Stars and Stories: How Films Became Branded Products
Author: Bakker, G.
Source: Enterprise and Society, Volume 2, Number 3, 1 September 2001 , pp. 461-502(42)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Between 1890 and 1940, motion pictures changed from technological novelties into heavily branded consumer products. The high sunk costs and short “shelf-life” of movies led film producers to borrow branding techniques from other consumer goods industries. They tried to build audience loyalty around a number of characteristics, but eventually learned that stars and stories were the most effective “promotion machines,” able swiftly to generate massive brand-awareness and to persuade consumers to see a new film. Data from the United States, Britain, and France showing the disproportionate distribution of income and fame among stars confirm their role as persuaders. Ultimately, film producers extended the life of their products by licensing their instant, tradable brands to other consumer goods industries.
Document Type: Original Article
Affiliations: Department of History, European University Institute, Via Boccaccio 121, 50133 Florence, Italy. 〈email@example.com〉
Publication date: 1 September 2001
- Enterprise & Society offers a forum for research on the historical relations between businesses and their larger political, cultural, institutional, social, and economic contexts. The journal aims to be truly international in scope. Studies focused on individual firms and industries and grounded in a broad historical framework are welcome, as are innovative applications of economic or management theories to business and its context.