BC or AC: Before Coca Cola or after Coca Cola

Date of publication: September 1, 1988

Author: Janet Gruber


This paper addresses certain ways in which anthropology may be applied with relevance to market research. Four main topics are discussed: the development of semiology as a powerful potential tool for understanding the dynamics of advertising; the possible existence of certain cross-cultural beliefs which might bear investigation, again primarily in the field of advertising; the means by which an anthropology of consumption may aid market research especially in the segmentation of markets; and the power structures which exist in all societies and which need to be understood in order to reach the widest possible audience in the most correct way - branding and advertising which fail to obey such systems run the risk of rejection.

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