Buying In by Rob Walker
The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are

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Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Consumers are in control. Or so we're told. In Buying In, Rob Walker argues that this accepted wisdom misses a much more important cultural shift, including a practice he calls murketing, in which people create brands of their own and participate, in unprecedented ways, in marketing campaigns for their favorites. Yes, rather than becoming immune to them, we are rapidly embracing brands. Profiling Timberland, American Apparel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Bull, iPod, and Livestrong, among others, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products not just as consumer choices but as conscious expressions of their identities. Part marketing primer, part work of cultural anthropology, Buying In reveals why now, more than ever, we are what we buy—and vice versa. 

About Rob Walker

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Rob Walker writes the weekly column "Consumed," a blend of business journalism and cultural anthropology, for The New York Times Magazine. Previously, he created and wrote the popular "Ad Report Card" column for Slate, and he has contributed to a wide range of publications, from Fast Company and Fortune to The New Republic and AdBusters. Walker continues to write about the secret dialogue between what we buy and who we are at his own website, He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife, photographer Ellen Susan.From the Hardcover edition.
Published June 3, 2008 by Random House. 320 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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Today’s savvier consumers are said to be more impervious to advertising. Rob Walker says: nope.

Jul 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Buying In: The Secret Dialogu...

Bookmarks Magazine

As technology has created avenues for advertising anywhere and everywhere, people are embracing brands more than ever before–creating brands of their own and participating in marketing campaigns for their favorite brands in unprecedented ways.

Jun 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Buying In: The Secret Dialogu...

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