Anthropomorphism and Animism Theory in Branding

Animism and anthropomorphism theory have been introduced into branding, with an implication that consumers see brands as humanlike entities. A literature review identifies three papers that present significant discourse on the ‘humanlike brand’ and these form the basis of a critical review. Utilising brand definition and conceptualisation as a focus, the paper questions the citation of animism and anthropomorphism theory to justify the humanlike brand. Furthermore the empirical evidence supporting humanlike brand theory is examined and found to be questionable. As a result, the paper tentatively concludes that humanlike brand theory is questionable, and calls for a more thorough review.


Mark Avis (2011) ,"Anthropomorphism and Animism Theory in Branding", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 313-319.


Mark Avis, University of Otago


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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