readily-given. but constantly mediated by consumers` receptivity that
is shaped by different interpretative repertoires. Discourse analysis is capable of providing
construct meaning¨ (Elliott. op.cit.. p.66).
4.8 Analysis at work
Having=thus=far=dealt=with=the=meaning.=limitations=and=implications=of discourse analysis.
we= should= now= turn= to= illustrate= the= different= ways= of= analysis= that= have= been= sugested.=
(Discourse=as=Structure=and=Process.=Sage=Publications=1997)=and will be largely followed
in the analysis of the focus group discussion data. presented in the next chapter:
1. Select= a= sequence= in= which= whatever= interests= you= occurs.= by= looking= at= identifiable=
boundaries between topics. The selection will take place by isolating passages from the
transcribed data and re-ordering them according under the driving hypotheses.
2. Characterize= the= actions= in= the= sequence.= i.e.= the= actions= performed= in= the= course= of=
speech-acts.= Speech-acts= are= discursive= entities= that= accomplish= certain= actions.= i.e.=
performing= a= command= in= the= utterance= Close= the= Door`.= Group= participants=
accomplish= actions= in= their= utterances.= either= indirectly.= through= descriptions= of= past=
activities.= or= directly.= in= the= intra-group= communication.= It= will= be= shown= how= these=
actions= are= reflected= in= participants`= utterances.= and= how= they= reflect= group-activity
which largely shapes their life-style.
3. Consider= how= the= speakers`= packaging= of= actions.= including= their= selections= of=
the= selection= of= particular= adiectives= and= expressions= in= the= description= of= events.=
reflects=our=preconceived=categories (not necessarily. but systemically. i.e. as instances
to= render= it= operational= for= future= exploration= into= building= the= image= of= recording=
artists).= as= well= as= how= these=categories.=and=therefore=the=entire=model=of=Consumer=
Psychoanalysis. is in a dynamic relationship with newly emerging data.
=Given=that=no=video-recording=tools=were=used=during=the=group-discussions. we have to rely on
4. Consider= how= the= ways= the= actions= were= accomplished= implicate= certain= identities.=
roles= and/or= relationships= for= the= interactants.= It= has= already= been= stressed= in= the=
previous chapter that particular identities` and roles is not primarily at issue here. This
is the focus of behaviourism. and draws on the deductive assumptions of psychological
models. Consumer psychoanalysis. instead.=aims=to=offer=a=glimpse=of=the=ontological=
in= which= words.= images= and= sounds= are= invested= with= meaning= as= a= result= of= the=
processes=of=condensation.=substitution=and dsiplacement. In addition. as it has already
our= analytical= focus.= the= notions= of= split= subiectivity= and= phantasmatic= unity`= are=
preferred.= Therefore.= what= will= be=shown=is=how=certain=actions=accomplished=in=the=
collectively. as taboos. fetishes and simulacra.
4.9 Conclusion: Interpretivism as a method in Consumer Psychoanalysis
References= to= interpretation= and= interpretivism= (or= Hermeneutics)= were= made= in= the=
previous chapter. Eurther elucidation of the method and its tools is necessitated in order to
render= the= mission= of= discourse= analysis= intelligible.= Hirschman= and= Holbrook= in= their=
text= with= that= of= the= researcher¨= (p.88).= In= other= words.= the= task= of=interpretation=lies=in=
the= realm= of= creating= a= match= between= the= interpretive= repertoires= of= the= analysands= and=
explanation= and= interpretation.= which= is= one= of= the= main= features= that= distinguish= the=
positivist= approaches= from= the= humanities.= Explanatory= approaches= assume= that= the=
discourses= they= weave= in= order= to= encapsulate= observed= phenomena= are= invested= with=
corresponding= to= the= states= of= affairs= they= represent.= On= the= contrary.= the= interpretive=
oeuvre= does= not= make= any= claims= to= the= truth-value= of= its= textual= artefact.= but= aims= to=
elucidate= phenomena= (or= construct= them.= as= the= consumptive= phenomenon= and= its=
researcher= for= its= existence).= It= is= an=aspect-of-seeing.=aimed=at=picturing`=the=world=and=
not gaining the whole picture. which is an impossible task. What is crucial in interpretivism
and= these= latter= into= obiect-languages= should= ever= stop.= In= short.= = no= metalanguage= can=
ever provide an epistemological terra firma=from=which=to=contemplate=the=ocean=of=sign-
systems¨= (Moriarty= 1991.= p.89).= The= difference= between= interpretivism= and= traditional=
the= previous= chapter).= the= latter= assumes= that= the= observed= facts`= are= instances= or=
symptoms= of= its= operational= categories.=as if= social= phenomena= depended= upon= the=
researcher`s= categories= for= their= existence.= Interpretive= categories= give= us= insights= into=
social= representations= and= the= ways= whereby= they= yield= coherence= among= social= groups.=
which= insights.= as= Elliott= &Ritson= (1995)= stressed.= are= the= outcome= of= a= co-creation= of=
meaning= between= the= researcher= and= the= researched= phenomenon.= = Research.=essentially.
aims= at= finding= out= how= consumers= relate= to= their= myths`.= It= is= an= attempt= to= ground=
theory on empirical foundations and vice versa. so that the theoretical model does not sink
into=the=quagmire=of=mere=speculation.=as=well=as=the=empirical=findings do not assume the
character= of= mere= chance-events.= And= as= every= myth= appears= in= a= narrative= form.= so= the=
consumptive= phenomenon= can= only= be= rendered= intelligible= by= being= deployed= in= a=
narrative=structure.=Discourse=analysis=is=the=interpretive=method par excellence=in=which=
the= narrative= structure= of= actions= becomes= apparent.= Given= that= it= is= only= in= action= that=
narrative structure they use to describe this chain of actions will be the primary matter` on
explain= a= narrative= is= to= grasp= this= entanglement.= this= fleeting= structure= of= interlaced=
what= is= aimed= by= employing= discourse= analysis= as= a= method= of= investigation= into= the=
phenomenon= of= the= impact= of= promotional= discourses= on= consumer= psychology= in= the=
popular= music= industry.= is= precisely= the= interpretive= insights= it= helps= us= bring= into= the=
process=of=product=image-making. of building popular myths that sustain the bonds among
societal= group-members= and= demarcate= the= cultural= spaces= where= everyday= action= is=
and= interpretation= proceeds= on= the= basis= of= the= fundamental= categories= as= laid= out= in= the=
Literature Review in accordance with the hypotheses that drive the analytical focus of this
5. Discussion of Research-findings
The= discussion= that= follows= leans= against= the= background= of= the= methodological
assumptions= laid= out= in= the= previous= chapter.= It= would= be= sadly= banal= to= claim= that= the=
for= transforming= the= analysands`= discourse= through= another= discourse.= even= more= so= in=
qualitative= data= analysis.= 'People.= including= research= people.= share= common= bins`= and=
causal= arrows`= in= the= ways= they= construe= and= carve= up= social= phenomena.=and=they=will=
use= them= explicitly= or= implicitly= to= decide= which= questions= they= think= are= the= most=
p.34).= What= must= be= guarded= against= is= the= possibility= of= over-interpretation.= or= reading=
more into the text than what is already there. even though it is difficult to decide about this
more`.= This= more`= that= resides= in= the= text= is= the= excessive= element= that= belongs= to= the=
realm= of= the= con-text.= 'The= context= can= be= seen= as= immediately= relevant= aspects= of= the=
the= person= is= functioning= (a= classroom.= a= school.= a= department.= a= company.= a= family.= an=
contexts= amounts= to= context-stripping`= with= attendant= risks= of= misunderstanding= the=
meaning=of=events¨=(Miles=&= Huberman= 1984.= p.92).= As= regards= the= immediate= context.=
only=Group=3=members=(Depeche=Mode=fan-club) had a friendly relationship among them.
which= they= developed= through= regular= club-organised= activities.= The= rest= three= groups=
members= met= with= each= other= in= the= context= of= the= discussion.= As= regards= the= indirect=
context. and the implications it gives rise to. it will be exposed in the ensuing analysis. The
the same time what allows us to offer ever new interpretations. Just as there is no primary
event`= per= se= that= constitutes= the= observed= phenomenon.= other= than= its= inauguration= in=
The= perspective= chosen= to= account= for= the= observed= phenomenon= can= be= linked=
those= which= are= not¨= (Sontag= 1984.= pp.155-156).= Just= like= the= photographic=theme.=any=
analysis is always already a substitute for the source (iust like the primary event` has been
substituted= in= the= process= of= its= simulacral= effects).= a= supplement= that= installs= discursive=
barriers in the various experiential fields. 'One wishes=to=go=back=from=the=supplement=to=
the=source;=one=must=recognize=that=there is a supplement at the source¨ (Jacques Derrida.
Of Grammatology. trans. Gayatri Spivak. John Hopkin`s University Press 1976. p.304).
5.2 Exploring the nature of the research hypotheses
In this section it will be shown how the primary research findings validate our hypotheses
(i) a.= The= primary= image`= (i.e.= image= formed= through= the= various= promotions= means=
applied= by= the= primary= agencies= of= cultural= mediation).= the= secondary= image`= (i.e.=
image= formed= through= the= reflection= of= the= promotion= messages= on= the= discourse= of=
the press people. or secondary agencies of cultural mediation). and the tertiary image`
(i.e.= image= formed= by= the= consumers)= of= a= musical= product= constitute= its= concept.=
which is the outcome of co-creation of meaning.
of=the=constantly re-doubled signifiers in the communicative traiectory that promotes intra-
group coherence through sacralizing ritual processes.
(iii)The= circulation= of= signifiers= is= responsible= for= the= creation= and= maintenance= of= the=
iconic`= function= of= musical= products.= Iconic= consumption`= (as= against= symbolic=
consumption.= the= difference= being= that= whereas= the= latter= assumes= a= link= between= the=
product= and= the= abstract= idea= it= expresses= as= lying= outside= of= it.= the= former= is= a= not= an=
instantiation.= but= a= simulacrum`.= i.e.= a= self-referential= unit= that= encloses= the= meaning= it=
musical products. which is enforced through promotional techniques.
5.2.1 Hypothesis 1
a. A semiotic account of the co-creation of meaning
In= this= section= a= semiotic= interpretation= will= be= offered= of= how= the= image= of= a= musical=
product=is=shaped=in=the=process=of=co-creation of meaning among primary. secondary and
including= the= ways= whereby= the= three= fundamental= analytic= categories= that= shape= the=
meaning of the musical product. that is the fetish. taboo and simulacrum are evinced in the
structure=of=the=discourse woven by the distinct classes of cultural mediators.
The= three= texts= stem= from= an= official= Virgin= Records= press= release= (October= 1997)=
live-show= from= the= musical= newspaper= Melody= Maker= (17= January= 1998)= |MM= in= the=
analysis|= .= and= transcribed= fans`= comments= appearing= at= the= end= of= both= of= the=
aforementioned texts |EC in the analysis| (cf. Appendix . for the texts).
The= interpretation= proceeds= by= singling= out= phrases= that= reflect= the= key-themes=raised=in=
1.='The=thing=about=the tour is it`s the closest you get to living=and=the=closest to going
completely crazy= at= the= same= time¨= (PR).= 'Dragging= the= needy= into= another= world.=
another= world.=another plane.= another= mind;=showing them the other side. reminding
them=of=love.=of=need.=of=passion.=A POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE OF REALITY¨
2. 'Tonight. the power could fail completely. the building could collapse. the world could
stop spinning and we`d keep singing¨= (MM).= 'I= think= that`s= what=great music= is=
about. it can have a timeless depth to it¨=(PR).
vocal chords grinding together into a single. terrifying roar¨= (MM)= 'But= it`s= during=
the=quieter=songs=that=this=sense of togetherness=floods=over=into=the=audience.=songs=like=
The Drugs don`t work`. which summons a blissful sing-along¨=(MM).='When=we=used=to=
go= on= stage.= you`d= hear= this= wall= of= sound.= people= can= now= make= sense= of= it= and=
people= individually= in= the=audience have got their own interpretation of the music
4.= 'the= passion`s= still= there..the= way= it= melts= and= freezes= your= heart= in the space of a
single note.=the=way=it=cares¨ (MM). 'When I`m on stage with my eyes closed. I`m in a
beautiful place. in a beautiful space¨=(PR).=
5.= 'It`s= geographical= music.=it`s global music.= built= upon= Richard`s= lucid= dreams`.=
dreams where he can make anything happen¨=(MM)
totally. he`s very spiritual¨ (EC)
8. 'We really got our money`s worth¨ (EC)
between the chain of signifiers established through distinctive classes of discourses and the
signifieds they metaphorically allude to. The relationship is meta-phoric.=i.e.=transposes=us=
to another dimension of discourse. as the etymology of the word suggests (from the Greek
verb phero`. which means transpose and the adverb meta`. which means post` or after`.
in this case to another dimension). given that the context underpinning the text is obliquely
alluded to. The numerals were used to partition the fragments in order to point out certain
driving themes to be explored semiotically.
