Big Brands Are Watching You: Marketing Social Justice and Digital Culture
his CAMRI seminar is an online-only event, via Zoom
How is morality understood in the marketplace? Why do brands speak out about certain issues of injustice and not others? And what is influencer culture’s role in social and political activism? Drawing on research that informed her forthcoming book, Big Brands Are Watching You, Francesca Sobande will discuss the fraught relationship between corporate culture, digital culture, and social justice – from the branding of companies and nations to television portrayals of big business and the workplace (Industry, Partner Track, Severance, Succession, The Bold Type, You). This session will include reflections on key media examples, research interviews, survey responses, and ephemera from the history of advertising as well as exhibitions in London, brand stores in Amsterdam, a music festival in Las Vegas, and archives in Washington, DC, to illuminate the world of branding.
Francesca Sobande is a senior lecturer in digital media studies (Cardiff University). She is author of The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (2020), Consuming Crisis: Commodifying Care and COVID-19 (2022), and Big Brands Are Watching You: Marketing Social Justice and Digital Culture (2024). Francesca is also co-author of Black Oot Here: Black Lives in Scotland (2022) and Black Oot Here: Dreams O Us (2023).