'Better City, Better Life' Representing Shanghai in the World Expo Advertising Campaign

55 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2019

See all articles by Gillian Bolsover

Gillian Bolsover

University of Leeds - School of Politics and International Studies; University of Oxford - University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute; Fudan University - School of Journalism

Date Written: August 25, 2010

Abstract

With regions in increasingly intense competition for scarce resources and attention, China, as an emerging superpower, has embraced mass events as a means to brand itself to both international and domestic audiences. The 2010 Shanghai World Expo focused on urban development issues and its advertising campaign attempted to construct a particular understanding of the concept of cities and urban life, focusing on the urban community and the role of individuals as part of the city.

Rapid urbanization often brings with it several problems and the Expo campaign attempted to address some of these issues, for instance, presenting sustainable development as following from and not in opposition to urbanization and urban residents as sharing the same needs and vision for the future.

China is one of the most rapidly urbanizing nations in the world and Shanghai, as it’s largest city, constitutes as test bed for urban development elsewhere. The discourses surrounding urban development in Shanghai have broad relevance across China and abroad, and the urban planning choices made in Shanghai will have long-term affects across the globe.

This study will first provide the context of the event based on news reports, official publications and interviews, then review the history and literature surrounding Chinese mass communication, mass events and regional branding. Based on this foundation, this study will address the question of how the city of Shanghai is represented in the Expo advertising campaign.

Keywords: Shanghai 2010 World Expo, urban development, urban community, cities, environmentalism in China, Chinese poster campaigns, Chinese propaganda, propaganda, discourse analysis

Suggested Citation

Bolsover, Gillian, 'Better City, Better Life' Representing Shanghai in the World Expo Advertising Campaign (August 25, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3351129 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3351129

Gillian Bolsover (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - School of Politics and International Studies ( email )

United Kingdom

University of Oxford - University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Fudan University - School of Journalism ( email )

Shanghai
China

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