Brands are dead. Advertising no longer works. Weaned on cable TV, the Internet, and other emerging technologies, the short-attention-span generation has become immune to marketing. Or so we're told. New York Times Magazine columnist Rob Walker argues that we're experiencing a more important and lasting shift in the dynamic between consumer and consumed than these reductive conclusions would suggest. Technology has created the possibility of advertising anywhere and everywhere, and people are embracing brands more than ever before - creating brands of their own, and participating in marketing campaigns for their favourite brands in unprecedented ways. Increasingly, motivated consumers are pitching in to spread the gospel "virally", whether by creating Internet video ads for Converse All Stars or "tagging" public structures with logos of skatewear companies. In the process, they have begun to funnel their cultural, political, and community activities through their connections with brands. In I'm with the Brand, Walker introduces us to the creative marketers, entrepreneurs and artists who have found a way to thrive in this changing cultural landscape.
Using profiles of brands old and new, including Timberland, Apple, Red Bull, iPod, and Nike, Walker demonstrates the ways in which buyers adopt products, not just as consumer choices, but as conscious expressions of their identities. I'm With the Brand tells the story of how what we buy has increasingly has come to define who we are.