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Free Content Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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In the summer of 2003, a Turkish confectionery and cookie company launched a major television advertising campaign through the Young & Rubicam agency in Istanbul. The goal of the campaign was to compete aggressively with the market leaders, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, by adopting some of the strategies used by those colas in dominating the world's soft-drink sales and reversing those strategies to suit the Turkish consumers. This study combines textual analysis of the primary television advertisements for Cola Turka along with interviews with two of the account managers for the campaign. The analysis is based on the concept of glocalization of the national, gender and sports themes of the campaign. In appealing to potential consumers of the soft drink, the advertisers exploit the local cultural stereotypes to convince the audience that those who adopt the product will achieve the American dream to become Turkish. American actors, including Chevy Chase, are used in that effort as they try to live out that dream by adopting Turkish customs, eating Turkish foods and following Turkish soccer stars. Advertising agency executives denied they created anti-American themes, though one of the commercials suggests that if US soldiers drank Cola Turka, they would abandon their goal to win the war in Iraq. The authors argue that the commoditization of nation-making practices has wide implications and real-world effects on public opinion.

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Keywords: Turkey; advertising; commodification; gender; glocalization; identity; nationalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Indiana University.

Publication date: 2007-12-21

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