Reading food marketing: the semiotics of Marks & Spencer!?

Reading food marketing: the semiotics of Marks & Spencer!? Purpose – This paper aims to introduce a social semiotic methodology for the analysis of food marketing and to explore the complexity of reading representations of food within promotional texts. Design/methodology/approach – The work develops a social semiotic reading of Marks & Spencer's promotional campaigns utilising images from television and web‐based campaigns. This reading is located within a conceptual framework that underpins and identifies the influences that direct the interpretation process and subsequent consumption patterns of the reader/consumer. Findings – By analysing the relationship between food marketing and the consumer, it is possible to identify a language of food that has its meaning and significance embedded within both culture and society. It is argued that the individual hermeneutically interprets and negotiates this semiotic language of food to reach their individual understanding of food advertising. Research limitations/implications – The conceptual model presented within this paper offers a subjective and interpretivistic approach to the analysis of food marketing. As such it is open to criticism that its implications are limited as it lacks a positivistic or empirical grounding. However, the implications for such an approach are that it highlights that marketing is about people and, if industry is to develop effective or efficient forms of marketing, it is important to understand how the meaning and significance of products such as food are embedded within both culture and society, and how this informs the individual's relationship with it. Originality/value – Although the study of food has a significant and substantial archive, research within food marketing focuses primarily on management and strategy and fails to engage with the social discourses that define meaning. As such, this paper offers an original insight into food marketing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy Emerald Publishing

Reading food marketing: the semiotics of Marks & Spencer!?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-333X
D.O.I.
10.1108/01443331011072244
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to introduce a social semiotic methodology for the analysis of food marketing and to explore the complexity of reading representations of food within promotional texts. Design/methodology/approach – The work develops a social semiotic reading of Marks & Spencer's promotional campaigns utilising images from television and web‐based campaigns. This reading is located within a conceptual framework that underpins and identifies the influences that direct the interpretation process and subsequent consumption patterns of the reader/consumer. Findings – By analysing the relationship between food marketing and the consumer, it is possible to identify a language of food that has its meaning and significance embedded within both culture and society. It is argued that the individual hermeneutically interprets and negotiates this semiotic language of food to reach their individual understanding of food advertising. Research limitations/implications – The conceptual model presented within this paper offers a subjective and interpretivistic approach to the analysis of food marketing. As such it is open to criticism that its implications are limited as it lacks a positivistic or empirical grounding. However, the implications for such an approach are that it highlights that marketing is about people and, if industry is to develop effective or efficient forms of marketing, it is important to understand how the meaning and significance of products such as food are embedded within both culture and society, and how this informs the individual's relationship with it. Originality/value – Although the study of food has a significant and substantial archive, research within food marketing focuses primarily on management and strategy and fails to engage with the social discourses that define meaning. As such, this paper offers an original insight into food marketing.

Journal

International Journal of Sociology and Social PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 7, 2010

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Sales campaigns; Food products; Marketing; Advertising

References

  • Of bodies, place and culture: re‐situating local food
    Delind, L.
  • From spaghetti and meatballs through Hawaiian pizza to sushi: the changing nature of ethnicity in American restaurants
    Gvion, L.; Trostler, N.
  • Consumer behaviour in the food service industry: a review
    Johns, N.; Pine, R.
  • Corporate social responsibility and the UK's top ten retailers
    Jones, P.; Comfort, D.; Hillier, D.
  • Communication in postmodern integrated marketing
    Proctor, T.; Kitchen, P.
  • Tourism and hospitality marketing: fantasy, feeling and fun
    Williams, A.

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