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Social marketing and the meaning of cool

Tapp, Alan; Bird, Sara


Sara Bird
Faculty Academic Director - LT&AI


Commercial marketers have long understood the value of cool in designing and selling their products, and have invested heavily in keeping in touch with the latest trends among their consumers. In this article, we contend that social marketers could use "cool" to achieve goals of behavioral change, especially with teenagers. We trace the history of cool through to its current role in consumption before exploring how commercial marketers keep track of cool trends. With a focus on teenagers, typically cool consumers but also those most likely to embrace risky behaviors, we consider the potential and pitfalls of using cool for social marketing. We conclude with a practical discussion of how to use cool, and how to stay in touch with cool consumers in a social marketing context.


Tapp, A., & Bird, S. (2008). Social marketing and the meaning of cool. Social Marketing Quarterly, 14(1), 18-29.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2008
Journal Social Marketing Quarterly
Print ISSN 1524-5004
Electronic ISSN 1539-4093
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 1
Pages 18-29
Keywords social marketing, meaning of cool
Public URL
Publisher URL


Cool_article_FINAL.doc (58 Kb)

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