The= Verve= in= the= no.1= passages= are= exposed= as= sending= a= postcard= from= the= edge= of=
reality`.= and= as= bringing= to= light= the= other= side`.= A= semiotic-psychoanalytic=reading=of=
these=passages=suggests=that=the=Verve is the arche-signifier for the primary signified. what
grounds= the= chain= of= signifiers= that= makes= up= the= musical= product= and= at= the= same= time=
what= grounds= the= reality= principle`.= which= is= a= hyperreal= construct= consisting= of= a=
borders=circumscribed=by=the=taboo=of=the=primary=signifier. which cannot be found within
the= grid= of= significations= (see= the= next= two= sections= for= an= analysis= of= the= paradoxes= for=
consumer= behaviour= this= absence`.= which= is=the= signified.= gives= rise= to).= and= sending= to=
their disciples a postcard` (and the use=of=this=term=certainly=refers=to=Derrida`s=use=of=the=
concept= in= his= book= The= Postcard:= Erom= Socrates= to= Ereud= and= Beyond`)= wherein= a=
fragmentary= account= (hence= the= sending= of= a= postcard`= rather= than= a= treatise= on= the=
Other`.= for= example)= of= what= they= gazed`= beyond= the= hyperreal.= in= the= realm= of= the=
descent= into= the= Inferno= or= Hercules`= descent= into= Hades.= takes= place= on= tour.= i.e.= in= the=
live-show= Crusade.= which= aims= to= carry= the= message.= or= send= the= postcard.= to= as= many=
consumers= as= possible.= thus= metonymically= displacing= the= Phallus= by= the= signifier= the=
Verve.= The= heroic= narrative= continues= with= an= allusion= to= the= atemporal`= and= depth`=
equipped= with= super-natural= powers= that= allow= them= to= transpose= their= audience= to= that=
(no.4). i.e. where all becoming has reached an end and Platonic. ideal beauty can be=gazed=
in= its= nudity.= Of= course= this= is= a= dreamscape= (which= does= validate= our= use= of= the= three=
psyche).= so= the= narrative
= continues= (no.5)= by= alluding= to= Ricard`s= |Richard= Aschcroft.=
because= they= are= imprinted= with= the= vision= of= the= other= side`.= where= the= mask`= of=
in=general=all=the=essential=ingredients for a successful stage-setting.
hyperreality= has= finally= dropped= and= the= Real`= can= be= gazed= face= to=face;= which= is=
impossible. as it will be explained in the following sections. as 'the simulacrum |sc. which
is= the= constitutive= unit= of= the= hyperreal|= masks=the absence= of= a= profound= reality¨=
centre= of= the= simulacrum.= with= all= the= concomitant= implications= for= the= will-to-consume
musical= products= as= taboos= and= fetishes.= Eans= follow= the= same= pattern= that= grounds=
religious thinking. i.e. uncritical devotion to its a-historic narrative. albeit in a secularized
process= of= semiotic= exchanges= repeat= the= gesture= by= giving= Richard= personal= items.=
portion of consumers` disposable income was exchanged for a view` of the otherside.
This= semiotic= analysis.= we= believe.= shows= how= the= narratives= employed= by= primary= and=
secondary image-makers respectively are responsible for shaping the cultural imagery of a
musical= product.= in= this= case= global`.= heroic`= imagery.= which= in= turn= is= inflected= in=
consumers`= personal= lives.= appropriated= as= a= meaningful= hyperreal= structure= that= helps=
of= the= two= image-makers= also= shows= how= the= proiected= image= is= re-introiected= by= its=
narrators. thus constituting the circular movement of the co-creation of meaning.
b.= The= product-concept= of= a= musical= product= has= been= found= to= consist= of= distinctive=
visual.= aural= and= verbal= cues.= as= a= result= of= co-creation=of=meaning=.=Their=evaluation=by=
consumers= varies.= not= only= at= an= opinion-level.= but= at= the= level= of= actual= use.= and= is
determined= by= the= exchange= value= with= which= they= invest= the= product.= as= will= be= shown=
below.= Insofar= as= one= of= the= main= tasks= of= discourse= analysis= is= to= explore= possible=
the= issue.= a= couple= of= empirical= observations= on= the= findings= must= be= made= along= theses=
who claimed at one point that lyrics and melody` are the two most important features of a
musical= product.= and= at= another= point= claimed= that= posters= is= a= very= important= means= of=
communication among her peers. which contradiction possibly stems from a lack of clarity
shirts are often viewed as peripheral to the central` elements of music and lyrics. however
indispensable their part may be in differentiating products. building and maintaining brand-
images=and=constructing=fan-bases.= in= a= few= words= all= the= essential= features= that= make= a=
product= successful.= The= second= observation= = concerns= the= significance`= of= the= different=
by end-consumers. which is extremely hard to pinpoint. as it depends on purely situational
to= the= relative= (to= the= mission-obiective(s))= effectiveness= of= the= distinctive= parts= that=
comprise it? Promotions effectiveness is one of the burning issues` at the moment. both in
in= this= dissertation= will= point= towards= some= directions= worth= exploring= in= the= course= of=
selecting the appropriate promotions techniques when it comes to developing new musical
clearly= emerged= from= the= discussion= that= certain= promotions= techniques= have= a= more=
lasting= impact= on= the= formation= of= consumers`= world-sense.= The= 3
= group= members=
unanimously= agreed= that= video-clips= offer= more= feed-back= for= their= ordinary=
communicative= exchanges= than= print-adverts.= which= are= aimed= merely= at= creating=
awareness= with= regard= to= forthcoming= releases.= 1
= group= members= also= agree= on= the=
primacy= of= live-shows= over= other= promotions= techniques= in= constructing= a= direct`=
relationship with the group. emphasizing that it is on stage that they can check whether the
band`s= proiect= is= real`.= This= quest= for= authenticity= has= been= described= in= the= Literature=
centre` of the simulacrum. that is the exhaustion of its symbolic and imaginary effects that
circulate=on=the=surface.=The=video-clip is iust one step in the process of approximating the
latter.= different= responses= were= given= with= regard= to= its= significance.= Eor= example.= Eilio=
(Group= 3)= feels= the= need= to= be= close= to= the= scene.= to= the= staging= of= the= event`.= and= this=
makes= her= feel= more= at= one`= with= the= group= and= its= followers.= 'By= virtue= of= the=
that= a= sense= of= communal= togetherness= is= created¨= (Bradley= 1992.= p.52).= 'You= feel= like=
one¨. as Eilio stressed. 'You participate in something common.¨ (Maria. group 1). or. as
Williamson= (1978.= p.51)= puts= it.= 'We= are= appellated= as= already= in= a= group= of= one¨.=
Importance= is= measured= against= the= background= of= the= impact= of= each= technique= on= the=
formation= of= life-styles= based= on= the= imagery= that= the= discourses= around= the= musical=
product= help= create.= In= these= respects.= it= became= evident= in= the= course= of= the= discussion=
that= the= live= event`= is= primarily= responsible= for= maintaining= the= state= of= aesthetic=
hallucination`.= as= Baudrillard= termed= it.= in= which= the= hyperreal= world= of= consumers= is=
viving or staging consumers` world-sense. The theatrical representation of the meaning of
life`.= the= quest= for= the= centre.= is= effected= through= the= repetition= of= the= effects= of= the=
the appropriation of the centre` of the simulacrum in the symbolically invested possession
of= fetishes.= such= as= t-shirts= and= limited-edition= items.= However.= we= should= distinguish
between= mild`= and= hardcore`= fans.= as= it= became= evident= that= the= participants= of= the=
second= group= were= less= prone= to= claim= that= a= product= has= extra= value`= if= it= comes= in= a=
promotions= techniques.= as= already= stressed.= lies= in= their= power= to= establish= a= system= of=
items.=what=makes=them=customized.=even=though=they=are=mass=market= products= (and= it=
different`= even= though= they= are= consuming= mass`=products).= is= precisely= the= different=
invested= with= by= individuals= or= the= multiple= ways= in= which= they= are= encoded`= with=
This= truism= has= been= repeatedly= stressed= in= official= trade= literature:= 'More= than= ever.=
emphasises their individuality. As a result they ask for special branding on everything from
with styles like skinnies. ringers and long sleeves now widely available¨ (Those little added
employed= earlier= on.= which= is= the= necessary= and= sufficient= condition= for= entering= the=
Symbolic= Order= of= language.= This= order= has= been= defined= as= comprised= of= a= web= of=
interlocking signifiers (verbal. visual. aural. tangible). which is self-subsistent. hyperreal.=It=
has= been= also= been= noted= that= the= primary= site= of= the= inscription= of= these= signifiers= in=
consumer= behaviour= is= the= bodily= level= or= the= level= of= affection= (hence= the= passive.= un-
critical. workings of the signifying system or cultural code` shared by primary. secondary
of= intensity.= first= and= foremost.= before= assuming= symbolic= value.= Of= course.= the=
practice= it= may= be= a= contemporaneous= process.= What= is= the= focal= point= we= wish= to= put=
absolute= terms.= and.= moreover.= it= cannot= be= approached=solely=from=the=production=side.=
Different strategies that use different techniques must be extremely thoughtful of what` is
targeted= exactly= before= proceeding= to= the= implementation= stage.= However.= there= are=
loyal= fans= explored= in= this= chapter.= that= owe= their= success= to= the= fact= that= they= created= a=
whole= mythology`= around= them.= And= the= way= this= myth= is= maintained= is= shown= in= the=
real-life actions` of consumers. which become significant by bearing largely on the textual
edifice= that= was= woven= by= numerous= cultural= mediators`= sets= of= discourses= on= these=
shows= how= everyday= discourse=is= structured= as= a= grid= of= significations).= it= becomes=
what= they= mean`= to= consumers.= And= in= this= case.= quantitative= measurement= scales= (like=
Likert scales) fall short of interpretive value. as it is highly unlikely that any of us is able or
willing to convert psychical significance. or portions of libidinal energy. into a finite set of
numerical values (i.e. 1-7).='It=is=difficult=to=quantify=the=success=of=iackets=as=promotional
tools.= but= they= played= a= role= in= building= international= awareness= of= the= Verve¨= (Orgie=
Agostine-= Virgin= Records= International= Marketing= Manager.= in= 'Eiring= Up= the=
on= a= monetary= basis.= which= is= the= ultimate= aim= of= investing`= on= certain= promotional=
strategies.= But= in= order= to= calculate= the= exchangeability= of= a= musical= product= one= has= to=
calculate= what`= it= is= exchanged= for.= that= is= how= equivalences= can= be= drawn= a= priori
between= cultural= signifiers= floating= on= the= surface= of= the= musical= simulacrum= and= their=
capacity= to= attract= consumers`= imagination.= i.e.= simulate= the= process= of= recuperating= the=
all= that= Madonna= is= about= comes= through= in= her= singing= and= dancing=on stage¨.= (Niki.=
Group= 4).= 'I= think= that= on= stage= Madonna= is= her= true= self`.= She= shows= that= she= is= the=
center= of= attention.= Everything= else= is= iust= complementary= to= what= she`s= doing= up=
(Jenny. Group 4).
