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Marking differences, consuming identities: Race, sexuality, disease and "global Turkishness" in the United Condoms of Benetton campaign

Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


This article analyses two related phenomena, the transformation of Turkish nationalism and the articulation of a modern Turkish national identity through global processes. To understand these, the paper critically examines the cultural politics of an advertising campaign for Benetton Condoms that came out in 2000. Relying on interviews conducted with the employees of an advertising agency and basing my conclusion on a textual analysis of the outcomes of this campaign, it is argued that during this critical period of Turkey’s rapid expansion to become a player in the global marketplace, such a campaign articulated global consumerism and Turkish nationalism. The result was the construction of a new Turkish identity; "global Turkishness". In the cultural imagination of advertisers, concepts such as race, sexuality and disease become constituent elements of this global national identity. These concepts also articulate a popular consumerist Turkishness through the Benetton advertising campaign.