Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in

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Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research Volume 1 Number 1 © 2007 Intellect Ltd Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/jammr.1.1.47/1

Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant Christine L. Ogan Indiana University Filiz Çiçek Indiana University Yesim Kaptan Indiana University Abstract

Keywords

In the summer of 2003, a Turkish confectionery and cookie company launched a major television advertising campaign through the Young & Rubicam agency in Istanbul. The goal of the campaign was to compete aggressively with the market leaders, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, by adopting some of the strategies used by those colas in dominating the world’s soft-drink sales and reversing those strategies to suit the Turkish consumers. This study combines textual analysis of the primary television advertisements for Cola Turka along with interviews with two of the account managers for the campaign. The analysis is based on the concept of glocalization of the national, gender and sports themes of the campaign. In appealing to potential consumers of the soft drink, the advertisers exploit the local cultural stereotypes to convince the audience that those who adopt the product will achieve the American dream – to become Turkish. American actors, including Chevy Chase, are used in that effort as they try to live out that dream by adopting Turkish customs, eating Turkish foods and following Turkish soccer stars. Advertising agency executives denied they created anti-American themes, though one of the commercials suggests that if US soldiers drank Cola Turka, they would abandon their goal to win the war in Iraq. The authors argue that the commoditization of nation-making practices has wide implications and real-world effects on public opinion.

glocalization identity gender nationalism commodification advertising Turkey

When the creative people at Young & Rubicam in Istanbul were visited by the representatives from Ülker, a Turkish confectionery and cookie company that produces a range of food products for domestic and international markets, with an idea for creating and marketing a cola to compete with Coke and Pepsi in the domestic market, the agency was concerned about how they would position this product. After all, Coke then controlled 70 per cent of the Turkish cola market, while Pepsi held 17 per cent, and all the other colas took up the remainder. Where could a new Turkish cola fit and how could it possibly compete, they wondered. The first problem they needed to address was what to call the new cola. Ülker already sold a soft drink called Çamlica, so Çamlica Cola was an option. Using the company’s name and labelling it Ülker Cola was also a

JAMMR 1 (1) pp. 47–62© Intellect Ltd 2007

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1. Alaturka, meaning ‘the Turkish way’, is a common phrase used in Turkish to show it is not the ‘western’ way (alafranga). So Cola Turka represented a Turkish-style cola that was not Coke or the American cola. 2. We chose not to examine the many additional commercials that merely contained images of the Cola Turka can accompanied by a jingle or other very short messages.

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possibility. Focus group research that tested out the two names along with the Cola of Turkey (which distinguished it from the American Coke and Pepsi brands) appealed to most of the focus group members. That idea was refashioned slightly to become Cola Turka.1 From there Young & Rubicam turned to the problem of positioning the soft drink and settled on an approach of ‘positive nationalism’, according to Yasemin Sümer, who was an account manager at the time. After brainstorming advertising concepts every evening for two weeks, the group came up with a list of Turkish cultural stereotypes that carried a positive connotation. These traits were then turned into a set of humorous commercials that juxtaposed Cola Turka and its Turkish cultural roots against the United States and its cultural icons, Coke and Pepsi. And just as they thought coke that was associated with the American dream and youth culture, the advertising campaign was meant to be associated with the Turkish dream. ‘Those who drink Cola Turka will aspire to be Turkish and they will also adopt Turkish cultural features,’ said Eda Gökkan, who headed the Cola Turka account at Young & Rubicam. As Williamson (1978: 13) said, advertising campaigns are made so that people learn to ‘identify themselves with what they consume’ instead of what they produce. So in the campaign, which Sümer described as one that was ‘the antithesis of Coke’, the goal was to get consumers to identify themselves with drinking Cola Turka and becoming Turkish – rather than continuing to drink Coke or Pepsi and being like Americans. The advertising campaign, which featured a mix of American and Turkish actors, a blend of US and Turkish settings, and a combination of English and Turkish, rolled out on eleven channels at precisely 9 p.m. on 5 July 2003 – the same day that coincidentally eleven Turkish soldiers were captured by the American military in northern Iraq to the anger of the Turkish government. And though the campaign was never meant to be anti-American, and Ülker insisted on keeping political statements out of the text, Gökkan admitted that the ads were trying to sell Turkish imperialism.