And= as= the= bodily= dimension= is= always= more= powerful= and= immediate.= given= its= pre-
reflective.=pre-conscious.= pre-symbolic= character.= tangible= benefits= (i.e.= benefits= that= can=
of more tangible benefits (like posters. limited edition gadgets) is the most successful path
for provoking interest for the more intangible` benefits. like aural signifiers or the musical
content. It became evident. either directly or indirectly. from the discursive rendition of all
their= lives= (i.e.= world-sense)= structures= to= a= large= extent= their= situational= selves`
who= stated= that= Pulp= bring= him= closer= to= what= he= would= like= to= be.= Indirect= evidence= is=
suggested. for example. by gazing at posters or gazing at a=record-cover. as participants of
remarked= is= what= constitutes= the= passive= magic`= of= the= hyperreal.= can= be= interpreted= as=
suggestive= of= what= was= called= in= the= Literature= Review= chapter= by= using= Lacanian=
terminology.= gazing= at= the= nudity= of= the= Phallus`= ('.iust= stood= there.= gazing.¨.=
Panagiotis.=Group=2)=that=can=only=be=achieved in dissimulation. The pervasiveness of the
gaze= that= spans= the= entire= continent= of= the= imaginary= landscape= made= up= of= tangible=
signifiers is an attempt to break free from the Symbolic Order of language and merge with
the=Real.=which=is=the=Impossible= as= the= necessary= condition= for= rekindling= the= desire= to=
exhaust= the= range= of= consumptive= alternatives.= 'To= experience= the= world= in= the= form= of=
images= is.= precisely.= to= reexperience= the= unreality= and= remoteness= of= the= real¨= (Sontag=
1984.= p.164).= Paraphrasing.= for= consumers= to= construct= their= interpretive= repertoire= that=
secures them their world-sense on the cultural imagery of the musical products is to widen
the= distance= between= the= simulacrum= and= its= absent= centre.= i.e.= the= Order= of= the= Real.=
= Situational= self= has= been= defined= by= Belk= as= 'all= those= factors= particular= to= a= time= and= place= of=
observation= which= do= not= follow= from= a= knowledge= of= personal= (intra-indivdual)= and= stimulus= (choice-
achieving= nothing= else= but= the= manic`= proliferation= of= mirrorings.= This= = manic= state= is=
experienced most forcefully when gazing at the simulacrum in its physical form. i.e. at the
band-members= on= stage.= which= brings= the= consumer= one= step= closer= to= its= ever= anew=
receding= centre.= And= given= that= this= approximation= happens= as= a= result= of= the=speeding=
up`= of= the= rhythms= of= virtual= time= in= order= to= lapse= into= the= a-temporality= of= the= centre=
(which= phenomenon= is= rendered= intelligible= once= the= cessation= of= the= movement= of=
signifiers= on= the= periphery= of= the= simulacrum= is= pictured).= the= experiencing= of= ecstatic=
3)= recollection= of= Thekla`s= reaction= to= the= appearance= of= U2= on= stage.= as= well= as= his=
of= a= hysteric= response= at= the= sight= of= her= cultural= icon`.= Having= substituted= the= Real= for=
the musical simulacrum. at the centre of which reside the creators as bodily entities. i.e. as
the= un-imaginative= core= of= the= cultural= imagery= created= by= promotional= discourses.= the=
visual= contact= that= is= established= between= band= and= consumers= becomes= an= unbearable=
experience.= and= at= the= same= time= overabundantly= pleasant.= In= short.= the= mood=
accompanying= this= consumptive= phenomenon= is=iouissance. which= accords= with= the=
principles= of= the= revised= model= of= Hedonic= Consumption= laid= out= in= the= Lit.Review=
an= aesthetic= hallucination`.= waking= from= the= dream-world= of= the= simulacrum= is= a=
that= arises= in= the= face= of= this= situation.= i.e.= the= fact= that.= as= already= analysed= in= the=
Literature= Review= chapter.= the= gaze`= can= only take place in dissimulation. which affirms
witnessing a temporary breakdown of the symbolic order-=the=taboo-=and=a=diving=into=the=
Order= of= the= Real.= Therefore.= the= significance= of= the= promotional= technique= of= the= live-
Real= (remembering= Anna`s=-1
= Group-= words= about= the= reality`= of= the= live-show= as=
against the= staged`= nature= of= the= video-clip).=while=the=other=promotional=techniques=are=
anticipatory= tools= that= verge= on= the= orders= of= the= Imaginary= and= the= Symbolic.= Their=
importance= relies= on= their= situational= significance= in= terms= of= either= maintaining= or=
conflicting= with= consumers`= ideal-ego.= and= is= measured= according= to= exchange=
equivalences= established= by= consumers= between= product-use= and= intensity= levels=
5.2.2 Hypothesis 2
The=participants=explained=in=their=own=words=how=the=signifiers=that make up the musical
product= impact= on= their= psychic= structure= by= being= de-doubled= in= the= process= of= their=
amongst= them= as= a= group= of= fans.= They= explicitly= stated=that= even= though= the= band= has=
written= a= track= for= a= particular= purpose.= they= appropriate= its= meaning= in= order= to= match=
signifiers.=the=posters.=print-ads= as= a= plenum of visual signifiers. the live-show=and=video-
clip= as= a= mixture= of= all= of= the= above.= each= appertaining= to= different= semiotic= realms= (the=
Imaginary= and= the= Symbolic)= = with= fluid= boundaries= that= allow= for= crossings= between=
barriers. assume different meanings=when=applied=to=different=situations=that=emerge=in=the=
course= of= consumers`= lives.= However= divergent= these= experiences= may= be.= they= all=
converge= at= the= cross-roads= of= the= group`s= collective= world-sense.=which=is=expressed=in=
the= ritual= practices= of= club-meetings.= trips= to= live-shows.= night-outs. Intra-group
coherence is maintained by the group`s instantiation of the aesthetic features that
make up the meaning` of the product. such as wearing club T-shirts. and waving at
each other in the same way as the lead-singer waves at the end of the video-clip=(as=
like an emblem that suggests a shared past` for the group. recalling Bradley. 'You can re-
live the past by playing these songs.¨ (George. Group 3).
of= the= hardcore= fan.= who= functions= on= the= principle= of= the= exhaustibility= of= collectable=
items.= but= rather= on= the= iconic= principle= of= providing= for= oneself= definite= images= for= the=
essentially non-imagistic Order of the Real. The identification with the images of the artists
works= on= the= Order=of=the=Imaginary.=and=its=fetishistic=character=is=evinced=by=the=way=
whereby its heterogeneous elements are accommodated under the significatory umbrella of
the= name`= of= the= artist.= which= is= a= hyperreal= inscription= of= the= Name-of-the-Eather.= in=
psychoanalytic terms. We`ve seen that the Name-of-the-Eather is the primary signifier that
is the starting-point of the chain of signifiers that constitutes the Symbolic Order. on which
LV my life¨ is nothing else but a metonymic registering (i.e. displacement of the name of the
paradox that was described in the previous section with respect to the dissimulatory gaze`
of the centre of the simulacrum arises here. The power of the gaze` in shaping the cultural
imagery= communicated= through= musical= products= has= been= recognized= from= various=
PR= company).= who= stressed= that= 'The= teen= press= react= best= to= strong.= visually-led
marketing= campaigns= where= the= music= is= only= one= of= the= colours= in= the= palette¨= (from=
Music=Week).=The=primary=signifier=(Pulp)=assumes=its= transcendent= value= as= grounding=
the chain of signifiers only once it is inscribed in the chain. in a dissimulatory fashion. that
principle= that= grounds= individuals`= cultural= life.= Let= us= re-iterate= McCracken`s= (1988.=
p.112)= remark= that= 'Normally= the= purchase= of= a= good= does= not= violate= the= displacement=
images=in=the=poster=are invested with psychic value has been described as the outcome of
is= evinced= in= the= ways= whereby= these= messages= are= inscribed= in= intra-group
communication.= such= as= the= adoption= of= particular= modes= of= dancing= or= the=
communication= through= lyrics.= Maria= (Group= 1)= stated= that= she= likes= to= discuss= about=
personal matters with her peers. while listening to Pulp and emphasized the aesthetic value
she= ascribes= to= Jarvis`= voice.= Manolis= (Group= 2)= stated= that= Chumbawamba`s= song= was=
grain of the voice= `.= the= impact= of= which= does= not= take= place= on= the= plane= of=
signification`= but= rather= of= signifiance`.= where= the= melody= works= on= language.= not= at=
what= it= says= but= at= the= 'voluptuousness= of= its= sound-signifiers¨=(Middleton).='Her= voice=
Group= 4).=Whence= the= pre-symbolic.=emotive=and=bodily=levels=on=which=the=aural=aspect=
affection= through= a= chain= of= signifiers= bound= up= contiguously.= This= is= the= point= where=
portion= of= cultural= imagery.= What= is= consumed= is= a= set= of= signifiers= that= circulate= on= the=
surface of the simulacrum. the musical product. 'Our first level of involvement in the=ad`s=
the= available= promotions= techniques|= meaning= is= in= our= recognition= of= certain= signifiers=
from referent myth systems. The advertisement cannot claim to have created that meaning.
for= do= we= not= know`= it= already?=Values exist not in things but in their transference¨
signifiers: The same images=(i.e.=the=actors=in=a=video-clip.=the=ordering=of=drawings=in=a=
record-cover.= the= gestures= of= the= musicians= in= a= live-show) can be exchanged for
different values. depending on the embeddedness` of the signifiers.= Thus.= the=
as=uttering=the=song-title=of=In=Your=Room`.=which connotes the desire for sexual contact.
as= Eilio= stressed.= Therefore.= the= cultural= imagery= is= disseminated= in= the= contexts= of=
intersubiective= interpellative= dialectic`.= where= individual= consumers= are= called= upon`=
outcome= of= a= group= effort= that= constructs= its= world-sense= on= the= basis= of= shared=
interpretive= repertoires.= The= gaze`= as= encoded= with= cultural= meaning= has= already= been=
found= to= be= operational=in=the=consumptive=phenomena=of=live-shows= and= posters.= What=
as= one= of= the= most= crucial= sacralizing= processes.= which= promote= consumption= through=
contamination`. Belk= provided= the= example= of= lighting= of= matches= at= the= end= of= a= rock=
concert. Primary research findings suggest more variable ways whereby contamination` is
achieved.=Wearing=huts=in=a=live-show= was= one= way= whereby= club-members= of= Group= 3=
Whistling a Chumbawamba tune was a way of maintaining group-identity=amongst=Group=
2=consumers.=Dancing=and=singing-along=during=a=live-show= is= a= way= of= communicating=
directly`= for= Group= 1= consumers.= And= the= most= important= thing.= each= common`=
experience= bears= a= different= meaning= for= individual= consumers.=the same promotional
currency` is exchanged for different psychic goods`.= in= the= process= of= connotative=
the chain of associations it gives rise to can be extended ad infinitum. depending solely on
the particular real-life`
stories it reflects. How is this reflection enabled?
5.2.3 Hypothesis 3
Through= iconic= consumption`= or= simulacral= consumption`.= as= it= was= termed= in= Ch.2.=
There= it= was= shown= how= the= relationship= between= signifier= and= signified= was= neither=
in= which= this= resemblance= makes= sense`.= As= Bradley= argues.= 'music= in= certain=
circumstances= assumes= a= sort= of= iconicity.= This= is= not= the= same= as= simple= reference-= as=
when= words= refer= to= things`-= but= it= is= a= special= kind= of= musical= meaning= none= the= less.=
namely= that= which= is= often= called= the= expression= of= emotions¨= (op.cit..= p.25.= also= see=
particular= adiectives= to= each= of= them.= Therefore.= emotions= of= ioy.= sadness= have= been=
reported= to= be= either= caused= by= or= alleviated= through= music.= And= this= process= of=
alleviation` or healing` is the same as the one of the phenomenological letting-dissappear
Through a process of sublimations`. that is discursive investments of the primary libidinal
which= reside= in= the= conventional= net= of= meanings= shared= by= the= group= of= consumers.=
'Music= can= function= as= such= an= icon.= when= makers= and= listeners= agree= the= codal=
conventions of emotional expression`¨ (idem.). Consumers. by uncritically subscribing to
these codal conventions. become enmeshed in this nexus of significations that equips them
of= unobstructed= libidinal= flow= by= creating= ephemeral.= i.e.= contextually= and= historically=
bound. associations between signifiers. that do not have a fixed referent. but rather assume
meaning= in= a= self-referential.= hyperreal= grid= of= concepts.= Just= like= the= pictorial=
verbal= and= pictorial= rendition= of= emotions= allow= the= consumers= of= musical= products= to=
of= a= life-vest`.= as= Eilio= (Group= 3)= put= it.= that= guards= consumers= against= sinking= in= the=
segments.='The=best=the=press=can=do=is=sell=the=concept=of=the=band.=Only=after=they`ve digested what
people actually go out and buy the record¨ (Rob Partridge-=Managing=Director=Coalition=Music=and=
archipelagos= of= desire.= The= suggestion= that= this= iconic= function= is= the= outcome= of= the=
circulation of signifiers` in the realm of the intra-group communicative traiectory has also
been= shown= to= be= operative.:='I=think=I=identify=with=her=lyrics=and=image.=The=way=she=
dresses= is= unique.= It= was= a= wise= move= for= her= to= start= a= new= clothes-brand¨=(Dimitra.=
Group= 4)).= 'I= agree= with= Dimitra= that= Madonna=has=a=unique=dressing-code.=I=remember=
The= verbal= interaction= that= takes= place=between= the= members= of= Group= 4.= for= example.=
or= code`= of= the= musical= simulacrum.= The= communicative= exchanges= that= take= place= are=
founded= on= the= signifiers= that= make=up= the= simulacrum.= in= the= case= at= hand= Madonna`s=
stimulate= the= teen-market`s= imagination.= And= this= stimulation= occurs= insofar= as= the=
circulation= of= promotional= discourses= in= intra-group= communication= allows= for= the=
wake= up= I= can= see= Madonna= in= front= of= me.¨= (Niki.= Group= 4)= Niki= reflects= herself= in=
Madonna`s= picture.= the= poster= is= not= seen= as= merely= a= poster.= but= rather= as= a= cultural=
mirror. a way whereby consumers identify with the cultural code through self-reflection.
