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Brand Hate pp 105-128 | Cite as

Semiotics of Brand Hate

  • S. Umit Kucuk
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter discusses semiotics of many anti-branding images created by brand haters. Anti-branding semiotics are strong reflections of consumer brand hate. In this chapter, I have revealed the tacit semiotic rules used by brand haters. The chapter provides a broad theoretical discussion about the semiotic characteristics of branding and consumer-generated anti-branding as well as digital anti-branding discourse. The chapter then investigates consumer anti-branding semiotics by examining a sample of anti-branding images targeted at valuable corporate brands. It seems brand haters usually prefer red and black colors (“fire and brimstone” a color codification of Hell according to religious references), rebranding corporate brand names and slogans by embedding negative words and signs, thus creating a negative representation of those brands. I discussed my interviews with consumers and their way of decoding such brand hate semiotics. The chapter discussions indicated that anti-branding semiotic representations with dark-humor and clear messages can create the most impact on consumers, while an aggressive but intriguing message have some potential to influence consumers.

Keywords

Brand semiotics Digital semiotics Anti-branding semiotics Meaning creation Brand hate semiotics Consumer-generated branding 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Umit Kucuk
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonTacomaUSA

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