Project: We continue the discussion of malls and media as equipment enabling authoring audiences – their vocal visitors – to activate narrative meaning as people engaged in ‘produsage’. An activity is a ‘practice’ when it is considered as projecting, producing, and participating in a play-like construction of meaning – and hence studied hermeneutically. Global digital marketing promotes participation in shopping mall or social media, supporting consumer clans as they make interpretive investment of meaning and money. In recollecting genres (of mall or media), participants are equipped to project (intend) or plan practices. Through the branded places (place-branding) of shopping mall or social media, involvement for profit is promoted. A political economy of messaging and response can here shape research on proffered (and preferred) modes of being-with-others in such ‘great-good-places’ – sold as familiar, ready-to-hand, requiring little attention, of transparent merit. These promotional places are in our study presented-at-hand in participants’ focused narrative reflection on visiting. Lived through experience can be illuminated as equipment engaging prac-

tice. May a mall or media visitor be said to ‘consciously and purposefully guide consumption activities, and narratives perhaps, to suit his or her preferred identity?’ (Borgerson, 2005: 441) —— Underwriting the diversity of audience and consumer research are the dis-

tinct philosophical positions of phenomenology and positivism. Representing this basic and binary opposition between conceptions of human knowledge accurately is clearly essential to enquiry. In distinguishing itself fundamentally from positivism’s presentation of perceiving as passive data-gathering, hermeneutic phenomenology asserts that people have a primarily purposive orientation to their circumstances. The discourse wherein we refer to reality

denotes how objects are characteristically used (a ‘chair’ seats us, a ‘table’ is an entity upon which we eat) rather than our reception of sensory qualities. In Chapter One we considered shopping mall and social media visitors

as embodied entrants from horizons of pre-understanding these equipped environments as generic, enabling consumers to anticipate and articulate recognizable, hence intelligible accounts. They engage with familiar places. YouTube, resourced by ‘corporate interests and community participants’

(Burgess and Green, 2009: 5), enables studies of consumers engaged in the culturally shaped, skilled (if tacit) practice of understanding media. Absorbed/ anticipating, projecting meaning from horizons of understanding where narratives are seen as familiar, users pursue a hermeneutic circle of securing coherence, and where successful, these audiences (de)posit sense for the story on screen. Focus group discussion of (motor)bike branding on YouTube (conducted

by the co-author of this chapter) illustrates the ready-to-hand practice of viewing video, presented-at-hand in research. Rendering explicit the previously little reflected upon, people spoke of ability to engage contents.1 We can see below consumers projecting understanding of phenomena – media branding equipment – aiming at integrating a narrative denoting events enabling modes of being-with-others: audiences negotiate, aligning with – or distancing themselves from – the latter’s cultural connotations. The branding content ‘grabs my attention’ (male, Chinese); ‘for me, it

depends on when the advertisement is advertised’ (male, Chinese); it is ‘catchy’ (male, Bidayuh), with ‘no need to think hard to understand the message (female, Malay). Even enigmatic equipment (or its indeterminacy) ‘arouses my curiosity’ (female, Chinese). However, pursuing a hermeneutic circle of understanding in producing coherent narrative is not entirely successful here. ‘The theme of playing football with motorbikes is not good and hard to be related together’ (male, Chinese, 67). While the bike branding is engaging (‘it grabs my attention’), ‘parts’ are not intelligible; thus ‘I wonder what is the meaning of the word at the last part of the advertisement’ (male, Indian). ‘It’s messy’ (female, Chinese). Aligned, ‘I will identify with the creativity of the advertisement but not with the Indian guy’ (female, Chinese). Alienated from another, ‘the advertisement doesn’t consider the culture of the target audience. I think this is not Malaysian culture … girls wearing bikini’ (male, Chinese).

Engaging with equipment – instances of a motorcycle branding mini-genre – our consumers: