Marketing the Third Reich: Persuasion, Packaging and Propaganda
In this fascinating volume, Nicholas O'Shaughnessy elucidates the phenomenon of the Nazi propaganda machine via the perspective of consumer marketing, conceptualizing the Reich as a product campaign. This is the first book to use marketing scholarship to study the Third Reich, to apply marketing concepts and categories and explain how the Nazis actually organised and implemented them. Such a radical, in-depth analysis will be an invaluable resource for all scholars of marketing history, political marketing, propaganda and history. This book illuminates how, in Nazi Germany, propaganda and political marketing existed not merely as an instrument of government, as with other regimes, but the very medium through which government governed. Ultimately the concern is with the `engineering of consent'- with how public opinion can be created, and governments made, via advanced tools of persuasion migrated from the consumer economy. The two perspectives invoked, political marketing and propaganda, are independent and interdependent. Marketing the Third Reich outlines the connection between a mass culture and a political movement; and argues that the culture of consumption influences, even contaminates, politics - and that the two spheres affect each other, a consumerised politics and a politicised consumption. Thus Nazism functioned as a brand, and almost everything it did had a persuasive purpose. And with obvious parallels drawn between Adolf Hitler's use of the living theatre of politics then, and our public-political dramaturgy to-day, between his lies and our post-truth, the book leaves us with a frightening question: Was Adolf Hitler ahead of his time?