= 'Leonidas:= 'I= regard= video-clips= as= one= step= before= live-shows.= It= gives= you= the=
opportunity=to=see=how=the=band=moves.=their=expressions.=The=video-clip shows that the
music is real. if you know what I mean.¨
Georgia (to Leonidas): 'Don`t you think that the video-clip is like a small gig?¨
Leonidas: 'Sometimes. when instead of a script it includes shots from live-shows.¨
Anna: 'But again. you can`t compare these two. The live-show is more immediate. more
direct. The video-clip is somehow pre-meditated.¨¨=(Group=1)
The above dialogue also shows how the effects of promotional techniques of the live-show
and= the= video-clip= respectively.= which= offers= an= abundant= array= of= signifiers.= circulate=
within= the= group= of= consumers.= Each= member= of= the= group= reflects= differently= on= the=
value` of the techniques. albeit they all participate in the same consumptive phenomenon.
been= challenged.= On= the= contrary.= it= is= reinforced= by= being= immersed= in= the= group`s=
communicative traiectory. by being reflected on the participants` discourse=on=it.=that=is=on=
this= reading= would= be= far= too= easy.= It= has= been= stressed= that= personality= traits`= are= not=
sufficient in explaining the motivations to consume musical products. If we relied solely on
to bring into light the aspects of an underlying context. Therefore. we have to dig deeper`
not= strictly= to= what= is= said.= but= rather= how= it= is= said.= Hence.= what= matters= in= the= case= at=
act= that= they= do`= express= opinions.= And= they= express= them= in= a= way= that= discloses=
eagerness= and= pervasiveness= (which.= in= the= terms= of= pragmatics.= is= called= the=
perlocutionarv force= of= an= utterance.= i.e.= the= mood`= accompanying= an= utterance.= which=
gives= a= special= twist= to= its= semantic= content).= which= points= to= a=desire.= or.= better.= a=
element= in= this= demand= is= what= regenerates= motivation.= as= was= proven= in= the= previous=
sections.= What= matters= here= is= that= the= circulation= and= inscription= of= signifiers= in= group-
discourse is actually responsible for maintaining the iconic status of musical products. that
is its capacity to provide a verbal/ audio-visual code for consumers` emotive responses.
Iconic= consumption= has= also= been= found= to= be= responsible= for= the= maintenance= of= the=
sacred= character= of= musical= products.= The= club-members= laid= out= their= intentions= of=
establishing a Depeche Mode museum. where all the collectable items will be displayed for
mass= supplication`.= Promotional= discourses.= and= let= us= repeat= that= what= is= meant= by=
discourse is the entire gamut of semiotic elements. either verbal. aural or visual. that make
up a self-subsistent complex of significations. are thus responsible for creating the sacred`
character= of= musical= products.= by= offering= identifiable= icons`= for= irrational= emotions.=
Every= effect= of= the= musical= product= as= simulacrum= on= the= listener= is= at= the= same= time= a=
taboo.= as= it= discloses= an= aspect= of= consumers`= split= subiectivity.= effected= through= the=
the= barring`= ($)= (cf.2.6.2)= to= ever= further= depths.= Thanasis= (Group= 2)= re-lives`
unconsciously= the= act= of= the= splitting= by= gazing= at= the= record-cover= of= Pearl= Jam.=
'Whichever= way= you= approach= it= |i.e.= the= cover|= it= says= Don`t= Open= me`¨.= This=
transposition= is= effected= through= the= proliferation= of= signifiers= (and= subsequently= the=
the= promotional= discourses= which= generate= them.= The= webs= of= significations= born= out= of=
this= process= are= suggestive= of distinctive life-styles.=which=bind=consumer=segments=with=
fluid= boundaries= with= the= glue`= of= the= cultural= imagery= on= offer.='Madonna=is=a=way=of=
favorite= singers...It`s= not= only= the= lyrics.= but= the= whole= life-style.= I= mean= they= can= shift=
here.= refers= to= cultural= life= we= can= see= the= wider= cultural= implications= of= the= sacred=
character= of= the= musical= product.= The= chain= of= signifiers= that= constitutes= the= image= of=
distinctive= products= is= raised= to= an= emblematic= status= that= nurtures= the= cultural= life= of= its=
disciples.= The= participants= of= group= 4= grew= up`= with= Madonna= imagery.= participants= of=
group= 3= grew= up`= with= Depeche= Mode= imagery.= participants= of= Group1= grew= up= with=
Pulp= imagery.= Given= that= on= top= of= every= local= cultural= manifestation= certain= sacred`=
principles=reign=supreme.=the=local=culture=of=each=of=these=groups=has=been=found= to= be=
built= on= the= sacred= foundations= of= the= fetishistic= and= tabooic= character= of= the= musical=
of= understanding= the= communicative= potential= of= promotional= discourses.= on= which= the=
drawing= on= the= interpretive= categories= of= the= conceptual= model= of= Consumer=
this=discussion.=with=regard=to=the=implications of the findings for marketers. as well as for
future research in the field of promotions in the music industry.
6. Conclusions and Recommendations
In this chapter the discussion of the findings presented in Ch.5 will be summarized with an
added= emphasis= on= their= implications= for= conceptual= model= building= and= research=
the field of brand management will be discussed. which. in the music industry. corresponds
life-cycle.= It= will= be= explained= why= the= significance= of= the= discourses= woven= by=
promotional= techniques= for= consumers`= intra-group= communication=as=well=as=individual=
which consists mainly of symbolic (or simulacral/iconic) . rather than functional attributes.
communicative exchanges taking place amongst consumers and in consumers` relationship
potential areas of future research will be pointed out.
6.2 Theoretical Contribution
6.2.1 Contribution on a Conceptual Model level
Behaviour.= as= were= illustrated= throughout= the= thesis.= must= be= recapitulated.= Hence.=
whereas the latter prioritizes a set of personality traits as being endemic in and constitutive
the= former= lays= emphasis= on= the= pre-personality= formative= features= and= the= psychic=
processes responsible for their formation. As a result of this. musical products are not seen
as= corresponding= to= particular= pre-existing= needs.= but= rather= as= being= instances= of=
symptom-formation=(cf.=Glossary).=i.e.=traces=of=unconscious processes. More specifically.
the= term= Iconic= or= Simulacral= Consumption= was= coined= in= order= to= account= for= certain=
gaps= in= the= Symbolic= Consumption= and= Hedonic= Consumption= literature.= The= main=
differences between these perspectives are the following:
1. The= product= does= not= necessarily= bear= a= one-to-one= symbolic= relationship= with= an=
2. An= abstract= idea= refers= to= a= cultural= value= (i.e.= status.= power)= that= is= part= of= a=
supposedly all-encompassing cultural framework. Iconic Consumption emphasizes the
context= of= local= cultures.= i.e.= axiological= grids= of= consumer= groups= with= fluid=
3. Both= Symbolic= and= Iconic= Consumption= emphasize= the= extrinsic= properties`= of=
products. However. whereas the former conceives of these properties as relating to the
realm= of= abstract= ideas.= the= latter= locates= them= in= the= realm= of= situationally= defined=
individual`s immersion in the linguistic order. on which the Symbolic impinges.
5. Iconic= consumption= is= also= attentive= to= the= definition= of= a= product= concept`.= In= this=
codes= that= shape= up= its= meaning.= The= product= is= encoded= by= distinctive= sets= of=
promotional=discourses.=appertaining=to=the=two=orders=of=image-making. and decoded
by consumers. The latter. in turn. redefine its meaning. thus constituting the product as
a= result= of= the= process= of= co-creation= of= meaning.= Meaning= here= attaches= to= the=
semantic= and= pragmatic= relationship= between= the= chain= of= signifiers= and= the= field= of=
iconic= consumption= is= a= theoretical= paradigm= aiming= to= explore= how= the= product=
marks a substitutive interplay between signifiers and signifieds.
for= the= impact= of= the= musical= product.= as= a= result= of= promotional= techniques= and= the=
on= the= definitional= plane= urged= us= to= reconsider= some= of= its= principles.= again= by=
in 2.7.1 and 2.7.2 respectively bore on the conflict among the psychoanalytic concepts
of= pleasure= principle`= (cf.= Glossary)= and= iouissance`.= which= can= be= rendered=
intelligible= and= applicable= only= once= the= distinction.= loosely= speaking.= between=
personality` or ego` and split subiectivity` has been grasped.
prioritizes=fusion`=and=communion`=among=consumer-group= members.= which= is= the=
way sacralizing processes manifest themselves.
8. Einally.= the= contribution= of= the= model= of= Consumer= Psychoanalysis= to= theoretical
research= is= aimed= at= widening= the= perspectival= horizons= of= consumer= researchers.= by=
reaching more indirect levels of analysis.
6.2.2 Contribution on a Methodological level
In= the= process= of= in-depth=interviews=or=focus-group=discussions=it=is=highly unlikely that
Ereud`s= psychic= topography.= The= interpretive= method= of= consumer=psychoanalysis=is=an=
attempt= to= reach= and= map= these= levels= by= drawing= on= the= unconscious= functions= of=
to=enable=the=design=of=associative=frameworks.=which=will design whole networks linking
imagery= and= unconscious= wish-fulfillments= of= = targeted-audiences.= This= over-ambitious
proiect can only be enforced in the case of high-profile artists. as it requires prolonged and
close= to= consumer= expectations= as= possible.= As= regards= specific= research= methods= and=
methods of analysis. it is certainly hoped that an example of how the qualitative method of
focus-group discussions. as an exploratory method into consumers` unconscious processes
shown to be a useful tool. As regards analytical frameworks. it is hoped that the usefulness
of= Interpretivism= was= demonstrated= while= examining= the= polysemic= dissemination`= of=
promotional messages in different communicative contexts. Einally. as regards the tools of
analysis= of= the= research= findings.= the= minimally= used= method= of= discourse= analysis= was=
rendered= operative.= thus= opening= up= multiple= levels= of= analysis= and= showing= how= the=
sequence= of= the= presentation= of= given= data= can= alter= the= direction= of= a= thesis`= analytical=
6.3 Implications of the research findings for brand management
It= is= strongly= believed= that= the= research= findings= of= this= dissertation= have= important=
implications for brand-management in the popular music industry. Given that brand-names
are= the= initial= differentiating= properties= amongst= relatively= homogeneous= commodities.=
consumer= satisfaction.= Consumer= Psychoanalysis= offers= useful= insights= into= how= this=
understanding= of= consumer= behaviour= can= be= achieved= with= regard= to= musical= products=
and the merchandise that complements them:
1. Given= that= consumer= satisfaction= for= this= particular= product= class= is= measured= not=
according= to= the= tangible= benefits= they= offer.= but= rather= to= their= iconic= effects`.= it= is=
suggested=that=efficient=brand-management must follow=the=path=of=providing=cultural=
2. Kotler= (1991)= identifies= four= distinctive= classes= of= loyal= consumers.= viz= 'Hardcore=
loyals.= consumers= who= buy= one= brand= all= the= time.= Soft-core= loyals.= consumers= who=
one= brand= to= another.= and= Switchers.= consumers=who=show=no=loyalty=to=any=brand¨.=
the= first= and= second= classes.= therefore= it= was= an= attempt= to= identify= how= perceived=
value= of= existing= brands= can= be= enhanced= by= capitalising= on= the= communicative=
potential of promotional discourses.
