The book, written by Alissa Quart, informs people on the issue of tween and teen branding in today's society. The author's purpose/writing style was a big weakness in this book because she switched from topic to topic without fully going over one key idea. The information was helpful in learning about how the clothing and product industry markets to teens, but the author's own perspective was taken too far, making this a weakness.
A combination of a highly opinionated author and terrible writing strategy is what makes this book so aggravating. Despite all my negatives on this book, there are some very interesting facts about teenagers exploiting themselves online and off. An example she used in the book was that girls would flash certain body parts for money or gifts online.
The premise that teens are being exploited by corporate advertising agencies is quickly abandoned and Alissa Quart reaches out at various other angles to try and drive her point home. Quart goes on to argue that teen movies are now also equally responsible for branding through their use of make overs as a way to reach the 'in' crowd. Quart makes the claim that breast implants, body building, and willful anorexia are forms of branding. I can see these as perceived forms of self-betterment, but not branding. In a section titled 'self-branding', I am confused at how she could have failed to talk about the topic in its most obvious form: tattoos. Quart also ventures that choosing what university you will attend is a form of self branding. In the last section, titled 'unbranding', Quart attempts to show kids who have grown wise to advertiser's claims and are taking a stand against it.
There are many times when Quart gets a bit repetitive and predictable, often when she comes down too hard on the side of kids not knowing what's best for them. Yes, there are limits to kids' savvy when it comes to understanding advertisements, or the consequences of their own actions; at the same time however, part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them, and there are very real limits to how much we can "protect" kids and teens.
The book Branded describes the reality of marketing to teens. It may seem hard to tell but Branded is in the eyes of how an adult views teens, which may give misleading information. For me, this was a hard book to read since it was not eye catching enough as well as some facts were not facts but they were more like opinions of older people. Another thing that people saw as wrong in the book was how kids were forcing their parents to get them designer items like Gucci or Prada.
In Branded: The Buying And Selling Of Teenagers, Alyssa Quarts analytical approach to her book regarding the branding and selling of teenagers opened my eyes to a new perspective regarding the world of television, advertisements, literary arts, and more. Although Quarts arguments bashing branding appeals to my opinion and how it impacts the world, I do believe that some branding truly is necessary, before even reading her book. Generally, I was expecting Quart to analyze the branding of teenagers in a more narrative style, but the book was revolved around her ability to pull quotes, data, and information of the real world to further her argument and her hatred for branding. However, whilst reading, Quarts ability to relate her statistics to her arguments opened my eyes to how these examples applied to the real world and how I see branding every day. Quarts ability to put into perspective how they brand others to buy their clothes to feel like they fit in with these models, represents the effect her book has had on my mind and how branding is still an apparent situation. By utilizing statistics to convey her argument, I understand that advertising companies choose models to best represent their products and companies reel in teenagers to increase their popularity by using branding. The non-fiction and scientific skill she uses truly was the best persona to convey that branding is an issue that is continuously apparent in our world, and has affected me to perceive society and the world of advertisements in a more critical way.
Recommended for those interested in early marketing to the young adult market, before the absolute explosion of social media.
My initial impressions of branded is that it's a US centred, female oriented opinion piece that seeks only to market the authors own anti-market bias.
I actually cancelled finishing the book in the class because it was a miserable read.
She has won the Columbia Journalism Schools 2018 Alumni Award and the LA Press Club Award for Commentary, was a 2010 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, and has been nominated for an Emmy and a National Magazine Award.