China’s Nation and Product Branding in New York’s Times Square in the Post-Beijing Olympics Era
Department of Media, Journalism and Film, Miami University, Ohio
Hongmei Li is an associate professor of strategic communication at Miami University, Ohio. Her research focuses on advertising and consumer culture, globalization, national branding and public diplomacy, gender and sexuality, Chinese culture and society, and new communication technologies. She has published her research widely in leading communication journals and in book forms.
This paper compares and contrasts how the Chinese government brands China and how Chinese advertisers market their products in the United States after the Beijing Olympics. I focus on China’s publicity campaign in 2011, and various Chinese companies’ outdoor ads in New York’s Times Square. New York City (NYC) is a quintessential symbol of global capitalism and modernity in China’s imagination. I situate the analysis in the broader context of China’s public diplomacy in terms of neoliberal economics, the dialectics of nationalism and cosmopolitanism, and the gendered advertising culture in China. The article ends by discussing implications of these campaigns and the challenges that China and Chinese companies face when attempting to go global.