The X Factor Enigma: Simon Cowell and the Marketization of Existential Liminality. / Hackley, Chris; Brown, Stephen; Tiwsakul, R.

In: Marketing Theory, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2012, p. 451-469.

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The X Factor Enigma: Simon Cowell and the Marketization of Existential Liminality. / Hackley, Chris; Brown, Stephen; Tiwsakul, R.

In: Marketing Theory, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2012, p. 451-469.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Hackley, Chris ; Brown, Stephen ; Tiwsakul, R. / The X Factor Enigma: Simon Cowell and the Marketization of Existential Liminality. In: Marketing Theory. 2012 ; Vol. 12, No. 4. pp. 451-469.

BibTeX

@article{e712a0ab909844f6a14d0e4046b6855e,
title = "The X Factor Enigma: Simon Cowell and the Marketization of Existential Liminality",
abstract = "In this paper we take a cultural perspective to understand the success of Simon Cowell{\textquoteright}s X Factor TV talent show and its various brand extensions which, we suggest, epitomise the new marketing priorities of the media convergence era. We seek insights not from formal theories of marketing management but in the myth and magic of Cowell{\textquoteright}s enchanted TV presence as the mystical authority, the trickster figure, conducting a mass-mediated experience of Turner{\textquoteright}s (1969) {\textquoteleft}existential liminality{\textquoteright}. Detached from formal rites of passage, this simulation of liminal ritual temporarily, and symbolically, subverts formal social barriers and opens up the possibility of transformed identity for the contestants. We suggest that X Factor viewers partake both vicariously and actually in this marketized experience of existential liminality. We review literary as well as anthropological antecedents to the media role Cowell personifies and we critique and we extend previous applications of Turner{\textquoteright}s work in marketing and consumption to suggest a wider resonance beyond the exemplar of X Factor in a range of ordinary, as well as extraordinary, consumption phenomena. ",
author = "Chris Hackley and Stephen Brown and R. Tiwsakul",
year = "2012",
doi = "doi: 10.1177/1470593112457738",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "451--469",
journal = "Marketing Theory",
issn = "1470-5931",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The X Factor Enigma: Simon Cowell and the Marketization of Existential Liminality

AU - Hackley, Chris

AU - Brown, Stephen

AU - Tiwsakul, R.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - In this paper we take a cultural perspective to understand the success of Simon Cowell’s X Factor TV talent show and its various brand extensions which, we suggest, epitomise the new marketing priorities of the media convergence era. We seek insights not from formal theories of marketing management but in the myth and magic of Cowell’s enchanted TV presence as the mystical authority, the trickster figure, conducting a mass-mediated experience of Turner’s (1969) ‘existential liminality’. Detached from formal rites of passage, this simulation of liminal ritual temporarily, and symbolically, subverts formal social barriers and opens up the possibility of transformed identity for the contestants. We suggest that X Factor viewers partake both vicariously and actually in this marketized experience of existential liminality. We review literary as well as anthropological antecedents to the media role Cowell personifies and we critique and we extend previous applications of Turner’s work in marketing and consumption to suggest a wider resonance beyond the exemplar of X Factor in a range of ordinary, as well as extraordinary, consumption phenomena.

AB - In this paper we take a cultural perspective to understand the success of Simon Cowell’s X Factor TV talent show and its various brand extensions which, we suggest, epitomise the new marketing priorities of the media convergence era. We seek insights not from formal theories of marketing management but in the myth and magic of Cowell’s enchanted TV presence as the mystical authority, the trickster figure, conducting a mass-mediated experience of Turner’s (1969) ‘existential liminality’. Detached from formal rites of passage, this simulation of liminal ritual temporarily, and symbolically, subverts formal social barriers and opens up the possibility of transformed identity for the contestants. We suggest that X Factor viewers partake both vicariously and actually in this marketized experience of existential liminality. We review literary as well as anthropological antecedents to the media role Cowell personifies and we critique and we extend previous applications of Turner’s work in marketing and consumption to suggest a wider resonance beyond the exemplar of X Factor in a range of ordinary, as well as extraordinary, consumption phenomena.

U2 - doi: 10.1177/1470593112457738

DO - doi: 10.1177/1470593112457738

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 451

EP - 469

JO - Marketing Theory

JF - Marketing Theory

SN - 1470-5931

IS - 4

ER -