3. Having= used= Lacan`s= triple= structure= of= need-desire-demand.= it= was= shown= how=
musical products function on the levels of Desire and Demand. rather than need. which
is biologically determined.=Demand=is=what=is=laid=upon=the=consumer=by=the=Order=of=
the Real. and is a call for fulfillment of one`s utmost potential (ontologically conceived
as the potential for becoming one with the Other). Desire is the conative element in the
consumer psyche that=strives=after=fulfilling=the=Demand.=Icons=must=be=strong=enough=
in= order= to= channel= this= desire= in= the= direction= suggested= by= the= entire= imagery=
posters.=t-shirts as possible.
4. Given= that= the= teen-market= is= primarily= driven= by= visual= stimuli.= emphasis= must= be=
given in the first place on the establishment of a strong visual relationship between the
to= be= targeted.= The= way= images= interlock= must= be= capable= of= producing= a= hyperreal=
pattern= that= will= function= primarily= on= the= Imaginary= Order.= thus= giving= rise= to= a=
distinctive cultural code operates unconsciously by creating bonds amongst consumers
of a particular brand-name.
5. The= issues= of= price= and= product-use= (or= better= product-exchange)= that= emerge= in= the=
context=of=brand-management must be dealt with according to the principles of what is
exchanged= and= how= much= the= consumer= is= willing= to= pay= for= the= subiect-matter= of=
exchange. 'Sometimes the most expensive an item is. the more likely it is to sell¨. says
has= been= found= that= the= strongest= the= significance= of= the= imagery= of= the= musical=
product= for= consumers.= the= more= they= are= likely= to= spend= on= acquiring= collectable=
items=and=mechandise.=in=an=attempt=to=fetishistically=recuperate= the= absent= centre= of=
the= simulacrum.= Therefore.= record-companies= can= capitalize= on= existing= and/or= new=
brand-names= that= have= been= deemed= to= be= successful= according= to= their= mission=
obiectives= with= regard= to= the= development= of= particular= artists= in= order= to= offer=
innovative consumptive outlets. such as those suggested in the previous chapter.
6. Also. important implications arise for consumer segmentation. 'In recent years there as
been= increasing= dissatisfaction= with= socio-economic= classifications.= Advertising
agencies and those responsible for communicating brand propositions not only wish to
whom to communicate with but also what to say. This has led firstly to a growth in the
use= of= qualitative= research= and= secondly= to= the= use= of= life-style`= or= psychological
however.= who= have= expressed= doubt= about= the= use= of= life-style=segmentation.=They=
argue= that= for= marketing= purposes.= attitudes= cannot= be= generalized.= but= tend= to= be=
specific= to= individual= product= fields= or= in= some= cases= brands= themselves.¨= (Graham=
Hankisnon & Philipa Cowking. The Reality of Global Brands1996. pp.23-24). There is
no= doubt= that= in= this= thesis= life-style`=segmentation=has=been=followed=in=identifying=
and= structuring= the= teen= market= segment= for= popular= music.= However.= at= the= same=
time.=difference=in=focus=as=regards=the=nature=of=life-style segmentation has also been
psychoanalytic= vocabulary= and= interpretive= methods.= it= was= pointed= out= why= this=
particular= product-class= is= functional= in= terms= of= its= capacity= to= give= expression= to=
unconscious= processes.= by= providing= identifiable= icons= around= which= the= inter-play
strife for approximating the Other. as the fundamental precondition of split subiectivity
(cf.= 2.6.2).= In= this= context.= it= is= also= crucial= that= marketers= pay= close= attention= to= the=
group-dynamics which are largely responsible for structuring this meaning-laden=path.=
fusion=or=loss=in=the=imagery=of=musical=products.=This=is=one=more=aspect= that= has= to=
are certainly in accord that with the obiection` that the models devised=on=the=basis=of=
life-style`= segmentation= are= restricted= to= the= specific= product-classes.= only= it= is= not=
clear= why= this= claim= is= a= criticism= rather= than= a= witticism.= Postmodern= consumer=
research= is= bound= up= with= an= exhaustive= attentiveness= to= the= particular.= and= is=
concerned= with= cases= that= can= provide= illuminating= insights= into= consumptive=
phenomena. rather than formulating grandiose statements. which are hardly applicable
in the real world`.
that= once= managers= get= their= busy= heads= round= the= concepts= of= Iconic= Consumption.=
and= understand= its= implications= for= marketing= practice.= then= the= expanded= notions= of=
image`= and= cultural= imagery`= will= be= given= thoughtful= consideration.= Given= that=
popular= music= is= the= anthem`= of= a= global= village.= the= development= of= artists= on= the=
on= globally= binding= narratives= (as= was= shown= by= the= semiotic= analysis=of= the= global=
of the grammatical inscription of the power of the name to circumscribe. i.e. define the
boundaries.= of= the= Hyperreal= Space)= can= benefit= from= the= cost-efficiency= of=
standardised= promotional= plans.= in= terms= of= planning.= implementing= and= controlling=
8. As=regards=budget-analysis for media allocation. it is also believed that this dissertation
could= turn= out= to= give= some= useful= directives.=The=successful=targeting=of=specialized=
function.= should= be= given= thoughtful= consideration.= As= regards= the= communicative=
potential= of= promotional= discourses.= the= live-show= still= remains= the= most= prominent=
technique for the particular classes of loyal consumers. as it is stimulating for the entire
sensory=spectrum.=It=is=also=the=most=representative example of a sacralizing process`.
which. according to the principles of Iconic Consumption. are responsible for building
of= other= promotional= means.= such=as= posters.= t-shirts=and=collectable=items.=was=also=
found to be significant. depending on situational responses and exectations. In general.
different= rites= of= passage`.= indicative= of= the= teen-market.= are= strongly= shaped= by= the=
appropriate season can help boost sales by capitalising on the communicative potential
a= hype`= around= an= artist.=thus=enforcing=the=brand-image=and=expanding=the=product=
9. Einally.= qualitative= marketing= researchers= can= benefit= from= the= appropriation= of= the=
model= of= Consumer= Psychoanalysis= in= order= to= interpret= raw= data`.= and= disclose=
hidden= dimensions=in= the= consumptive= phenomenon= of= musical= products= and= related=
1. The discussion findings are not generalisable to all types of loyal consumers. as above-
mentioned. but rather to hardcore and softcore loyals.
2. The= number= of=focus= group= discussions= was= not= big= enough= to= ensure= a= wider= range=
and= focus= of= responses.= However.= it= was= stressed= in= ch.4= that= in= this= case= size= does=
not matter`. but rather the depth of the answers is what is more important.
3. Time-limitations= acted= as=a= barrier= to= widening= the= exploratory= scope= to= incorporate=
primary= consumers`.= i.e.= press-people.= which= would= be= an= interesting= consumer-
segment to explore in the future.
4. Even= though= popular= music= has= been= termed= one= of= the= global= products`= par=
excellence.= it= would= be= interesting= to= do= a= cross-cultural= study= in= order= to= determine=
whether= cultural= variables.= such= as= language= and= religion.= for= example.= influence= the=
decoding of promotional messages of musical products.
5. In= order= to= capture= the= consumptive= phenomenon=as=a=whole.=this=thesis=did=not=pay=
close= attention= to= discrete= musical= styles.= which= are= indeed= suggestive= of= distinctive=
hopefully= shown= to= be= the= case.= no= historical= evidence= was= given= about= musical=
movements= in= order= to= show= the= historical= embeddedness= of= certain= musical=
groups= consume= certain= kinds= of= music.= As= McClary= (1992)= stresses= 'While= we= can=
point to general patterns of pop use. the precise link between sounds and social groups
yuppie USA?¨. However. for the keen reader who would like to find more about them.
we suggest Bradley`s bibliography.
6. Again.= in= order= to= approach= the= impact= of= promotional= techniques= from= a= wider= and=
all-encompassing perspective. we intentionally disregarded significant detail as regards
the= multiple= uses= and= exchanges= to= which= different= promotional= tools= can= be= put= in=
consumers`= lives.= It= is= hoped= that= future= research= will= give= a= more= detailed= account=
than this one.
7. It= could= be= leveled= against= our= redefinition= of= popular= music= that= it= goes= against=
established=definitions= of= what= popular= music= is= measured= against.= i.e.= against= sales-
figures= and= charts-placement.= Eor= reasons= of= political= correctness.= i.e.= maintaining=
groups`= radical= difference= that= cannot= be= assimilated= to= a= hierarchical= pattern= of=
musical taste. which is a post-modern imperative. we chose this alternative route.
6.5 Recommendations - Future areas of research
approach=in=its=own=right.=both=in=the=realm=of=conceptual model and method building.
Even= though= secondary= literature= thrives= with= speculative= excursions= into= the= far-
will= be= followed= by= more= promising= oeuvres= either= in= the= music= industry= or= related=
industries in the entertainment business.
2. On an empirical level. it is hoped that promotional techniques in their own right will be
explored= in= greater= depth.= always= with= both= eyes= focused= on= the= network= of=
associations they offer to consumers` psychic lives.
virtual organization would also offer more insights into the primary production process
of cultural imagery. especially where A&R members are concerned.
4. Gender= differences.= which= remained= unaccounted= for= in= this= thesis.= would= also= be=
interesting= to= explore.= since= special= packaging= designed= for= different= genders= might=
help boost sales. and increase the customization of musical products.
5. Einally. it is certainly hoped that an able mathematician will devise a statistical model in
into consumer behaviour less time-consuming and more able to yield mass. quantifiable
results= and= maintaining= a= constantly= updated= database= that= will= allow= for= sharp=
modifications in promotional strategies. especially in such an opportunistic business as
the music industry. where musical trends do not have a fixed time-limit.
It is hoped that by now a way to listen to the seductive melodies of the Sirens of the music
industry= has= been= opened= up.= It= is= hoped= that= it= will= lead= to= a= highway.= where= many=
individual= efforts= will= intersect= in= order= to= create= a= map= for= the= hyperreal= space= of= the=
entertainment= business.= ways= that= will= offer= the= opportunity= to= engage= in= successful=
FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS
1. Focus Group Design
in= a= step-wise= fashion.= Apart= from= the= warm-up= introductory= general= questions.= the=
remainder= of= the= questions= rely= on= the= ensuing= driving= themes.= while= allowing= for=
considerable improvisation on behalf of the participants. Detours are much more important
than= restraining= their= expressiveness.= as= returning= to= already= discussed= topics= shows= to=
what extent they focus of the questions asked in the course of following discussions.
• are gripped by certain issues that concern their relationship with a musical act. Einally.
the answers provided by the participants of each focus-group have been used. in turn.
to amend or enrich the scope and self-presentation and presentation of everyone else
• thanking the participants for their co-operation
• outline of the general topic to be discussed
• explanation of the use of the tape-recorder
• explanation of the importance of behaving as a group
• ensure anonymity
(b) General Discussion
• Listing of favourite musical acts
• Stating the time-period they have been listening to them
(c) Discussion focusing on their favourite acts
• What is a musical product? Asked to rank the various features of a musical product
(music. lyrics. cover. band-image)
• What does the act mean` for them?
• In what contexts of their daily lives do they apply this meaning(s)?
• How do they communicate with their peers on the basis of this act?
(d) Discussion focusing on promotions techniques in relationship to these acts
• Which promotions techniques are more important as regards their communicative
• Listing of cases in which promotional messages have acted as vehicles of intra-group
• What kind of value` do they derive from making use of promotional items. such as
posters. limited edition items. t-shirts?
(e) General Discussion regarding live-shows memories
• Thanking the participants for their co-operation
2. Transcribed Data
big= festival= in= Athens.= The= participants= comprised=of= 3= females= (Maria-= 18.= Anna-19.
backstage= area= in= order= to= meet= their= favorite= act.= courtesy= of= Polygram= Records.= The=
discussion=went=on=for=almost=one=hour.=Its=course was smooth. without any overreactions
on= behalf= of= the= participants.= They= did= not= interact= regularly.= but= rather= voiced= their=
opinions= in= turn.= It= came= as= a= surprise= that= they= had= already= speculated= on= many= of= the=
ensuing analysis of the discussion.
Eor how long have you been listening to Pulp?
Leonidas: '5 years¨
Maria: ' Almost 3 years¨
Anna: 'Over 4 years¨
Georgia: '5 years¨
Nikos: '4 years¨
Is this the first time you ever go to a Pulp gig?
How do you feel that you`re iust about to see you favorite act live` ?
Nikos:= 'I`ve= come= all= the= way= from= Patra= |northern= Greece|.= so= they`d= better= be= good¨=
Georgia: ' Anxious. what can I say?¨
Anna: 'I`m trembling.¨
In= what= respects= do= you= believe= video-clips=relate=to=live-shows?= Would= you= regard= the=
former as a preamble to the latter?
