Thesis titled “Global Advertising and its Implications on the Concept of Spatial Identity: A Case Study of Urban Billboard Advertising in Tunis”
During the spring semester of my junior year of undergrad at Connecticut College I studied in Tunis, Tunisia with the School for International Training. My thesis for the independent studey project was selected to be published as part of the ISP Collection on the school’s website.
Suggested Citation: Hackett, Kristen, “Global Advertising and its Implications on the Concept of Spatial Identity: A Case Study of Urban Billboard Advertising in Tunis” (2008). Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. 606. https://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/606
Tunisia is a country that has a very distinct and unique culture and collective identity that was shaped by their equally specific and unique history. With these facts in mind this, I was very shocked to see that the advertisements utilized in the city of Tunis to appeal to the Tunisian public, are very similar, if not that same to those of the United States and all around the world. At first, I was under the impression that manufacturers and advertising agencies played into spatial identities, such as those sovereign to demarcated nations or cultures, and that their advertisements would be reflective of particular cultural attributes found within a particular space. This did not seem to be the case here. Through this paper I plan to uncover how advertising uniformity works across the globe, why this is attractive to advertisers and what implications this has on the concept of spatial identity. My paper will be divided into three sections. The opening of my paper will consist of with a brief introduction to the advertising industry and the way in which it has morphed due to globalization. This will provide background information for my next section, a case study of urban billboard advertising in Tunis. Through this study I will interpret how advertisers are appealing to consumers and what types of values they are presenting to the public via these advertisements. This will be followed by an examination of their methods in selecting specific values and in the end, I will conclude with thoughts on the impact this has on the concept of identity.