The meaning makers: postmodern marketing

This article discusses postmodernism, and its effect on marketing. Postmodernism is a rebellion against rationality and uniformity: whereas modernism believes in a single universal reality, and exalts economics and the scientific virtues of logic, rigour and detachment, postmodernism believes in several world views, is interested in culture rather than economics, promotes consumption not production, and is interested in interpretation and meaning rather than language.

The meaning makers: postmodern marketing

Leanne Tomasevic

'Playfulness, paradox, profanity, prevarication, profligacy, plurivalence and phantasmagoria'. (1) The Seven Ps of Postmoderism (as marketers might call it) is postmodernism's manifesto. This mix of fanciful and unreal playtime has been viewed as a rebellion against modernism.

In fact, it is a rebellion against rationality and uniformity.


Modernism has several defining characteristics:

  1. It believes in a single universal reality, with one world-view that everyone shares.

  2. It exalts economics, putting it on a pedestal alongside production, objectivity and representation.

  3. Scientific virtues reign supreme: logic, rigour and detachment.

In alignment with these...

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