Dr Niall Caldwell
Dr Caldwell’s research interests are centred on the power of brands in contemporary markets and the ways in which branding stabilizes the competitive economic environment by consolidating demand for specific products. Previously he has examined the branding strategies of cultural institutions, looking at the way that they borrow models from consumer brands. Currently he’s interested in how celebrities function in the symbolic order as a kind of fetish, and in the economic order as a type of brand. The stars themselves come and go, but the system of celebrity is maintained by the media through “technologies of intimacy” (Thrift 2008). Empirical data about theatre audience perceptions of celebrity forms the basis of his current research.
He has published a number of articles researching questions of brand image and equity of cultural institutions, including museums, universities, cities and countries. He also has interests in marketing epistemologies and the philosophy of marketing.
Niall worked for a Saatchi & Saatchi owned advertising agency in Chicago as an account executive responsible for handling the Point-of-Sale needs of S.C.Johnson & Son, M&M Mars Inc., and Quaker Oats. He has a PhD in Philosophy from Stony Brook, New York, and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.