Anzac Day meets May 2-4… A celebration coming soon to a classroom near you
February 13, 2012 by mevehamel
We wanted to compare national identities through media and we narrowed it down to two beer commercials from the same beer company released in 2000. We chose to compare Canada and Australia due to their settler history as they are both English speaking countries choosing to define themselves in relation to other English speaking countries. They are both middle powers defining themselves in relation to super powers. Both are multi-national former colonies and multi-cultural societies. In both countries drinking is a national past-time.
There are several similarities and differences between these ads. In many ways they are structurally similar which provides a controlled basis for comparison.
The Fosters and Molson ads both revolve around the rejection of certain national stereotypes/symbols, whilst embracing others. They also try to appeal to a community spirit of sorts, based around recognised activities/symbols which are common to the diverse group of people who make up the nation. On the flip side the ads also emphasis some key differences in the construction of national identity. In the Canadian case language is important, while in Australia there is no discussion of language. The Canadian ad was not shown in Quebec which demonstrates the limits of the imagined Canadian identity, while in Australia there is only one narrative. See the videos below in reference to Quebec.
Points of Discussion:
- Which came first the ad or the national identity?
- National identity and its influences on constitutional change?
- Is commercial nationalism good, bad or inevitable?
- Is it problematic that both define nationalism against other nations?
- What is the relationship between marketing and nationalism? Is there a conflict in the representation of the nation by marketing firms?
Two ads from Quebec (because it matters):
JUST FOR A LITTLE MORE FUN:
Jim, Jamie, Lauren, Marie-Eve, Blogger X