Anthropomorphism, marketing relationships, and consumption worth in the toy story trilogy



Date of this version


Document Type



anthropomorphism; toys; marketing relationships; customer value; consumption worth


Who doesn’t love a toy? Toys become our friends, our inspirations, and our creations. What is interesting about these significant relationships is that they are formed with rather ordinary commercial products. While this may seem natural enough, Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy provides us a glimpse into the other side of this relationship, that is, from the perspective of the toys. Through a highly sophisticated use of anthropomorphism, the films reveal that these relationships are far from one-sided, value-based, identity-laden, symbolic manifestations. Instead, they encompass a mutually constituting, evolving, defining, and ever-changing process, in which we become our objects as much as our objects become us. As a result, it is important to look beyond the relative value of these objects in order to assess their overall worth.

Published in

Journal of Marketing Management

Citation/Other Information

29(1-2), 26-47. 10.1080/0267257X.2013.769020