You’re a third year geography student. 2 years behind you and just 1 year left to go. But first you have to overcome the mother of all essays, the one, the only….dissertation. But before all that can begin, there is the oh-so-simple task finding a fantastically unique and interesting topic. Simple enough, right? Maybe not! After spending a large amount of time at my desk with a blank sheet of paper and a big, fat question mark over my head, I had a break through. So, when I found out that the RHUL Geography Department offers placement-linked dissertations AND one fitted with my idea, I jumped at the chance. I applied and waited…
And the rest is history, because here I am blogging about my upcoming placement at Truth, a marketing strategy agency in London.
I’ll be totally honest with you. When I found out I had secured a place, I was ecstatic… and may be a little terrified! The prospect of giving presentations and working with a company for my dissertation was just a little daunting. But the more I think about it, the more excited I am to start! After hours of deliberation (and lots of ice cream) I have decided to focus on the experience of ‘place’ (Place being a key ‘human’ geography concept). But what, I hear you ask, has place got to do with a marketing agency? Well my friends, it has everything to do with it. Recent studies in the field of cultural geography have explored how our experience of retail spaces influence how we shop. This idea has been put into practice by many high street stores, but there is one place on earth that takes these theories to a whole new level. Las Vegas. As one of the most spectacularly fantastical places on earth, Vegas is not only home to casinos, hotels and bars but also a host of amazing shops which served as my inspiration for this project.
In the heart of the Venetian Hotel, the Grand Canal Shopping Mall is host to some of the decadent shops ever seen. And It’Sugar is possibly one of the most extravagant. Multicolour wall paper in pink, blue, purple and yellow, the smell of candy floss, lollipops hanging from the ceiling and pop music blasting through the store; every aspect of the space assaulting your senses, enticing you in to the store.
As the Miami Herald discusses the stores provide a ‘nostalgic dream’ and a sense of fun. From my own experience at the store, I can tell you this ploy certainly worked! I pretty much wanted to buy the entire shop. From a large amount of academic research and everyday observations, I have developed my project to explore how other stores are using these theories to impact the way we consume their products.
So, please keep an eye out for my future posts about my time at Truth and all the exciting research I’ll be doing. You can also get all the news by looking out for the #rhulworkdiss on Twitter!