Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Learning through pop culture

I don't know much about history...

Well, actually I do, but not because of my Social Studies classes. The things I find most useful now, I learnt through wasting time.

(the image doesn't have anything to do with this post - but ain't it cool? Find the original here)

I learned what ambergris was from a Donald Duck comic. I got inspired to take Latin classes through Asterix. I got interested in geopolitics through the expanding, imaginary Star Trek universe.

And I learnt about branding from just about everything around me. Part of the Generation X experience, I suppose, although it probably started in earlier generations.

I look at my childhood passions, some of which have survived into adulthood:

(Actually, this is almost in order of appearance)

Reader's Digest (seriously!)
The Smurfs
Knight Rider
Dr Who
Star Trek

They're all brands, and they all needed managing. So it's kind of cool as a student of branding, to be able to delve into the myths and legends of my childhood and discover some solid business lessons.

What about "young people today"? What's the time-wasting stuff they're learning?

You already know what I'm going to answer, don't you. Social networking, social media, etc.

What are they learning?

They're learning about branding, but as producers as well as consumers.

They're also learning about how to get along. Look at the reality TV shows that are popular - they're kind of cruel (notice how the Joker's evil plans in Batman are just like reality TV?) but they expose the way we relate to each other and make ethical (or unethical) choices.

Where did your most valuable learning come from?

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