Mythologies of Finnishness in Advertising

  • Juulia Pietilä
  • Jack S. TillotsonEmail author
  • Søren Askegaard


The purpose of this study is to explore the dimensions of Nordic regionality through advertisement-based narratives of Finnishness. Building from theory on myth, this study responds to the call for more research that reflects “greater sensitivity to place and history” in operationalizing regionally based marketing and consumer research (Chelekis and Figueiredo, Regions and Archipelagos of Consumer Culture: A Reflexive Approach to Analytical Scales and Boundaries. Marketing Theory, 15(3), 321–345, 2015). Through an interpretive inquiry of print advertisements that invoke the idea of Finnishness, we find that mythical portrayals of Finnishness in advertising appeal to, reinforce, and extend a collective sense of national and cultural identity. Advertisements also leverage national symbolism and implied domestic product origins to propagate localist, protectionist, and regionalist narratives with moralistic undertones. A final major theme explicated is the mythical portrayal of a rustic lifestyle of the past, which enables Finnish consumers to regain a material connection with a “paradise lost” of traditional Finnishness. Appeals to international consumer segments also use idyllic imagery from the Finnish countryside and nature in the form of an “exotic other.” We discuss the implications of our analysis for theorizations of mythologies and their relationships with regions and cultural strategy.


Advertising Marketplace myths Mythology Nordic consumer culture Regionalities 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juulia Pietilä
    • 1
  • Jack S. Tillotson
    • 2
    Email author
  • Søren Askegaard
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Liverpool Business SchoolLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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