The Reflection of Popular Culture on Calendar Photos

The Reflection of Popular Culture on Calendar Photos

Zaliha İnci Karabacak (TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8491-9.ch010
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In the consumer society, brands communicate with consumers by subjects and practices of popular culture. Photography is used as an effective medium in this process. This study that was made within the framework of consumer society and global brands aimed to analyze Lavazza calendar photos that were published between 1993-2012 in the context of popular culture. These photos were analyzed by taking into consideration non-verbal communication means (appearance, manner, activity, props, and settings) enumerated by Dyer. The findings show that non-verbal means of communication have changed in terms of popular culture according to the years in Lavazza's calendar photographs.
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Today's scientific, social, political, economic and technological developments affect societies on a global scale through developing communication technologies. Shaping the production and consumption processes, these global developments are of great importance for the stakeholders. Especially, global brands' involvement in consumer needs and expectations have been gaining more importance in challenging conditions of competition. In this process, it is noteworthy that popular cultural elements are used by brands as part of their marketing activities due to their strong impact on visual communication. Aiming to be different from their competitors and become the preference of the individuals of the consumer society, the brands take advantage of the opportunities provided by visual communication, photography and popular culture in consumption.

Through their own calendars offering their own products, the brands contribute to the consumption, which can also be an act of visual consumption of commodities in advanced consumer society (Willis, 1993). Although it is not a new practice for global brands to prepare their own calendars, it is still current and in demand. These calendars, for which the consumers wait excitedly each year, make the brand visible in consumers' mind thanks to the power of visual communication. The global coffee brand, Lavazza has been meeting the calendars with the consumers through an elaborate preparation process since 1993. The world-famous photographers and impressive photographic frames have a significant role in keeping Lavazza's calendars contemporary. In this study, following the theoretical background of popular culture, consumer society and photography concepts; the analyses - which were made by benefiting from non-verbal communication means such as appearance, manner, activity, props and seetings (Dyer, 1982: 96-106) - of the calendars of Lavazza between the years of 1993-2012 are evaluated in terms of popular culture.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Popular Culture: The culture that dominates the everyday life that supports the existence of hegemon powers and consumption.

Visual Communication: A type of communication in which images such as photos, pictures, banners, and advertising items are used.

Global Brand: Worldwide operating brand.

Consumer Society: Society tending to consumption for lifestyle, identity, and social status.

Photograph: A picture produced by capturing light with an analog or digital camera. A type of art.

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