Focus of the study The advertising campaign can be considered from several perspectives. Because many of the ads focus on or exploit national cultural stereotypes, we chose to examine the national and gender identity issues contained in the messages. Because the ads also played off Turkish culture and language against American culture and language, we simultaneously analysed their hybrid nature. The global/local nexus was at the heart of this study. To some extent the advertising professionals who created the television commercials for this campaign were aware of the images they created within the messages, but that awareness did not extend to any commercial’s entirety. The following is an analysis of the themes and content of the major Cola Turka television commercials from 2003–06 in the context of the stated goals of the two advertising agencies involved in their creation.2 It is based on textual analysis of the commercials themselves and also on the interviews conducted with two of the account managers most involved with their production.

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The first Cola Turka ads and their significance The first set of commercials to introduce the new cola were created in New York City and featured Chevy Chase and other American actors. The agency wanted to create a campaign that was the ‘antithesis of Coke’, said Sümer. The notion of ‘positive nationalism’ resulted in a series of ideas that incorporated a number of Turkish cultural stereotypes, ones that most all Turks would find endearing. In the reversal of cultural adoption of western things, the American actors were selected to play out their parts in aspiring to adopt Turkish culture – including the adoption of the new cola, a product that represented the best of this culture. Chevy Chase was selected because he was well known in Turkey as an American father figure from the series of films on vacation themes. The actor selected to portray his wife in the commercials resembled his wife in those films (and the agency specifically requested that she look like Beverly D’Angelo, the actress who played Chase’s wife in those films). David Brown was also featured in several of these ads. Each ad featured common Turkish cultural practices. The first two ads are framed like a feature-length film with a title and credits. The opening scene presented the image of the Statue of Liberty on the screen. The camera pans around it, presenting New York City with the bilingual title ‘New York’ta Bir Morning’ (‘One Morning in New York’). This could be the opening of a Hollywood movie, complete with a production credit on the top section of the screen, right above the Statue of Liberty’s head. We then move on to the scene where Chevy Chase first appears on the screen, and the credit ‘Starring Chevy Chase’ continues the movie format. Various camera cuts to images and people in New York’s Times Square, and Chase’s confused face indicates that there is a story unfolding here. The Turks waving Turkish flags as they drive by Chase in an American pick-up truck shouting ‘Ole ole ole, sampiyon Türkiye’ enhances the confusion and intrigue in the upcoming story. The yardimci (also starring) is David Brown, who is a part of the story. As the dialogue, moves back and forth between English and Turkish, subtitles flash on the screen when actors speak in English. In the next scene, Chevy Chase walks into a diner in the Times Square area and is greeted by David Brown, who asks about his ‘yenge’ (‘wife’). After a few sentences that use half Turkish and half English and make several references to a Turkish soccer team and one of its stars, Brown realizes that the reason Chevy Chase has no idea what is going on is related to what he is drinking – coffee instead of Cola Turka. But this ad takes the story only so far as Chase never drinks the Cola and leaves in confusion as Brown tells him to ‘kiss çoluk çocuk’ and to ‘say hello to yenge’ (‘kiss his kids and family and say hello to his wife’). We are told that more of this story is to come at the end when the message on the screen states ‘To be devam edecek (continued)’. The second ad continues the story – or the sequel to the first film – when Chase drives up to his suburban home and walks in the door to find his wife making a popular Turkish main dish, stuffed peppers. When he asks what she is doing, she responds that she is making ‘biber dolmasi’ (‘the peppers’) for ‘kayinvalide and kayinpeder’ (‘his in-laws’) who are coming for dinner. Chase is now thoroughly confused. Later we see a scene of the family and grandparents at dinner. Everyone but Chase has a glass of Cola Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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3. According to Yasar Özturk, a TRT news anchor who lived in exile in Switzerland after the 1980 coup d’état in Turkey, Dag Basini Duman Almis (the song Chase and the family sing) is in reality a Swedish folk tune. A scholar, who studied in Switzerland after the establishment of Turkish Republic in 1923, brought the song with him back to Turkey and wrote Turkish lyrics to it. If correct, this gives us yet another example for successful Turkish hybridization of a foreign product, a song in this case, still much like Cola Turka.

