9     Happy Brands and Ethical Implications

Wonkyong Beth Lee and Timothy Dewhirst


The attribution of human qualities to brands, through means such as personification or anthropomorphism, has become commonplace (Aaker, 1997). Much like people, brands may link to qualities such as success, sophistication, ruggedness, and happiness. Indeed, several brands have integrated happiness into their positioning or differentiation strategies, for example, McDonald’s “Happy Meal,” Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness,” and Disney’s “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Accounting for consumers’ insatiable desire for happiness, marketing communication linking brands with happiness has become ubiquitous.

It is easy to see why marketers commonly associate ...

Get Ethical Branding and Marketing now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.