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2014/2015  BA-BFILO1305U  Marketing and Aesthetics

English Title
Marketing and Aesthetics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, BSC
Course coordinator
  • Pierre Guillet de Monthoux - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 15-08-2014
Learning objectives
For each part above there are a number of learning obejctives that will be checked in the casework excersies and the final synopsis.
  • for part 1: Mastering the Concepts of Marketing Mix in Mainstream Marketing Mastering models for consumer, industrial markets including network models for business to business account for markting history according to Ellis
  • for part 2; knowing the elements of the models and their mutual differences Mastering the Kantian model for aesthetic judgment Mastering the avantgarde models of Beuys and Bourriaud Mastering the aesthetic model of Ranciere
  • For part 3 Applying models in 2 a, b, and c. to marketing cases for 1. consumer products 2. business to business markets 3 Financial markets 4. Public and non for profit markets
Marketing and Aesthetics:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period May/June
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

 MARKET(ING) AND AESTHETICS; introduction to marketing and consumption studies for philosophers
Teaching the field of Marketing to Fløk (philosophy and economy)-students is a philosophical challenge achieved by integrating three elements of the course. The first part initiates Fløk students to the business profession of marketing. In the second part Fløk students get an introduction to three aesthetic philosophies that they will apply and use in part three; case studies of consumers in different markets.

1. Introduction to Marketing as a Job, a Function and Discipline.

Marketing is about making firms develop and sell products and services with high value to customers so the course starts by an introduction to Marketing as a special profession. After a short history and “state of the art” orientation to corporate marketing management; this first part treats the development of the marketing function in business corporations and some general models of consumer-, industrial- and financial-markets for products and services? The part is based on genealogical marketing-history and textbook “state of the art” descriptions of professional marketing culture. In addition to readings and lectures this part will also contain studio based ( at CBS studio) encounters with marketing professionals. The introductory part will be designed in cooperation with marketing scholars and practitioners with the aim of making Fløk students able to communicate to a marketing community.


2. Three Aesthetic Philosophies relevant to Marketing

This second part takes the previous readings of students as a starting points. Marx, Smith, Plato, Kant and Bentham/Mill all have, sometimes conflicting,  ideas that might be interpreted to have special bearing on marketing. A Fløk student may ask why, for instance, many contemporary continental philosophers, followingPlato, bash marketing as a lethal form of sophistry? Is the marketer a threat to the philosopher king? We also know that modern Marxiananalysis violently condemns corporate marketing as a powerful capitalist tool for exploiting and seducing consumers on markets. In fact, as Fløk students already are ware of, much continental philosophy is actually marketed as firmly anti-marketing? On the other hand liberal heirs to ScottishPhilosophers, mostly with US connections, advocate freedom of markets with minimal public regulation? But what did Smithreally imply when he and Humeuse the term Marketing? How are discussions on democracy connected to marketing like Popperscriticism ofPlatoas an enemy of an Open Society? Can Simmel´sphilosophy of money come to grips with Marxcriticism of markets?
The above is already part of baggage Fløk students have acquired in previous courses. Now our course focuses on the part of modern philosophy especially relevant to understanding markets and consumption namely “Aesthetics”. In a somewhat Kantianvein consumption can be seen as a phenomenon( you buy something that functions for you; use value ) and a noumenon( you buy something that is relatively good; exchange value) but also as making  judgments of aesthetic value ( something beautiful or sublime gives you artful experiences). But Kant´s aesthetic is just one of three different forms of “Aesthetics” that provide marketing methods for the analysis and understanding of consumption.


a. Classical Aesthetics; Kant and Kantian philosophy of aesthetic judgment.

b. Avant-Garde Aesthetics; art extended to social sculpture via relational aesthetics developed by Beuysand Bourriaud

c. Organizational Aesthetics; creation of social markets as aesthetic processes according to Ranciere.


3. Discovering consumption/consumers with aesthetic perspectives.

From a philosophical perspective a consumer is “the Other” facing the marketer. Marketing aims at co-creating value with consumers inhabiting different culturesboth ascitizensand buyerswith legaland monetary duties and constraints. The third part the course will focus on studio based work with concrete business cases in consumer research. The cases will treat household marketing (consumers goods/services markets), in business-to-business (purchasers and investors on industrial markets) financial marketing (buyers of financial products/services) and public and non-profit marketing (e.g. utility clients or donors of funds). Cases could be written or created by students in field work inspired by ethnography.
The point of the casework is to provide a case-reflection based on the methods in 2, a.,b. and c. above. The lessons of the cases studies should in addition be able to communicate to marketing professional working in the spirit we have explained in part 1 of the course.
In short; Fløk students should learn to make aesthetics inspired consumer research that can the “message over” to marketing professionals. 


Teaching methods
The Course starts with a kick off Marketing day at the CBS studio, presenting the case-companies and opening the debate on Marketing and Aesthetics.

Part 1. Lectures on Marketing management.
Guest lectures by marketing practitioners and scholars. Company visits. And visits to marketing profession events

Part 2 Seminars on the three aesthetic perspectives with social scientist and marketing scholars applying aesthetics. Close readings of texts.