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Turka in hand and is singing ‘Take me out to the ball game’ (a popular American baseball song). Upon sipping their Cola Turka the family break into a Turkish patriotic song.3 Only when Chase himself tries the drink does he get it as he smiles and joins in singing the Turkish song. Later the in-laws depart and the younger members of the family kiss the hands of the grandparents; water is thrown after the car as it departs, (both Turkish cultural practices) and at the end Chevy Chase turns to face the camera as a transformed man complete with the stereotypically Turkish moustache. These and other commercials in the series reverse the usual approach in media produced in developing countries. Instead of adopting behaviours to become more western, the westerners are adopting behaviours and using products produced in Turkey in order to become more Turkish, an identity that most people in the commercial aspire to. Part of the jingle calls the Cola ‘the famous American dream’ and says that those who drink it become ‘Turkified’. At the end of Chase’s moustached transformation the singer tells us that once he became Turkified, there was no Americanness left in him. The short film ends by announcing this as ‘the mutlu end’ (‘happy ending’). In another commercial a man in a Turkish bath is teaching David Brown to sing a variation on the jingle, ‘Let them come to Turkey. Let them see where Cola is. Let them drink Cola Turka. America’s dream. Let them drink Cola Turka.’ The Cola Turka advertising campaign attracted national and international attention for several months. Many observers misinterpreted the messages and the cola itself as being anti-American – largely because of the timing of its release and the disagreements that the Turkish government had with the United States over Turkey’s role in the Iraq war. Coincidentally, other Middle Eastern countries had also introduced colas to compete with Pepsi and Coke around the same time. Mecca Cola and Arab Cola were created to fight the American brands while Iran makes a soft drink called Zam Zam that is likened to holy water from Mecca. All of these soft drinks made claims at promoting their products to combat American imperialism and/or Zionism. Representatives from Young & Rubicam (where the account was initiated) and Alametifarika (where the account moved in January 2004 when the chief executive officer at Young & Rubicam left with fourteen others to form a new independent advertising agency) agreed that Cola Turka was not created to express either an anti-American or a pro-Muslim attitude. Because the Ülker company has Muslim roots (the owner is a devout Muslim) and the profits from the products are perceived to go to support Islamic causes, a percentage of the population always buys Ülker products and another percentage of the population will never buy Ülker products, said Sümer. For that reason the agency wanted to distance the campaign and Cola Turka from Islamic connections. Though the goal of the campaign may not have been distinctly anti-American or pro-Muslim, many viewers and our own analysis do not accept that the outcome achieved that goal.

Glocalization and hybridity The concept of ‘glocalization’ likely arose because companies selling products around the world found that the single advertising campaign for all markets did not work very effectively in certain cultures. The message

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(visual or textual) may not have carried the same meaning as intended. So to effectively market the global product – whether it was automobiles or tennis shoes, a process of adaptation occurred. The actual term ‘glocalization’ was developed by businessmen in Japan and was later described by Roland Robertson in an edited volume called Global Modernities (Ohmae 1990; Robertson 1995). As Maynard (2003: 60) describes it, ‘glocalization is sometimes reported to be a reaction to globalization, or a reinforcement of cultural identity at the local community level’. Robertson sees it as an ‘interpenetration’ of the global and the local. But the way the concept is generally applied relates to marketing a product produced by a multinational corporation by appealing to local cultural cues. So McDonald’s sells no pork in Saudi Arabia, a teriyaki McBurger in Japan, and Curry Pie in Hong Kong. And Ikea makes furniture smaller when it is sold in Japan and Hong Kong because people live in smaller spaces (Baker and Sterenberg 2002). And Google offers its search engine in China minus the availability of sites found offensive by the Chinese government. The company may also alter its advertising messages. For example, Nescafe uses local citizens in its ads in India but places the actors in international settings. Coca-Cola and Colgate-Palmolive issue a prototype ad with instructions for acceptable changes by the media in the local market (Milovanovic 1997: 72). But when we refer to glocalization for the Cola Turka ad campaign, the process is flipped. Though Ülker markets to a large number of countries, it is not a global company in the way that Nike or Coke or Pepsi are. And the vast majority of people in the world will never taste Cola Turka. Ülker only dreams about this level of distribution of its products. The advertising campaigns are aimed at Turks and use the New York/American setting and the combination of English and Turkish to pretend that Americans are dying to drink Cola Turka with aspirations of becoming cosmopolitan and cool (in Turkish cultural terms) by drinking this new beverage. The irony is that they are using a western vehicle (the Hollywood film) with American actors (Chevy Chase and David Brown, etc.) and an American product (a cola) to send that message to the Turks. The double articulation of Americans aspiring to be Turkish within their own geographic and cultural framework diminishes the value of the Cola Turka product somewhat, because it suggests that Cola Turka, like the Hollywood film, the US setting and the product it copied can be reduced to mere imitation of the US original. And the Turkifying attempts simultaneously validate CocaCola and America at the very moment that they try to undermine both. Hence the simultaneous presentation of cola (kola is the actual Turkish spelling) and turka, (not even originally Turkish, rather coming from the French word a la torque). Thus, the translation is: I am an American product that pretends to be Turkish. Garcia Canclini (1997) named this process ‘cultural reconversion’, whereby local cultures adapt to global influences without being destroyed because tradition is rearticulated in the modern processes. Here the traditional cultural practices are played out through the use of the Hollywood film format with Hollywood icon Chevy Chase playing the lead actor, as if to legitimize the local campaign and the looking to the West. The advertising campaign associated with Cola Turka is glocalized but aims not to sell a Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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global product within the context of a local market. Instead it aims to lend prestige to the product by associating it with the people and the cultural features of a global power. Kraidy (1999) points out that since all contemporary cultures are hybrid we need to accept that if we are to ‘understand the micro-politics of local/global interactions’. In his view, ‘hybridity is thus construed not as an in-between zone where global/local power relations are neutralized in the fuzziness of the mélange but as a zone of symbolic ferment where power relations are surreptitiously re-inscribed’ (Kraidy 1999: 460). This seems to be exactly what is occurring in the interpenetration of US (global) and Turkish (local) culture and the marketing of Cola Turka through these television commercials.

