As shopping has been transformed from a chore into a major source of hedonistic pleasure, a specifically Russian consumer culture has begun to emerge that is unlike any other. This book examines the many different facets of consumption in today’s Russia, including retailing, advertising and social networking. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the inherently visual - not to say spectacular - nature both of consumption generally, and of Russian consumer culture in particular.
Particular attention is paid to the ways in which brands, both Russian and foreign, construct categories of identity in order to claim legitimacy for themselves. What emerges is a fascinating picture of how consumer culture is being reinvented in Russia today, in a society which has one, nostalgic eye turned towards the past, and the other, utopian eye, set firmly on the future.
Borrowing concepts from both marketing and cultural studies, the approach throughout is interdisciplinary, and will be of considerable interest, to researchers, students and practitioners wishing to gain invaluable insights into one of the most lucrative, and exciting, of today’s emerging markets.
'This book is a timely and stimulating addition to the international marketing and consumer behaviour cannon, highlighting sometimes quite spectacular aspects of accommodation, integration and contradiction across social, political and consumerist culture domains. For those who do not understand how business works in present-day Russia, this is where to start.'- Charles McIntyre, Senior Lecturer, Bournemouth University, UK
'Roberts' rigorous cultural and historical analysis provides a fascinating and unique insight into post-socialist Russian consumer culture. Laying particular emphasis on the political context in which that culture has emerged, this book will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Russia today.' - Philippe Odou, Professor, The University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France
'Offering rich descriptions and novel insights into the rapid development of consumerism in Russia, this book explores aspects of contemporary society in the process. The author provides a detailed, analytical perspective on the ways in which specific brands and retailers have rapidly become embedded within Russian culture.' - Helen Goworek, Lecturer, University of Leicester, UK
Introduction 1. From Red Square to Nike Town: Re-enchanting the retail experience 1.1. Introduction: The curious tale of the giant steamer trunk in the night 1.2. Retailing in Russia, 1885-1991: From enchantment to disenchantment 1.3. Case Studies i) The re-enchantment of retailing in post-Soviet Russia: Privatisation and the arrival of the pre-fabricated kiosk ii) The politics of fast food in the new Russia: From Big Macs to pineapple milk shakes iii) Space invaders: The arrival of IKEA iv) ‘Pleasure domes with parking’: The rise of the mall v) The Russian sex shop market and the branding of Tochka-G 1.4. Conclusion 2. From Superman to the Invisible Man: Imagining the male body in contemporary Russian advertising 2.1. Introduction 2.2. Masculinity in Contemporary Russian Culture 2.3. Masculinity in/and Advertising. 2.4. Key Assumptions and Methodology 2.5. Case Studies i) Back to the (Soviet) future: The Dodge Caliber and the cult of the male body ii) On ‘Russian Ice’ with Sylvester Stallone iii) From abject to subject: Tinkoff’s ‘Zooom’ alcopop and a story of everyday heroism iv) Men’s grooming products and the return of the ‘real’ man: Nivea for Men, the Philips body-hair trimmer and Gillette’s Pro Fusion Glide razor v) The ‘First Time’ with Putin or the lad(y) vanishes 2.6. Conclusion: From superman to the invisible man 3. The Politics of Packaging in Post-Socialist Russia: Labels, Logos, Locations 3.1. Introduction 3.2. Packaging: From shelf space to ideoscape 3.3. FMCG Packaging in Russia 3.4. Moscow and Myth, Moscow as Myth: Past, present and future 3.5. Representations of Moscow on Russian Chocolate Packaging 3.6: Discussion 4. The Final Frontier: Brands and Branding on Social Media in the New Russia 4.1. Introduction: Social Media, Brand Communities and Value Co-creation 4.2. Case Studies: i) Siberian Crown’s ‘Map of Russian Pride’ on Facebook: Collective memories, imaginary geographies, brand identity ii) Levi’s on Vkontakte: Branding’s final frontier? Afterword, or the Cautionary Tale of Diana, Lada, Myusya – and Vlad
Recent years have witnessed an ‘interpretive turn’ in marketing and consumer research. Methodologies from the humanities are taking their place alongside those drawn from the traditional social sciences. Qualitative and literary modes of marketing discourse are growing in popularity. Art and aesthetics are increasingly firing the marketing imagination. This series brings together the most innovative work in the burgeoning interpretive marketing research tradition. It ranges across the methodological spectrum from grounded theory to personal introspection, covering all aspects of the postmodern marketing ‘mix’, from advertising to product development, and embracing marketing’s principal sub-disciplines.