Part 3 Four living cases presented if possible in in-situ-excursions. Each case will end up in a brief for a consumer field investigation done as group work. If possible the case part 3. should be done in parallel with part 1 and 2. The idea simply being that the casework will evolve under the inspiration of part 1 and 2 and naturally integrate aesthetic philosophy as inspiration for the consumer market research. If possible this should be done in the CBS studio.

The Course ends with a common presentation of the cases works if possible to an audience of invited marketing professionals.

Then follows the individual examination
Expected literature
Pensum suggestions.

Basic Textbooks suggestion:
Ellis, N. et.al .2009: Marketing; a critical textbook. London: Sage

Hackley, C. 2009: Marketing. A critical introduction. London: Sage

Reader with contributions from
Brown, S. 1993. Postmodern marketing?, European Journal of Marketing, 27(3), 19-34
Brown, S., 1996. Art or Science? Fifty years of marketing debate. Journal of Marketing Management, 12, 243-267
 Bourriaud, N, 2001, Esthetique relationelle, Paris; les presses du reel (English translation)
Charters, S. 2006. Aesthetic Products and Aesthetic consumption; a review. Consumption, Markets and Society.
Elliott, R. 2004. Making up people: Consumption as a symbolic vocabulary for contruction of identity, in Ekström, K. andf Brembevk, H. Elusive Consumption. Oxford: Berg, 129-143
Firat, F and Venkatesh, A. 1995. Liberatory postmodernism and the re-enchantment of Consumption. Journal of Consumer research. 22(3) 239-267
Figlstein, N. 1996. Markets as politics: a political-cultural approach to Market Insitutions. American Sociological review. 61(4), 656-673
Ford, D. and Håkansson, H. 2013. Competition in business networks. Industrial marketing management, 6(3) 104-209
Gadde, L.,Huemer, L. and Håkansson. 2003 Strategizing in industrial networks. Industrial marketing management
 Guillet de Monthoux, Pierre. 2004. The art firm; aesthetic management and metaphysical marketing. Palo Alto; Stanford Uniuversity Press

Guilletde Monthoux, P. 1985.Marketing by obedience; Kantian regulation by technical standards. in N. Dholakia and J. Arndt edts. Research in Marketing, London: Jai Press

Guillet de Monthoux, Pierre. 1994, Moral Philosophy of Management, from Quesnay to Keynes. Armonk; G.F,.Sharpe
Hackley, C. 2003. “We are all consumers now…” Rhetorical Strategy and Ideologicla Control  in Marketing Management Texts. Journal of Marketing 40(5), 1325-1352
Holt, D. 2006, Jack Daniel´s America; iconic brands as ideological parasites and proselytizers. Journal of Consumer Culture 6(3), 355-377
Kjellberg, H. and Helgesson, CF. 2007 On the nature of markets and their practices. Marketing Theory 7(3) 13
Kotler, P.,Calder, B. 2012. The gap between the Vision of Marketing and the Reality. MIT Sloan Management 54.
Laufer, R. 2009. New rhetoric Empire, Pragmatism, Dogmatism and Sophism. Philsophy and rhetoric, 42(4) 326-348

Laufer, R. Paradeise, C. 1989. Marketing Democracy. Rochester; Transaction Books
Nicolas Iglesias, O. and Schultz, M.2013. Building brands together; emergence and outcomes of co-creation. California Management Review, 55(3) 5-26
Penaloza, L. Toulouse N. and Visconti, L.M. 2012. Chapters 14, 26, 27, 28.  Marketing Management: a cultural perspective. London: Taylor and Francis
Ranciere, J., 2010. The Aesthetic Revolution and its outcomes in Dissensus. London; Continuum

Ranciere, J.,From politicis to aesthetics, Paragraph 28(1):13-15

Schau, H. Muniz, A. and Arnould, E. 2009. How brand community practices create value. Journal of Marketing, 73(5), 30-51

Schroeder, J. 1997. Andy Warhol: consumer researcher. Advances in consumer research 24, 476-482

Schroeder, J. 2005. The artist and the brand. Journal of Marketing. 39 (1112) 1291-1305
Schultz, M. and Hatch, M. 2008. Corporate Branding as organizational change. Brandmanager no3 42-7

Sheth, J. and Sisodia, R, 2006. Does marketing need reform? Armonk; ME Sharpe
Skålen, P and Hackley, C. 2011, Marketing as practice. Scandinavian Journal of Management. 27(2)

Svensson, P. 2007 Producing marketing; Towards a social-phenomenology of marketing work. Marketing Thoery, 7(3); 2 71-290
Thompson, C. 2004 Marketplace Mythology and discourse of power, Journal of Consumer Research, 31(1) 162-180

Welsch, W. 2008. Aesthetics beyond aesthetics, in Halsall , F. et al eds Rediscovering Aesthetics, Palo Alto; Stanford University Press.

Usui, K. 2008. The development of Marketing management the case of the usa c1910-1940. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Last updated on 15-08-2014