“What are you looking at, ya hockey puck?!”: Anthropomorphizing brand relationships in the Toy Story trilogy



Date of this version


Document Type

Book Chapter


anthropomorphism; brand relationships, consumption meaning, Toy Story


What makes the Toy Story movies remarkable, at least from an academic perspective, is that they highlight not only the relationship between consumers and their brands, but also and perhaps more importantly the relationships among brands themselves. While it is tempting to think of brands as primarily consumer phenomena, brands do not exist in isolation or simply in relationships with humans, but are part of complex relationships with other brands. In fact, one could argue that it is this brand-to-brand relational context (or ‘brand network’), rather than the human-to-brand context, that gives brands (and ultimately humans) their meaning, personality and agency. We explore these brand networks through an analysis of anthropomorphism in the Toy Story movies.

Published in

Brand Mascots and Other Marketing Animals

Citation/Other Information

Lanier, Jr., Clinton D., Aubrey R. Fowler, III, C. Scott Rader, (2014), “What Are You Looking At, Yak Hockey Puck?!’: Anthropomorphizing Brand Relationships in the Toy Story Trilogy,” in Brand Mascots and Other Marketing Animals: New Directions in Anthropomorphic Marketing, Stephen Brown and Sharon Ponsomby-McCabe (eds.), London: Routledge, 35-54.