Leonidas: 'I regard video-clips as one step before live-shows.=It=gives=you=the=opportunity=
to= see= how= the= band= moves.= their= expressions.= The= video-clip= shows= that= the= music= is=
real. if you know what I mean.¨
Georgia (to Leonidas): 'Don`t you think that the video-clip is like a small gig?¨
Leonidas: 'Sometimes. when instead of a script it includes shots from live-shows.¨
Anna: 'But again. you can`t compare these two. The live-show is more immediate. more
direct. The video-clip is somehow pre-meditated.¨
What do you think is so special about live-shows?
Leonidas: 'The whole atmosphere. I think. Everyone seems to be enioying themselves.
You get out of your head completely.¨
Nikos: 'I think you can have the time of your life. especially when you`re with friends¨
Georgia: 'Yeah. especially when you`re with friends¨
communicate in a special way by dancing and singing-along.¨
the moment. It is a great experience¨
Is Pulp a hot issue` for discussion with your friends?
international press. and through MTV¨
from= the= Do= You= Remember= the= Eirst= Time`= period= until= today.= We`ve= been= following=
each move with my mates¨.
Anna:= 'Jarvis=is= God!= It`s= his= style.= Very= delicate.= Me= and= my= friends.= we`ve= got=
posters of him everywhere¨
Maria:= 'Pulp`s= image= is= very= unique.= Jarvis`= voice= has= this= particular= tinge= that`s= very=
matters. After all. music is a personal thing¨.
Nikos:='Whenever=we=go=out=with friends. we prefer a bar that plays Pulp. It brings us in a
In what respects are Pulp important for your personal lives?
Nikos: «Apart from the fact that they fill up my spare time in a pleasing way. their music is
uplifting. it makes me feel better about myself».
Could you describe what you mean by feeling better about yourself`?
Nikos: 'Well. whenever I`ve done something in a wrong way Pulp`s music and lyrics help
me make up for it. It`s like a compensation for something lacking¨.
Maria: «There is something special about their music and this helps me feel special. ».
Georgia: 'Pulp LV my life.¨
Leonidas: 'I prefer listening to Pulp. especially Different Class` (Pulp`s previous album).
Most preferably in the dark. in a placid environment. with nobody else around¨.
Maria:='Music=and=lyrics=is=the= most= important= thing.= I= like= Pulp.= because= they= also= got=
Leonidas: 'Melody is the most important thing. definitely¨.
Nikos: 'Certainly. but sometimes lyrics add an extra twist to the melody. I think these two
Anna:= 'I= think= each= element= plays= a= particular= part.= Sometimes= you= pay= attention= to= the=
lyrics. sometimes to the melody. the cover. everything really.¨
Georgia: 'I agree with Anna¨.
What other merchandise do you buy apart from records?
Maria:='Most=of=the=t-shirts I can get hold of in record-shops.=and.=of=course.=posters!¨
Georgia: 'Mostly posters¨
Nikos: 'I`m not a great fan of posters. but I do get most of the limited edition releases¨.
Leonidas: 'Videos and limited edition singles¨.
Georgia= was= very= enthusiastic= to= find= out= about= Pulp= singer`s= favorite= cd`s.= during= the=
group`s= meeting= backstage= with= the= band-members.= and= she= said= she= was= going= to= buy=
whole encounter fascinating.
Leonidas= had= asked= Jarvis= Cocker= (Pulp`s= singer)= to= sign= his= personal= notebook= during=
their meeting. and said that «I will never separate from this notebook».
At this stage the discussion was interrupted as the band appeared on stage.
After the end of the show. they were asked to describe it:
Leonidas: 'Definitely the best live I`ve ever seen¨.
Maria: 'I don`t know what to say.¨ (looking shocked)
Georgia: 'I`ll remember this day for a very. very long time¨
Nikos: 'Tonight`s version of Common People` was even better than the record¨
Anna: 'The best band in the world¨
rock).= Panagiotis= (18).= Thanasis= (18).= Dimitris= (18).= Stauros= (19).= Manolis= (18).= all=
students.= The= sample= was= selected= randomly= from= the= Smiths= fan= club= (maior= 80`s= U.K.=
hours.= and= the= topics= covered= were= live-shows.= print-advertisements.= record-covers= and=
the= findings= of= the= discussion= in= a= systematized= way.= that= is= by= categorizing= various=
extract certain themes that emerged in the course of the dialogue.
for a considerable amount of time (at least two years). This preliminary question is crucial
accompanied= by= different= frameworks= of= signification.= and= are= responsible= for= creating=
1. The live-show as an experience of ecstatic ritualistic fusion
Which are the live-shows that have been imprinted in your memory?
Manolis: «U2 (97)»
Dimitris: «Ramones (93)»
Thanasis: «Black Sabbath (98)»
Panagiotis: «Ozric Tentacles (98)»
that you lost` or forgot` yourself in the spectacle?
Dimitris:= «I= remember= the= crowd= dancing= like= mad...= The= band= didn`t= stop= between= the=
tracks. everything was moving very fast. you didn`t have time to think what was going on.
It hit me like an explosion».
Panagiotis: «The Ozric Tentacles show was a mix of very bright lights and trippy` music
|the= adiective= was= uttered= in= English|.= Everybody=just stood there. gazing.= I= can= only=
Manolis: «The U2 show was massive»
Stauros: «Tell me about it..»
Manolis:= «I= couldn`t= believe= it= when= I= saw= Bono= (U2`s= singer)= on= stage.= = It= was= like= a=
my=favorite=singers...It`s=not=only=the=lyrics.=but=the=whole=life-style.=I=mean they can shift
between= sounds= without= losing= their=originality.= Bono= has= been= involved= with= so= many=
things. from modelling to music. He`s really something...»
How did it feel to participate in such a big event with 15.000 people?
Manolis:= «It= was= great!= It= wasn`t= one= of= those= gigs= where= people= chat= and= drink= and= do=
not pay attention to the artists. Everyone was really into it. enioying themselves... `Cause.
small thing to see them live. especially if you have been listening to them continuously for
such a long time».
In the course of the discussion the theme of the taboo` emerged completely unexpectedly.
while= discussing= about= cd= covers= and= their= adding= extra= value= to= the= musical= product.=
Before= recording= the= answers= on= the= cover`= issue.= let= us= glance= at= the= function= of= the=
cover)= by= the= maior= American= rock= act= Pearl= Jam= (on= Epic= Records.= division= of= Sony=
Thanasis:= «= = I= really= like= this= cover= because= it= unfolds= both= ways...= Whichever= way= you=
open=it=there=is=s=Stop` sign printed on the cover.=like=it=wants=to=say=don`t=open=me.=It=
makes you wanna see what`s inside».
It= is= a= simulation= of= breaking= the= taboo`= in= an= immanent= world.= the= prohibited= act= of=
gazing at the nudity of the repressed primary signifier.
2. Is the musical product the sum of different aesthetic features (music. cover
Dimitris: «The lyrics and the music are equally important. I wouldn`t buy a record iust for
its cover. but I would prefer if there was a nice cover».
Stauros:= «It= has= occurred= in= the= past= to= buy= a= record= because= the= cover= looked= nice= and=
the music was crap!»
3. The lyrics as a medium of intra-group communication
Has= it= ever= happened= to= you= to= sing= a= tune= or= a= string= of= lyrics= with= your= peers= for= a=
certain amount of time?
Manolis:= «= I= recently= came= back= from= vacations= in= Mykonos.= During= our= stay=
Chumbawamba`s song-lyrics I get knocked down. but I get up again. till everybody
keeps me down...` were like a national anthem.=We=sang=this=song=on=the=boat.=on=the=
Dimitris:= «It= has= happened= with= a= lot= of= different= songs.= At= times= we= stack= with= a=
particular tune and repeated it over and over».
Did you get the feeling that this tune brought you closer to each other?
Dimitris: « I think so...»
Manolis: « It makes us feel like a group».
Does= it= mean= anything= else= for= you=or= is= it= iust= something= spontaneous= with= no= further=
Panagiotis: « You don`t think about it. you iust do it»
Dimitris: « It`s not reflective. if you know what I mean...»
Where did you first listen to this song by Chumbawamba?
Both : «Rock EM» |Athen`s largest radio-station|
Panagiotis:= «None= of= us= bought= the= record.= we= memorized= it= by= listening= to= it= on= the=
Would= you= say= that= repeated= exposure= to= the= advertising= of= a= record.= either= through= TV=
ads.=print=ads=or=air-play. makes you more prone to buy the record? Have you ever made a
purchase as a result of this?
worth. it makes you angry to listen to or read about it all the time»
Manolis:=«Sometimes= it= happens= that= they= play= a= good= track.= which= makes= you= buy= a=
record.= When= you= listen= to= the= whole= thing= you= discover= there= was= only= one= good= song=
about it. This makes you really angry».
Do= you= believe= that= repeated= exposure= to= advertising= or= promotion=through= air-play
reminds you of a record you wanted to buy but forgot about it?
Dimitris: «If the record is good. then you can`t forget about it»
Manolis:= «= Sometimes.= though.= you= may= forget...= Then= advertising= certainly= helps= you.=
However. when it is very intense and frequent it tends to be tiresome»
alter your image about the band?
Panagiotis: «The Ozric Tentacles gig made a big impression on us. We didn`t talk about=it=
all= the= time.= but= we= have= good= memories= from= it.= It= was= a= spectacle= we= won`t= forget.= I=
have to admit that I didn`t know much about the band before the gig. but that same week I
bought=their=new=record.=In some way it kept the memories alive».
Did you talk about it with your peers?
Stauros: «We still talk about it. even though not as vividly as we did a week after its end».
Would you say that it brought you closer to your idols?
or not; if they feel what they play in the record»
Did your peers think the same?
Stauros:= «We= were= all= speechless= during= the= show;= it= was= like= a= dream...= After= the= end.=
back= to= the= real= world...= I= remember= we= kept= commenting= about= how= big`= Bono= |U2`s=
singer| looked on stage...»
4. The musical product as a simulacrum (not representation). comprised of a chain
Do=the=song-lyrics mean something for you. apart from what they say?
Dimitris: « Sometimes they remind me of past events... They put me in different moods».
mean. They iust put us in a funny mood».
Stauros: « When you`re depressed they can put you in the right mood. In another occasion
they=may=be=relaxing.=To=be=honest=I=pay=more=attention=to=the melody than the meaning`
of the lyrics».
tune. with no particular reason?
Manolis:= «= Once= I= was= staring= at= the= record-sleeve=of=The=World=Won`t=Listen`=by=the=
Thanasis:= «= I= stuck= with= the= sleeve= of= Blood.= Sugar.= Sex.= Magic`= by= the= Red= Hot= Chili=
move it around.»
Panagiotis: 'I like staring at the Smiths Meat is Murder` cover.¨
Dimitris:= 'I= would= say= Meat= is= Murder`= is= quite= eye-catching.= I= also= like= the= Smiths=
cover of Queen is Dead`. There is a certain apathy in this cover¨
Stauros: 'Yeah. but The World Won`t Listen` is by far better. It`s real-life` stuff. rather
Dimitris: 'It depends on how you look at it.¨
Thank you very much for your cooperation
All participants are members of the DEPECHE MODE fan-club in Athens.
Introduction:= We= are= gathered= here= in= order= to= talk= about= your= favourite= act(s)= and= the=
various promotions techniques relating to them. i.e. live-shows. print ads. merchandise etc.
Eeel= free= to= express= your= opinions= in= any= way.= as= well= as= interrupt= me= for= questions= of=
the same time.
members got a iob in order to be able to pay for the expenses of the trip.
So. getting in touch with Depeche Mode is a life-long dream?
Despoina: Certainly. I have been a fan since a very early age.
How many hours do you spend on a daily basis listening to Depeche Mode?
Eilio:=All=day=long.=Preferably=their=older=tracks.= It`s= something= you= can`t= get= rid= of.= It`s=
inside` you. (pointing to her heart). Different tracks correspond to different dispositions.
Which tracks would you term happy songs` and which ones sad songs`?
Eilio:=There=is=not=any=clear-cut= answer= to= this.=A=happy=song`=like=Route=66`=can=make=
you= feel= melancholic= at= the= same= time.= depending= on= your= disposition.= If= I`m= sad= I= can=
listen= to= In= Your= Room`= and= get= more= sad.= for= many= reasons.= Even= though= Depeche=
Mode have written the song for a certain reason. I translate it into something else.
Eleutheria: It`s not iust the lyrics. it`s the melody as well. When I listen to In Your Room`
I may be thinking of someone. and at the same time listen to Enioy The Silence` and think
I`m better off on my own.