Gender issues in the glocalization process When asked why a female was never chosen for any of the Cola Turka ads, Eda Gökkan said, ‘We never looked for an actress. If the product were a detergent we would have used a woman. Those things that belong to everybody are represented by males […] It wouldn’t be that impressive […] It wouldn’t be that strong.’ Thus Young & Rubicam defined Cola Turka as masculine in gender. In the 28 different Cola Turka commercials we analysed, the lead characters were almost always male. Females appear as co-leads in two of them and a total of 10 women play in supporting roles (compared to 30 males). Two commercials that feature women in lead roles take place indoors in domestic settings, presenting women as grandmothers, mothers, wives and daughters. Even then there are no single leading females: women are portrayed in a collective, family setting and they share the lead roles with other women. Moreover, the way in which the women are portrayed furthers the masculine identity of Cola Turka. In the first commercial, unlike her celebrity male counterpart, an unknown actress plays Chase’s wife. Going along with traditional patriarchal Turkish family values, she is portrayed indoors, as a wife and a mother, cooking for her family. Young & Rubicam executive Gökkan explains why: ‘Women are already adaptive – hence, the woman makes the dolma.’ The indoor setting, cooking, wife-mother-daughter image all goes along with the melodramatic film format as well, which is something with which Turks have long been familiar. They have seen similar domestic scenes in films in cinemas and on their TV screens. Using a familiar film format, Cola Turka taps into the collective film-culture knowledge, which is a lot easier than creating a brand new one. Turkish melodramas feature family, more specifically masculinity, in crises. It is the man’s wife and/or children who are the ones who keep the family unit intact through difficult times. At the end of the film, the male always returns home; the patriarchal unit is always restored; and the wife/mother and children always yield to the husband/father. Gökkan confirms this notion when she further explains why they used mostly men in these commercials: ‘The head of the family is always the man […] We need to reach men because they are more stubborn – less adaptive […] Men would not pay attention to a commercial with a woman as a chief character. The household is a different matter.’ Was the agency right?

