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Document Details :
Title: Branding Athens at a Time of Crisis
Subtitle: A Semiotic Analysis of the Current Tourism Campaign of the Historic City
Author(s): POULIOS, Ioannis , SENTERI, Efthymia
Volume: 21 Issue: 1 Date: 2015
The present study explores the branding of the historic city of Athens in the current period of crisis, through a semiotic analysis of the advertising campaign for its promotion of tourism. The study begins with an outline of the current advertising campaign of Athens concerning domestic and foreign tourism. Then, the key principles and tools of semiotics are presented, with an emphasis on the theory of Roland Barthes, who focuses on the analysis of the visual message (image). This is followed by a semiotic analysis of two advertising spots: ‘Greece, a part of our soul – The Acropolis Museum’ aimed at domestic tourism, and ‘You in Athens’ aimed at foreign tourism. The study aims to examine: a) the ways by which Athens is branded in the domestic and the foreign tourism market at a time of crisis; b) the ways by which Athens, going through crisis, attempts to differentiate itself from other cities – especially those of the foreign tourism market – which are in a much better economic situation; and c) the role of culture in the branding of Athens in the domestic and the foreign tourism market, in relation to the current crisis. The study also touches upon the contribution of tools from the field of semiotics to place marketing/branding.