Devon Country Noir: Broadchurch, mourning and ‘disrupted’ Englishness

By Daniel Smith

I have to admit, with some possible embarrassment, that ITV’s Broadchurch (currently in its second series) is incredibly watchable. First and foremost it evokes nostalgic feelings in me towards the West Country and in fact features my alma mater, the University of Exeter, as Wessex Crown Court; second that it has two of the best British actors in it (David Tennant and Olivia Coleman) and three, well, it’s beautiful to look at. As comedian Diane Morgan put it during her satirical take on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, “despite the fact it has all death and grieving in it, its bright and lovely and sort of Instagram looking, like an advert for Flora or Cadbury’s Flake, so it’s dark but also colourful …” Continue reading

The Ethics of the Brand

The Ethics of the Brand

The Jack Wills brand claims to be Outfitters to the Gentry. This article argues that Jack Wills’ marketing ethos institutes a means to achieve this promise. This promise is investigated as instituting a form of heraldry through its corporate program of Seasonnaires and monopolising the spaces and symbols of elite social standing for their branded products. Heraldry is concerned with making the symbols of the peers of the realm distinctive and within an exclusive set. I call this enterprise ‘fiduciary’ as the heralds are persons trusted to preserve the symbols’ sanctity. Overall I claim that the Jack Wills brand seeks this through its corporate program. Imitation-heraldry is a means to create the value of the brand as ‘fiduciary value’, community trust in the products and its worth. The ethic and politics that accompany the brand-ethos is concerned with making the name ‘Jack Wills’ come to stand as an eponymous character that embodies the social actions and unity of the social group the brand outfits. Jack Wills institutes an ethical economy that allocates the branded goods to those within the Seasonnaire economy of distribution, an economy that centres upon upholding fiduciary value.

– Daniel Smith