Aesthetics Wiki

Corporate Hippie (spelt 'Hippy' in British English), also referred to as Capitalist Hippie or Corporate Psychedelica, was an aesthetic and marketing tactic prevalent from the Late-1960s to the Mid-1970s that attempted to appropriate the 1960s counterculture and Hippie movement for corporate applications.


Cultural Origins (c. 1964-1967)[]

For more information see: Hippie, Psychedelica

The Hippie and psychedelic movements began in the Mid-1960s (c, 1964-1967), promoting values such as anti-war, peace & love, recreational drug use, and rising to popularity largely in the psychedelic music scene. The Hippie movement reached new heights with the beginning of the Summer of Love; the Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting Hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco's neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. The Beatnik movement is widely accepted as the predecessor to the Hippie subculture.

Mainstream Adoption (1968-Early-1970s)[]

By 1968, Hippie-influenced fashion and music had begun to become widely recognised in the mainstream. This saw corporations attempting to appeal to the broader public by using visuals associated with Psychedelica, spawning Corporate Hippie. These attempts at appealing to the youth was in direct conflict with the Hippie subculture's distain towards the "establishment", Corporate Hippie being largely consumed by normal people who adopted Hippie style and fashion but had little connection with the subculture as a whole.

Decline (Post-1970)[]

By 1970, the zeitgeist of the 1960s and Hippie movement had begun to see decline, especially in the United States. This was largely due to the fact that the Hippie movement was no longer an underground subculture and had become mainstream, prominent motifs such as long hair or psychedelic rock music being adopted by general public; this diminished the exclusiveness the Hippie subculture embodied. Events such as Tate–LaBianca murders committed by Charles Manson and his cult in August 1969 also tarnished the reputation of the Hippie subculture in the eyes of some Americans, further contributing to its decline. By 1975, Corporate Hippie and the Hippie subculture as a whole largely fell out of mainstream popularity.


Corporate Hippie's visuals can be described as a more watered-down, mainstream version of Psychedelica, both containing the same core visuals. Corporate Hippie, however, is less abstract and more consumer-friendly.

Common visual motifs include:

  • Bright, saturated colors
  • Bold, (sometimes) distorted text
  • Subtle drug iconography (eg. mushrooms)
  • Distorted visuals
  • Kaleidoscopic and abstract patterns
  • Flat, yet maximalist graphics
  • Flowers, flourishes
  • Themes of love

The people depicted in Corporate Hippie advertisements usually sport fashion and clothing reminiscent of Hippie fashion.