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The Society of Spectacle

Essay summary:

  • Debord's View: Debord criticizes modern culture, saying people now focus on appearances and performances instead of genuine living.

  • Arnault's Move: Bernard Arnault turns Louis Vuitton into a cultural brand, emphasizing creativity, celebrity influence, and creating a brand universe like Marvel's.

  • Spectacle as Branding: The article argues that in the post-industrial era, branding shifts from products to experiences. Arnault's extreme branding and performance approach lead luxury into this new territory.

Discussion (2)

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Hannah Ruth

I think the focus shift towards full experiences is because we are all so desensitized to entertainment and other stimuli that the thing we most care for currently is a fresh and impactful experience. Just seeing beautiful clothing isn't enough anymore as we see it everyday, now we need something on top of the clothing.

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Harper Liu

The shift from ‘living’ to ‘appearing’ is so relatable.

Also liked the Marvel comparison for branding, where you develop an interconnected world that the audience comes to know and understand.