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The answer is mostly no. To better understand this issue, we will need to examine the household shopping patterns of Turks and how that matches up with the target audience for Turkish television commercials. Milner and Collins’s study (1998) identifies Turkey as a ‘feminine’ country when it comes to advertising. They use Hofstede’s4 definition of feminine society, which identifies non-materialistic, family-oriented societies where gender roles are distinct as feminine as opposed to masculine countries, which are more materialistic and where there is more overlap in gender roles. More specifically, Milner and Collins argue that in masculine cultures, more men are used for voice-overs and lead characters. Women are shown mostly indoors and promote those products that are considered feminine such as beauty products, cooking and cleaning items. Men are shown doing outdoor activities and in power positions. However, Milner and Collins also write that gender representation in Turkish TV commercials is more egalitarian. Based on their comparative analysis of Turkish, American, Australian and Mexican commercials, they concluded that ‘in the context of television commercials in the feminine country of Turkey, there are few differences between gender while in masculine countries these differences are quite marked’. Their study shows that 70 per cent of the people in Turkish commercials are women, which means that Turks are used to seeing more female roles in television advertising than male. This leads the authors to find that ‘the lack of significant differences among the sex role portrayal variables does suggest that the dominant approach is rather egalitarian’ (Milner and Collins 1998: 22). They advise advertisers to avoid ‘masculine values such as employment/ productivity’ and to promote feminine values, such as relationships (Milner and Collins 1998: 24). If Milner and Collins’s findings still hold for current television advertising practices in Turkey, it raises an important question about the legitimacy of Young & Rubicam’s decision to define coke as a masculine product in a feminine country and their conclusion that men would not pay attention to female leads/role models. The agency might have considered the case of the United States, a masculine country, where both CocaCola and Pepsi-Cola featured Britney Spears and Cindy Crawford in their TV commercials, not only for their fame but because of their feminine attributes. Instead of invoking practices of the United States as the global power, they reverted to a local stereotype based on Turkish gender relationships from the past. And despite the large number of female celebrities, the agency chose to focus on soccer players as leads in several of their commercials. But Young & Rubicam would not have been all that much different in adopting gender stereotypes in the ad campaign as found by Uray and Burnaz (2003) in their study of 314 Turkish TV commercials. In that study the authors found that women appeared in the home and promoted body products while men appeared in automobile, food/drink products and outdoor advertising. Men were used for more voice-overs and more middle-aged men appeared as lead characters while most lead women characters were young. Furthermore, Uray and Burnaz’s study identified women as the ‘important traditional buying unit’ who ‘have been keeping their dominant gender in Turkish television advertisements for the past Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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4. See Geert Hofstede (1980), Culture’s Consequences, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage for a detailed description of his classification of countries as collectivist or individualist.

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ten years’ (Uray and Burnaz 2003: 85). They write that the gender representation on Turkish TV commercials has changed considerably (Uray and Burnaz 2003). Because of the increase in well-educated working women in Turkey who consequently have increased buying power, along with helping to spread the influence of western consumer values, Turkey has experienced a change in consumption and shopping patterns. They point out that even though social pressure is still there to keep traditional gender roles, ‘the impact of the changes in the demographic legal and economic environment has been felt especially in the big cities’ (Uray and Burnaz 2003: 78). Also, the influence of western consumer values along with ‘the shift from traditional large families toward small nuclear-type families’ contributed considerably to the change in shopping patterns and gender roles in Turkey (Uray and Burnaz 2003: 78). At the same time, women have taken on more responsibility in the workplace and in society generally, and they have inevitably helped to effect a change in the role of men in Turkish society as well. Women are not only identified by Durakbasa and Cindoglu (2002) as the traditional buying unit in Turkey since the 1960s but also as the taste setters of the Turkish household in all classes in Turkish culture. The rise of the new malls around the country is one of major reasons for women of all classes taking part in what is now a more individualistic and materialistic Turkish culture. According to Durakbasa and Cindoglu, the new mall provides a safe place, a sort of outside–inside in place of the çarsi or bazaar which was traditionally a masculine domain in Ottoman times. The women can stroll and shop freely in the new mall, without having a man to accompany them as they would in the old days when going to the çarsi/bazaar and without worrying about being harassed. One of the main outlets of the globalized market is the mall because it functions as a place where both men and women consumers can make regular purchases. So the mall has increased the consumer base in Turkey. If the Cola Turka ad campaign aimed to tell the West that its citizens should adopt a Turkish identity, it is not a message that would likely appeal to most Americans. The message in the various commercials (under the umbrella of ‘positive nationalism’) is that Turks put women in their place – in the kitchen – and that men are the decision-makers in the family while women serve them. The ‘local’ that Americans should aspire to in the commercials does not represent the reality of the ‘local’ in fact. The local of today’s Turkey – at least the local of the urban centres – is a local that looks a lot more like America’s local. It is a site of emancipated Turkish women who make most consumer decisions for the household and who may well be combining work with family – as most Americans are. But the commercials presume otherwise. The commercials may be assuming that Americans, who dominate the world with their language and culture while ignoring the languages and cultures of other countries, really have a desire to return to a life that is more like that of the Turks (or the Turks in a romanticized past). Globalization has led them to this terrible state where they cannot appreciate family and neighbourhoods, but they can rediscover a simpler, more hospitable environment in an authentic Turkish folk culture. As with the notions of the role of women in Turkish society, other parts of this ‘folk’

