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Alyssa Marcus

Branding as Power: An Interdisciplinary Approach

My thesis explores the conflicts and similarities that exist within the disciplines of marketing and communications. Branding is used as an outlet to explore the gaps and bridges among these two disparate yet connected fields of knowledge.

Branding has become incredibly influential in our everyday lives and this project seeks to explore and understand this power through the lens of both marketing and communications. Branding relies heavily on visual cues along with information processing and persuasion. My thesis and visual component explore how a simple color or design can quickly evoke associations with an influential brand. This power becomes even more important when communicating health information. In order to explore the impact that these visual cues have on individuals along with society, I have analyzed the approach that both fields take in order to understand tobacco branding and packaging. Through a research survey that I conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, I explored my questions that remained unanswered. The survey investigated the way brand loyalty influences consumers’ attention to different features of packaging such as warning labels.

How can the power of branding be used to positively influence health behaviors? How does brand loyalty and awareness impact our perception of certain images, colors and products beyond cigarettes?

Sector B: Art and Culture of Seeing


Advisors: Carin Berkowitz (HSSC) | Christin Scholz (COMM)