In this paper I examine the marketing practices of a Swedish dairy company in relation to banal nationalism (Billig, 1995). In the center of the discussion is the marketing discourse and its colonization and appropriation of the ‘Swedish landscape’. More specific, the purpose of the investigation is to understand how a nationalist discourse is realized through a company’s semiotic activities in relation to emplacement. Previous research has shown that nationalist company advertising is common within the branding of food products since employing nationalist appeals is one way to create differentiation. Research has also shown that the promotion of food is closely connected to place and identity. Nations and their symbols are used in marketing to link a brand to a national identity, and by that re-imagining, representing andreproducing the nation. (Ichijo and Ranta, 2016, Prideaux, 2009, Kania-Lundholm, 2014). The data consists of material from two of the company’s marketing activities: advertisementsplaced on train tables and food packages used at an annual festival arranged by local Swedish Arla farms. The study draws on principles of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (Machin and Mayr, 2012) and principles of geosemiotics (Scollon and Scollon, 2003). More particularly, I explore how a nationalist discourse is realized through choice of design, texts and images used in signs and on food packages, and how the materializations in relation to emplacement enable a commercial colonization and appropriation of the ‘Swedish landscape’. The analysis shows that the company through its semiotic activities is able to legitimate and naturalize nationalistic values and ideas associated with the brand. Overall, the analysis will show how the marketing discourse colonize and appropriate a geographical entity as well as the national myth connected to it in a way that puts nationalism in the service of capitalism.
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Media and Communications (hsv//eng)