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Brand Hate pp 105–128Cite as

Palgrave Macmillan

Semiotics of Brand Hate

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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

This chapter is modified from my original work published by Marketing Theory SAGE Publication as follows: “A Semiotic Analysis of Consumer-Generated Antibranding.” Marketing Theory, June 2015, Vol. 15, No. 2, pages 243–264.

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Fig. 5.1

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Kucuk, S.U. (2019). Semiotics of Brand Hate. In: Brand Hate. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00380-7_5

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