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culture are disappearing too. Neighbourhoods in urban environments are no longer the sites of close relationships among the residents. And the hurried pace of modern life has found its way to almost every part of Turkey. Yet the commercials insist on romanticizing the Turkey that was by claiming it still exists today. Babcock claims that ‘we all romanticize the Other in at least two respects: as the poet Novalis said, “Everything turns romantic as soon as it is moved far away” […] and as the philosopher Ricoeur has said “[when it] is to be transported into another life”’ (Babcock 1982: 201–02). In this context, romanticized folk culture represents Turkey and everything Turkish in Cola Turka ads as a reaction to globalization/westernization while Turkey is becoming increasingly western. One of the Cola Turka commercials takes the viewer as far back as the country’s Turkic roots in Central Asia in the glorification of the Cameko-type moustache. The wearing of the moustache was a sign that Chevy Chase had at last become a Turk. The moustache was also used for the transformation of a European soccer player who plays for a Turkish team. Pierre van Hooijdonk, a Dutch player who helped the Istanbul team Fenerbahçe win a national title, appears with a moustache after drinking Cola Turka in one commercial. The creative staff at Alametifarika thought that the moustache motif would be humorous and endearing to consumers, but when they polled the audience on their preference for the player with or without the moustache, the audience preferred the clean-shaven look. The vote against the moustache was the first clue for the agency that the commercials were not successful with women and young adults. Subsequent focus group research showed that women and young people found the commercials overly ‘macho’ and not ‘too cool’. Alametifarika was not winning the cola wars with the macho Turka against the modern/ western original product Coca-Cola. Sümer in acknowledging the problem concluded: ‘We will have to lose the moustache’ in the effort to appeal to young people looking for the brand to be cool. In their newer commercials, the Alametifarika agency moved away from the moustache and shifted the image from macho masculinity to a more contemporary masculine image. In two of the new commercials, they feature a Turkish football player, Emre Belezoglu and an award-winning graphic designer Emrah Yücel. Both commercials glorify the achievements of two Turkish males: male voice-overs declare that Emre Belezoglu made the hundred-best-football-player list at the age of 20 and Yücel had became a world-class graphic designer in Hollywood with his own Beverly Hills company, Iconisis. Both commercials take place outdoors in the same cloud-filled sky on the same field where Belezoglu, by kicking a football, and Yücel, by throwing a giant pencil, break a symbolic barrier – a red wall that comes crashing down – and achieve individual, international (or global) and therefore glocal success and fame. In case the audience misses this message, a male voice tells us that each of these men were born in Turkey and achieved great global fame in their respective fields. Thus the advertising agency reverses the earlier theme of Turkifying foreign/American icons/celebrities, instead acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of two Turkish men’s national and masculine achievements. They reinforce this new theme when the male voice tells us, ‘Let the Turka inside emerge.’ By doing so, however, they also further ground Cola Turka as a masculine product. Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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5. There is a decadelong debate in the art world related to the work and masculinity of Jackson Pollack and Roy Lichtenstein. Pollock was celebrated as being more masculine than Lichtenstein, because he worked at home in his office; hence he was perceived as being domesticated and feminine.

