Using Teen Chick Lit Novels to Teach Marketing

By Maresco, Peter A. | Academic Exchange Quarterly, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

Using Teen Chick Lit Novels to Teach Marketing


Maresco, Peter A., Academic Exchange Quarterly


Abstract

This paper will outline how the author uses the sub-genre of teen fiction referred to as teen chick lit to teach students the marketing concept known as product placement. The paper provides the rationale for using fictional teen focused novels as a vehicle for teaching product placement as well as an overview of the teen chick lit genre. A discussion of the value of using teen fiction in class, student project, its success and issues raised are also discussed.

Background

On June 27, 2006 the David Frankel film, The Devil Wears Prada, based on the 2003 hit chick lit novel of the same name by Lauren Weisberger, debuted in theatres across America. The Devil Wears Prada, written in 2001, tells the story of the relationship between the editor of a fictitious fashion magazine, Runway, and her aspiring young assistant. Based, some say, on Anna Wintour, the real life editor of American Vogue magazine (there are other international versions), the novel was on the New York Times bestseller list for six months and was eventually translated into 27 languages.

It was this film, The Devil Wears Prada, and the genre of fictional novel from which it came, chick lit (literature), that captured my imagination and prompted me to begin researching if other books within the chick lit genre also contained as many product placements (brand insertions) as those found in the film as well as throughout the book on which it was based. It was this research that eventually led me to begin thinking of using these fictional chick lit novels as a way of reinforcing the concept of product placements in my marketing classes. It is important to point out that in many ways chick lit books are a reflection of teen society, especially the impressionable 12-17 year old female demographic.

Introduction to Chick Lit

According to (http://www.chicklitbooks.com/whatis.php) the chick lit genre can be defined as "a genre of books that are mainly written for women. The books range from having main characters in their early 20's to their late 60's. There is usually a personal, light, and humorous tone to the books. Sometimes they are written in first-person narrative; other time they are written from multiple viewpoints. The plots usually consist of women experiencing usual life issues, such as love, marriage, dating, relationships, friendships, corporate environments, weight issues, addiction, and much more."

In 2000 a new form of women's fiction titled "city girl books" emerged from Harlequin publishers. It was these "city girl books" that were, in fact, the predecessors of today's chick-lit. Better known for their bright pink covers with pictures of shoes and cocktails than for their story lines, chick-lit would eventually grow to become its own sub-genre of women's fiction. Exceedingly popular with women in the 20-30 year old demographic, chick-lit plots focus on the everyday circumstances of women's life; friendships, work, female/male relationships, and shopping (including shoplifting), sometimes to the extreme.

Not unlike the British music invasion of the 1960's, chick-lit had its beginnings in Britain with the publication of Bridget Jones' Diary in the fall of 1996. This book written by Marian Keyes is today considered to be the godmother of the chic-lit genre. As is the case with other chick-lit novels, Bridget Jones' Diary held to the basic chick-lit formula, "woman's life disintegrates, woman's life changes radically after many mishaps, woman comes out stronger, happier person in the end" (Yardley, 7, 2006). In addition, standard topics also include "pop culture, high fashion, and urban settings" (Yardley, 8, 2006) as found in the Candace Bushnell book and HBO television series Sex and the City.

The growing popularity of the chick-lit novels is evident in the level of commercial success they have enjoyed. "In 2002, for instance, chick-lit books earned publishers more than $71 million" (Ferris & Young, 2, 2006). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Using Teen Chick Lit Novels to Teach Marketing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.