Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Reappraising the Residual, Part 1

Posted by lillieeastham on February 13, 2017

I think a similar theme in these readings, and most of the readings we’ve been doing lately for that matter, is the power of the consumer. Specifically, how the consumer can ensure that a brand or product lives on long after the company that created it has given up.

The articles also discussed how at times for the producer this can be both a blessing and a curse. The story about YouTube discussed the various recreations and remixes that appear on the site. Most the people who post these have good intentions, and are simply trying to pay homage to their favorite movie or song. Additionally, these remixes can draw more attention to the original product. Someone who sees the remix first would most likely seek out the original to understand it better. However, the creators can sometimes break copyright violations and, as shown in the example, have their videos altered or even removed.

While some brands may see these types of fans as burdensome, as shown in the two articles about the power of ‘retro’ objects, they might depend on them one day. With the rise of the internet more and more movies and series have been ‘resurrected’ due to their popularity.

When Hostess announced that they were discontinuing the Twinkie, the internet outcry was deafening. Many people who had not had a Twinkie in years still found themselves upset at the thought of losing the classic snack. There was a huge rise in sales, and Hostess decided to continue producing the product.

This shows once again how the digital age has given the consumer more say than ever before in how companies operate.




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