In our era of late capitalism, advertising has primarily taken the form of a one-way communication from advertisers to customers. In so doing, advertisers have customarily maintained control over the content of their message, namely the manner in which they frame the context and meaning of their brands’ offerings, discounts, and unique selling propositions. This approach encouraged consumers to buy advertisers’ goods and services through a call to action. For example, calls to action may encourage consumers to shop online, gather information online, participate in a promotion, or take advantage of savings as Parsons & Lepkowska-White argue (2010:152). “Advertising Actionism” is an alternative approach that provides insights into how advertiser-consumer practices can be designed in a two-way framework that involves social activism and collective action thereby giving agency to consumers equal to that of advertisers and their brands. As Marc Brenman and Thomas W. Sanchez (2014:6013) argue, social activism is working with other people to bring about a change in society. The word “social” applies both to “society” and to the idea that the activism fosters opportunities for informed participation. They continue that if the participation is forced or coerced, it is not social activism. To move from consumer to changemaker, consumers are, in fact, engaging in social actions and political movements as they become increasingly eager to serve the planet and responsibly sustain communities. How to build more on-the-ground meaningful community economies is one of this research’s guiding questions.
Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track, Faculty of Design, OCAD University, Ontario, Canada
POST CAPITALISM, ADVERTISING, ACTIONISM, SOCIAL ACTIVISM, COMMUNITY ECONOMIES