Carla Stalling Walter, PhD

Dancing Around Anti-Consumption: A Theoretical Approach

Conceptual Paper

In this essay, two purposes are of importance. One is to frame anti consumption as a social marketing issue on micro and macro levels. The second is to set forth dance as a persuasive element in anti consumption social marketing strategy, which heretofore has been under utilized and under theorized.

This essay draws from relevant existing literature in social marketing and builds and extends dance theory in television ads to conceptualize dance as a viable consumer culture aesthetic in anti consumption social marketing campaigns.

Effectively employing dance images in anti consumption social marketing campaigns may contribute to redesigning of the self-image and identity of consumers. Moreover, through linkages of positive behaviors to dance celebrations and rituals, aligned with an overall social marketing campaign, dance may facilitate reduction of negative consumption behaviors.

Social marketers’ strategic success in high involvement behavior change depends in part on the target audience’s favorable response to message processing. The social marketing field encompasses a variety of such behaviors that if changed, improves both society as a whole, and the lives of individuals.

There are three aspects of value and originality in this contribution. They include forwarding anti consumption as a social marketing issue in consumer culture; theorizing dance as a somato-visceral and kinesthetic approach to anti consumption social marketing behavior change; and demonstrating dance as a positive persuasive element that can reside within the boundaries of social marketing ethics.