Eilio:= I`ve= heard= other= members= of= the= club= saying= that= they`re= really= depressed.= either=
life worth living.
perhaps. something you like doing` individually. without the presence of anyone else.
Eilio:= Of= course.= I= don`t= like= excitement= outlets= such= as= clubs= or= bars.= I`d= rather= stay=
indoors and listen to music. unless we go out with club-members.
Can you recall an experience that made you feel that Depeche Mode exist only for you?
can=always=use=it=for=your=own=purposes.=I=would=listen=to=In=Your=Room`. for example.
when I`m sad or when I`ve lost something dear to me.
thing I could do was listen to Depeche Mode. It was iust me and Depeche Mode.
But we are talking about Depeche Mode for quite some time now. without having clarified
what=Depeche=Mode=is. Is it the lyrics. the melody. the cover artwork. altogether?
Eleutheria:= I= think= everything.= I= remember= looking= at= the= record-cover= of= Violator= for=
hours without any particular reason. like looking into the infinite.
to the label catalogue number.
George:= It= happened= to= me= with= the= record-cover= of= Black= Celebration`.= and= all= those=
weird symbols it depicted.
Does=the=artwork=of=a=print=ad=have=the same impact on you as the record cover?
George:= Record= advertisements= are= not= anything= special.= Normally= it`s= the= record= cover=
with= the= date= of= its= release.= However.= it= does= make= you= anticipate= the= release= of= the=
record. I think the video-clip has a much stronger effect.
Do=you=believe=that=the=video-clip is one step closer to the essence` of the band. given the
visual contact that is established?
dressed.= what`s= the= colour= of= their= hair.= the= gestures.= everything.= Next= day= you= may= see=
ten fans dressed in exactly the same way.
George:=The=way=they=wave=at=each=other=at=the=end=of=the=video-clip for It`s not good` is
remarkable. We wave at each other in exactly the same way (Laughs)
either a facial expression. a salutation or a clothe?
Despoina:= Yes.= In= the= video-clip= of= It`s= not= good`= the= singer= has= his= arms= around= his=
waste= and= leans= backwards= in= a= very= special= way.= In= our= meetings= you= can= see= a= lot= of=
people doing the same. while dancing or talking to each other.
Eleutheria (attempting to strangle him): I envy him.
Despoina: Respect. in some way. and admiration.
Eilio:= I= don`t= know= how= I`m= going= to= react= in= the= show.= I= might= cry.= I= might= scream.= I=
George:= I= remember= Thekla.= a= club-member.= in= a= Depeche= Mode= gig= we= attended= in=
shoulders.= Suddenly.= the= guitar-player= pointed= at= her= and= she= faded.= breaking= her= watch=
George:= I= also= remember= another= girl.= to= whom= I= had= given= a= backstage= pass.= who= was=
be demonstrating them to everyone pointing out who had been smoking what!
What= kind= of= obiects= that= relate= either= directly= or= indirectly= to= the= band= (t-shirts.= posters=
etc.). have acted as fetishes` for you ?
Despoina: I can`t separate from the Hysterica t-shirt |sc. The name of the fan-club|
produced= in= only= fifty= copies.= It= is= the= exact= replica= of= the= box= of= Martin`s= engagement=
Of course never wear it in fear of losing it.
Does= the= possession= of= very= limited= edition= items= make= you= feel= closer= to= the= band?= I=
mean.=you=own=items=that=even=the=band-members themselves ignore their existence. This
makes you more Depeche than Depeche!
George (approvingly) : More Depeche than Depeche!
Have you ever felt in a live-show that you lost yourself in the crowd?
slightly= lost.= During= gigs= I= usually= sit= in= the= back.= I= want= to= have= an= overview= of= the=
Eilio:= On= the= contrary= I= like= being= in= the= crowd.= in= the= front= row.= You= can= always= catch=
something. You feel like one.
Would= you= say= that= the= live-show= is= something= like= a= ritual.= a= process= that= brings= you=
closer to your peers and other fans?
Eilio:=It=brings=you=closer=to=other=club-members. You communicate in a very special way
each=other. People from outside cannot make sense because they haven`t felt it.
Marios: The same happens when we invite local acts to play Depeche Mode tracks. We all
gather= in= the= front= and= we= feel= like= we`re= seeing= Depeche= Mode.= There= is= a= singer= that=
moves and sings exactly like them. It`s like being there.
Eleutheria: In club-parties. when we`re standing next to each other. it feels like something
me. I didn`t even know him. but it felt very nice. very spontaneous and direct.
Having= created= this= distinctive= world.= with= all= the= obiects= and= words= that= make= up= its=
universe.= can= you= give= examples= of= how= words= or= obiects= are= employed= as= vehicles= of=
Eilio:= If= another= sings= the= lyrics= of= In= Your= Room`= I= think= the= implications= are= obvious=
George: I think we pride in this club of having brought people closer=to=each=other.
Marios: Do you know how many couples have emerged from our meetings?
Eilio: I like to know that this person is one of ours; that he wears a Hysterica t-shirt.
(blue for the boys. red for the girls) and everyone stared at us.
If I asked you to describe the world of Depeche Mode. which words would you use?
George: Dark and obscure.
Eleutheria: Incurably romantic. and.
Despoina: Yes. it`s like a life-vest.
Eleutheria: Especially in my personal life..
George: I believe that you always put yourself in the place of your idol. You think you are
David. you are Mark or anyone else. This is how a fan works. iust like a football fan. If
somebody tells you the opposite he must be lying.
Having= invested= so= much= energy= on= this= band.= what= do= you= expect= from= them= for= the=
Eilio: To break up!
Why do you say this?
Eilio:= I= wouldn`t= like= to= see= them= releasing= a= song= that= is= not=them.= Everything= has= an=
expiration date. and I don`t want to see their decline.
Would you ever build a Depeche Mode museum?
Eleutheria:= We= were= thinking= about= this= the= other= day.= We= would= like= to= exhibit= our=
collections for fifteen days and tour different cities.
Eilio: If Depeche Mode ever broke=up=Hysterica=would=not=cease=to=exist.=
Have you ever felt that you betrayed Depeche Mode in any of your actions?
George:= With= the= new= album.= Two= months= have= passed= and= I= still= haven`t= memorized=
Everybody= pointing= to= Marios= 'Yes= Marie.= you= do.= all= the= time.¨= (in= a= reprimanding=
Marios= (in= an= apologetic= fashion):= There= was= one= period= when= I= was= listening= to= a=
completely different style of music.
world of Depeche Mode?
George:= Many= times.= especially= when= facing= economic= problems.= But= I= always= come=
can re-live the past by playing these songs.
Thank you very much for your=co-operation.
= All= females.= members= of= Madonna`s= fan-club.= based= in= Athens.= The= names= of= the=
participants= are= Maria= (18).= Dimitra= (19).= Jenny= (18).= Niki= (19).= The= first= three= are=
Lyceum students. the fourth one is university-student.=The=discussion=took=place=at=a=cafe.=
The discussion lasted for about one hour. Here follows the transcription:
Eor how long have you been listening to Madonna?
Jenny: ' It`s been about four years. It all started in the hype surrounding her Erotica album
(93). which I think is the best album she`s done so far¨
Dimitra: 'Around three years¨
Maria: 'I would say around the same amount of years¨.
Niki: 'Eive years¨.
What is it so special about Madonna that you find exciting?
Dimitra:= 'Undoubtedly= she= is= the= sex-symbol= of= the= decade.= Also= she= is= an= excellent=
stage-performer. a stereotype for showmanship¨.
Niki:= 'The= fact= that= she`s= changed= her= image= so= many= times.= and= she`s= still= at= the= top.= I=
mean if you compare what she does not to what she did in 1983. you wouldn`t tell that it`s
that dance stuff which has become popular ever since the release of Erotica`. I think she`s
unique in what she`s doing.¨
be whatever she wants. get money out of it. and still be one of the best artists on earth¨.
to= bring= all= your= emotions= out.= Whether= sad= or= happy.= Madonna= will= always= make=me=
Dimitra= what= do= you= like= in= particular= about= her= showmanship?= Have= you= ever= seen=
way the dance acts move on stage. along with Madonna is better than a theater. When you
see Madonna appearing in a cloud of smoke this is where you say She`s a Goddess`¨.
Would the rest of you agree that Madonna is=a=Goddess=on=stage?
Maria:= 'Not= iust= on= stage.= She`s= a= Diva.= Every= time= you= open= a= newspaper= or= a=
magazine there`s no chance that you won`t read something about her¨.
Jenny: 'She definitely is a Diva. In all her aspects. either in the video-clip of Erotica`=or=
white. lot simpler than what usually comes out¨.
attention. Everything else is iust complementary to what she`s doing up there.¨
Don`t you get the same results while listening to her records?
can see what`s going on in front of your eyes¨.
by direct` here?
Jenny:= 'Definitely= the= live-show= is= where= you= get= in= touch= with= Madonna.= Even= if= I=
is something like a dialogue going on between her and the crowd¨.
Dimitra: 'I agree with Jenny that you get in touch with your idol¨
meeting people with the same interests¨.
Apart= from= the= live-show= do= you= believe= that= other= items.= like= posters.= t-shirts. iewelry.
collectable records. bring you closer to the artist?
Maria: 'What do you mean by closer`?¨
Do they strengthen the image of Madonna for you. do they help you communicate directly
with the artist. like the live-show?
Maria:= 'It`s= not= the= same= as= the= live-show.= but= I= like= collecting= them.= I= feel= in= a= certain=
a lot of posters in my room.=but=we=had=to=re-paint it. so.¨
15.= I= don`t= buy= t-shirts.= I= prefer= listening= to= the= music.= But= I= did= buy= a= sliver= medallion=
with= Madonna= engraved= on= it= last= year.= and= I= still= wear= it.= see?= (demonstrating= her=
Jenny:= 'Posters= are= nothing= like= live-shows.= but= they= still= tell= you= something= about= the=
image of the artist¨.
Niki: 'I`d say that live-shows=cannot=be=compared=to=posters¨.
Do you have any posters in your room?
Niki: 'Allover the place. If you get in you think that Madonna is watching at you. I have a
Do you really believe that she`s looking at you?
Niki: 'Not literally. but it does help me get out of bed.¨ (laughs in the group)
in a broadcast show?
Niki: 'Sometimes I wish I was her. but again I don`t know if I could handle the pressure¨.
Dimitra: 'I think I identify with her lyrics and image. The way she dresses is unique. It was
Jenny: 'The lyrics to her new album Ray of Light` are not as emotional as True Blue. but
they= are= very= uplifting.= Especially= the= homonymous= track= makes= you= feel= like= you`re=
rather than think what she sings about. The contrary happens with most of contemporary
rock acts. which I find very flat and unemotional¨.
we were 15 we used to dress like her and have loads of fun. Now we still wear t-shirts and
stuff. but not all those flashy clothes we used to wear then¨.
Do you listen to Madonna alone or with friends?
Maria: 'Both. It`s different¨
What`s different in these two circumstances?
Dimitra: 'When you`re alone it`s more personal. It is personal when you`re with friends as
well. but I guess the atmosphere is different¨.
and= travel= with= the= sound.= and= sometimes= you= iust= want= to= listen= to= the= music=while
studying. With friends it`s more like having fun¨.
It puts us in a good mood. It`s the same when I`m alone. but more personal.¨
Maria:= 'When= I`m= alone= I= listen= to=more= moody`= songs.= like= the= True= Blue`= album.=
whereas with friends we listen mostly to the songs from Ray of Light`.
Is Madonna a regular discussion-topic with friends?
Dimitra:= 'She`s= always= a= topic= in= our= discussions.= She= keeps= changing= all= the= time.= you=
Maria: 'All the time.¨
What do you usually talk about?
Dimitra: 'About everything. from her dresses to the iet-set parties she attends.¨
the fashion-trends will be like in a couple of years¨.
life. I sympathize with her.We talked a lot about it recently.¨
Have= you= ever= caught= yourselves= staring= at= Madonna`s= face= at= a= record-cover= or= poster=
and getting lost` in the image?
Jenny:= 'Many= times.Especially= the= record-covers= of= True= Blue`= and= Ray= of= Light`=
where Madonna is at her most sensational`.¨
album. and her naked photos was very callenging for its time. and still is.¨
Maria:= 'I= agree= that= Erotica= is=the= album= where= Madonna= is= more= liberated= than= ever.= I=
iust= like= the= way= she= doesn`t= care= about= what= others= say.= she= does= her= own= thing.= As=
regards record covers. I`ve spent hours staring at True Blue. more than any other album.¨
Niki: 'Erotica is the most sensational album. I still think its record-cover is the best ever¨
Do= you= believe.= then.= that= Madonna= is= not= iust= about= the= music.= but= about= all= those=
features= as= above-mentioned.= that= is= her= cover-portraits.= poster-pictures.= fashion-style.
Niki: 'Madonna is a way of life¨
Jenny: 'Most definitely¨
Dimitra:= '= She`s= an= idol.= worth= following= in= all= her= aspects.= I= still= haven`t= found=
something that would disturb me about her image¨.
Maria: 'I think different aspects of Madonna reflect different aspects of life¨
Maria. could you expand on that?
Maria:= 'I= mean= that= her= image= changed= so= much= throughout= her= albums= that= she= has=
the= group).= and= Ray= of= Light= is= about= her= motherhood= and= stuff.= True= Blue= is= to= some=
extent about romance. At least for me all the important emotions are=there.¨
Madonna. then. significantly affects your personal and social lives.
Dimitra: 'I would say so.¨
Thank you for your co-operation.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
L ÷ J. Laplanche & J.B.Pontalis. The Language of Psychoanalysis. Hogarth Press. London
Affect:=Term=borrowed=by=psycho-analysis from German psychological usage. It connotes
any= affective= status.= whether= painful= or= pleasant.= whether= vague= or= well= defined.= and=
whether= it= is= manifested= in= the= form= of= a= massive= discharge= or= in= the= form= of= a= general=
ideas. (L p.13)
Condensation:= One= of= the= essential= modes= of= the= functioning= of= the= unconscious=
processes: a sole idea represents several associative chains at whose point of intersection it
is located. Erom the economic point of view. what happens is that this idea is cathected by
the sum of those energies which are concentrated upon it by virtue of the fact that they are
account= is= laconic= in= comparison= with= the= latent= content= of= the= dream:= it= constitutes= an=
abridged translation of the dream. Condensation should not. however. be looked upon as a
one= of= these.= inversely.= may= be= identified= in= several= elements;= what= is= more.= manifest=
derive. and so they do no subsume them after the fashion of the concept¨ (L 83)
Consciousness:= Erom= the= functional= standpoint.= the= perception-consciousness= system=
stands opposed to the unconscious and preconscious as systems of mnemic traces: here no
lasting= trace= of= any= excitation= remains.= Erom= the= economic= point= of= view.= the= system= is=
characterised= by= the= fact= that= it= has= at= its= disposal= a= freely= mobile= energy= capable= of=
hypercathecting a given element (the mechanism of attention).(L p.84)
Displacement:= The= fact= that= an= idea`s= emphasis.= interest= or= intensity= is= liable= to= be=
which= are= related= to= the= first= idea= by= a= chain= of= associations.= This= phenomenon.= though=
particularly= noticeable= in= the= analysis= of= dreams.= is= also= observed= in= the= formation= of=
psychoneurotic= symptoms= and.= in= a= general= way.= in= every= unconscious= formation.= The=
psycho-analytic= theory= of= displacement= depends= upon= the= economic= hypothesis= of= a=
cathectic energy able to detach itself from the ideas and to run along associative pathways.
process in its role as governor of the functioning of the unconscious system¨ (L p.121)
Distortion:= Overall= effect= of= the= dream= of= the= dream-work:= the= latent= thoughts= are=
not= only= transposed.= as= it= were.= into= another= key.= but= they= are= also= distorted= in= such= a=
fashion that only an effort of interpretation can reconstitute them. (L=p.124)
Dream-work:= The= whole= of= the= operations= which= transform= the= raw= materials= of= the=
dream-work stimuli. day`s residues. dream-thoughts-=so=as=to=produce=the=manifest=dream.=
Distortion is the result of dream-work.=(L=p.125)
defensive= operations.= however.= its= attempts= to= bind= instinctual= energy= are= subverted= by=
tendencies= characteristic= of= the= primary= process.= and= these= efforts= take= on= a= compulsive.=
repetitive and unrealistic aspect. (L p.130)
Ego-Ideal:= As= a= distinct= agency.= the= ego-ideal= constitutes= a= model= to= which= the= subiect=
Fixation: The fact that libido attaches itself firmly to persons or imagos. that it reproduces
the characteristic structure of one of its stages of development. A fixation may be manifest
and immediate or else it may be latent. The notion of fixation is usually understood within
(fixation= at= a= stage).= It= may= also= be= viewed.= aside= from= any= genetic= reference.= in= the=
context=of=the=Ereudian=theory=of=the=unconscious.=as==a=name=for=the=mode of inscription
of= certain= ideational= contents= (experiences.= imagos.= phantasies)= which= persist= in= that=
unconscious in unchanging fashion and to which the instinct remains bound. (L p.162)
Free energy:= Terms= connoting= the= Ereudian= distinction= between= the= primary= and=
the= energy= is= said= to= be= free= or= mobile= inasmuch= as= it= flows= towards= discharge= in= the=
is= bound= in= that= its= movement= towards= discharge= is= checked= and= controlled.= Genetically=
is= said= to= be= characteristic= of= a= more= advanced= stage= in= the= structuring= of= the= psychical=
Id:= The= id= constitutes= the= instinctual= the= pole= of= the= personality;= its= contents.= as= an=
expression of the instincts. are unconscious. a portion of them being hereditary and innate.
a=portion=repressed=and acquired (L p.197)
provides. It is by means of a series of identifications=that=the=personality=is=constituted=and=
specified. (L p.205)
Imaginary:= In= the= sense= given= to= this= term= by= Jacques= Lacan.= one= of= the= three= essential=
orders=of=the=psycho-analytic field. namely the Real. the Symbolic and the Imaginary. The
imaginary=order= is= characterised= by= the= prevalence= of= the= relation= to= the= image= of= the=
counterpart (le semblable).
b. from= the= intersubiective= point= of= view.= a= so-called= dual= relationship= based= on-= and=
captured= by-= the= image= of= a= counterpart= (erotic= attraction.= aggressive= tension).= Eor=
that the ego is originally another.
c. As= regards= meaning.= the= Imaginary= implies= a= type= of= apprehension= in= which= factors=
such as resemblance and homeomorphism play a decisive role. as is borne out by a sort
of coalescence of the signifier with signified. (L p.210)
Imago:= The= Imago= is= often= defined= as= an= unconscious= representation`.= It= should= be=
looked= upon.= however.= as= an= acquired= imaginary= set= rather= than= as= an= image:= as= a=
stereotype= through= which.= as= it= were.= the= subiect= views= the= other= person.= Eeelings= and=
behaviour.=for=example.=are=iust=as=likely=to=be= the= concrete= expressions= of= the= imago= as=
are mental images. (p.211)
thanks to it. that the instinct may achieve its aim (L p.214)
Interpretation: Procedure which. by means of analytic investigation. brings out the latent
meaning= in= what= the= subiect= says= and= does.= Interpretation= reveals= the= modes= of= the=
defensive conflict= and= its= ultimate= aim= is= to= identify= the= wish= that= is= expressed= by= every=
Latent content: Group of meanings revealed upon the completion of analysis of a product
of the unconscious-=particularly=a=dream.=Once=decoded.=the=dream=no=longer=appears=as=a=
narrative= in= images= but= rather= as= an= organisation= of= thoughts.= or= a= discourse.= expressing=
Libido:= Energy= postulated= by= Ereud= as= underlying= the= transformations= of= the= sexual=
sublimation).= and= with= respect= to= the= source= of= sexual= excitation= (diversity= of= the=
Manifest Content: Designates the dream before it receives any analytic investigation. as it
any= verbal= product-= from= phantasies= to= literary= works-= which= we= intend= to= interpret=
according to the analytic method. (L 243)
Object:= In= correlation=with=the=instinct.=the=thing=in=respect=of=which=and=through=which=
body) or a phantasied one. (L p.273)
Objet petit a:=The=obiet-petit-a`=represents=the=machine=that=unleashes=desire.=It=is=really=
Lacan`s= formula= for= the= lost= obiect= which= underpins= symbolisation.= cause= of.= and= stand=
in`. for desire. Desire takes place in a specific place. All the obiects have some relationship
to= separation.=The breath. the voice. a song. all of these things can be objects of
desire. Evan a glance can be an objet-petit-a`.=(Sarup=1992.=p.69)
Phallic Woman: Woman=endowed.=in=phantasy.=with=a=phallus.=This=image=has=two=main=
forms: the woman is represented either as having an external phallus or phallic attribute. or
else= as= having= preserved= the= male`s= phallus= inside= herself.= (L= 311)= This= is= the= Ereudian=
notion= of= the= Phallus= (see= below)= has= been= used= in= this= dissertation= (cf.= 2.6.2= for= an=
interpretation using Madonna as an example)
Phallus: The use of the term underlines the symbolic function taken on by the penis in the
intra-= and= inter-subiective= dialectic...=The phallus turns out to be the meaning- i.e.
what is symbolised- behind the most diverse ideas.=Jacques=Lacan=has=attempted=re-
orientation= of= psycho-analytic= theory= around= the= idea= of= the= phallus= as= the= signifier= of=
desire`. (L pp.312-314)
the structures underlying a manifest content. and primal phantasies (L 314)
functioning: the whole of psychical activity is aimed at avoiding unpleasure and procuring
pleasure=to=their=reduction.=the principle in question may be said to be an economic one (L
322). |sc. This position was challenged by Ereud himself in his essay Beyond the Pleasure
was=a=step=beyond the formal symmetry between pleasure/unpleasure).
system= (Pcs).= As= these= are= not= currently= present= in= the= field= of= consciousness.= they= are=
unconscious= system= in= that= they= are= still= in= principle= accessible= to= consciousness= (e.g.=
knowledge= and= memories= that= are= not= presently= conscious).= It= also= describes= what=
escapes= immediate= consciousness= without= being= unconscious= in= the= strict= sense= of= the=
word.= As= far= as= systems= are= concerned.= the= term= qualifies= contents= and= processes=
associated.=mainly.=with=the=ego-but= also.= to= some= extent.= with= the= super-ego= (L= pp.325-
Primary Repression:= Hypothetical= process= described= by= Ereud= as= the= first= phase= of= the
operation= of= repression.= Its= effect= is= the= formation= of= a= certain= number= of= unconscious=
ideas- the primal repressed`. (L 333)
Primary Process/ Secondary Process:= The= two= modes= of= functioning= of= the= psychical=
of the primary process. psychical energy flows freely. passing unhindered. by means of the
mechanisms= of= condensation= and= displacement.= from= one= idea= to= another= and= tending= to=
completely= recathect= the= ideas= attached= to= those= satisfying= experiences= which= are= at= the=
which test out the various possible paths leading to satisfaction. (L 339)
Psychoanalysis:= As= a= method= of= investigation= which= consists= essentially= in= bringing= out=
the=unconscious=meaning= of= the= words.= the= actions= and= the= products= of= the= imagination=
the= subiect`s= free= associations.= which= serve= as= the= measuring-rod= of= the= validity= of= the=
The reality principle is coupled with the pleasure principle. which it modifies: in so far as it
succeeds in establishing its dominance as a regulatory principle. the search for satisfaction
does= not= take= the= most= direct= routes= but= instead= makes= detours= and= postpones= the=
from the economic standpoint. the reality principle corresponds=to=a=transformation=of=free=
energy into bound energy. (L 379)
Representability:= Requirement= imposed= on= the= dream-thoughts;= they= undergo= selection=
and= transformation= such= as= to= make= them= capable= of= being= represented= by= images-
particularly visual images (L 389)
Repression:= Strictly= speaking.= an= operation= whereby= the= subiect= attempts= to= repel.= or= to=
confine to the unconscious. representations (thoughts. images. memories) which are bound
to= an= instinct.= Repression= occurs= when= to= satisfy= an= instinct-= though= likely= to= be=
pleasurabnle= in= itself-= would= incur= the= risk= of= provoking= unpleasure= because= of= other=
requirements. (L 390)
the sexual instinct. The main types of activity described by Ereud as sublimated are artistic
creation and intellectual inquiry. (L 431)
Substitute Formation: Economically. the symptom furnishes the unconscious wish with a
replacement= satisfaction;= symbolically.= one= content= of= the= unconscious= is= supplanted= by=
another according to certain chains of association (L 434)
are=structured like a language (L 439)
Transference:= A= process= of= actualisation= of= unconscious= wishes.= Transference= uses=
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