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In setting the commercials outdoors and involving physical activity, they reinforce the typical portrayal of males in television commercials. As a graphic designer, Yücel would normally spend the majority of his time in an office behind a computer, but the agency chose not to feature him in this way. Instead he is taken outside of his office and placed in a field full of pencils where he selects one that functions as a weapon. This renders him more masculine than he might be in his professional setting.5 The target of Yücel’s pencil appears to be Umma Thurman, on the Kill Bill poster (which Yücel designed). Although the pencil Yücel hurls ends up striking the poster next to Thurman, even if for only a few seconds, the pencil functions as a phallic object that has the potential to conquer Hollywood, as well one of Hollywood’s female icons. There are no commercials celebrating female achievements, Turkish or otherwise, in any of the series of Cola Turka advertisements to date. The global sport of soccer/football is an ideal choice for the branding of Cola Turka. Almost every culture uses sports as a key vehicle for marketing a variety of products. Cola Turka is no exception. As described earlier, the first commercials in the series that were shot in New York, a car full of Turks waving Turkish flags and shouting ‘Champion Turkey/Sampiyon Türkiye’ passes Chevy Chase in Times Square. The scene is meant to depict a national soccer victory. When Chase sits at the diner counter drinking his coffee, David Brown asks him about Besiktas, a popular Turkish soccer team and Sergen, one of its famous players. In the next commercial set in Chevy Chase’s home we have already noted that the grandparents sing a song that originates in the American baseball culture. A later series of soccerfocused commercials highlights Pierre van Hooijdonk. In Turkey, as in many countries, soccer is the sport of men and boys and an arena where women are excluded. The common stereotype is that women not only do not like the game, but they cannot understand it. So it was probably not unusual that women were not featured in the part of the advertising campaign that used a soccer theme. That might be considered especially odd since both account managers (Sümer and Gökkan) are women. But given that soccer is not associated with women – as players or as fans – it is not unusual that women were excluded from the ads that carried a soccer theme. That said, the game of soccer is a global game that according to Giulianotti and Robertson (2004: 545) includes 250 million direct participants, an additional 1.4 billion with an interest in the game and a global television audience of 33.4 billion (sic) for the World Cup finals. The authors argue that football ‘constitutes a vital site for the theorization and empirical exploration of the multidimensional and long-term process of globalization’ (Giulianotti and Robertson 2004: 546). And they further argue that globalization of the game is ‘marked culturally by processes of “glocalization”, whereby local cultures adapt and redefine any global cultural product to suit their particular needs, beliefs and customs’ (Giulianotti and Robertson 2004: 546). Robertson, who was the first to apply the term ‘glocalization’ to globalization theory, writes that the global game becomes the glocal game at international tournaments where ‘thousands of different supporter groups commingle, with each nation displaying distinctive kinds of dress, song, music and patterns of behaviour’ (Giulianotti and Robertson 2004: 547).

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The authors analyse various aspects of the game from a glocal perspective but the one of most interest to this article is the ‘transnational circulation of labour, information, capital and commodities that can underpin non-national forms of cultural particularity’ (Giulianotti and Robertson 2004: 549). It is this flow of labour that brought Pierre van Hooijdonk to the Istanbul team, Fenerbahçe. And the Alametifarika agency saw in him a way to sell Cola Turka. To the Turks soccer is a serious matter (Holland 2001: 37; also noted by Giulianotti and Robertson 2004: 546) Holland says that as in Britain or in Latin America, each match is either a national battle or an identity issue (with a particular team). Bora and Erdogan (1993: 223) argue that the construction of Turkish ‘national’ identity and the beginning of the history of soccer in Turkey are simultaneous. And soccer can also be thought of as a commodity whose commodification is supported by the globalization process. Within this context, soccer and Cola Turka, both global commodities, are supplementary aspects of world capitalism. The explicit relationship between Coca-Cola and capitalism, or American imperialism, as the ultimate extension of capitalism, was adopted as part of the Cola Turka campaign perspective. Thus Cola Turka, or the Cola of Turkey, was the central concept of the commercials (Gökkan 2004). So it is fitting that van Hooijdonk is transformed into a Turk, much like Chevy Chase. But in the reversal of the usual glocalization process, the Dutch national player represents the Turkish culture and identity in the commercials. Aktay (1999) says that soccer players belong to their teams and represent a collective identity, not their individual identities. Therefore all Turkish players who play for European soccer teams are referred to as the representatives of Turkey in Europe (Futbolda Avrupa’daki Temsilcimiz). And the slogan for Cola Turka in the commercials featuring van Hooijdonk is ‘the only Turkish star in the European league’. Van Hooijdonk represents the local. Or as Sümer said, ‘We can’t go to the Cup but we can send someone, the Dutch (now also Turkish) player.’ The Turkish team was eliminated from the European Cup competition but this was a way for the country to participate. And van Hooijdonk represented the collective Turkish identity as a hybrid Turk/Dutch player when he played for the Dutch national team. Aktay (1999: 5) claims that ‘soccer is in the service of national, ethnic, gender and even religious identities’. With the transformation of a gavur (non-Muslim) to a Turk, the psychology of Turkish society is satisfied while we are shown that culture is a more important tie than kinship or biological heritage. The internalizing of Turkish culture is sufficient for becoming a Turk or feeling like a Turk. In this process a foreign soccer player becomes ‘one of us (bizden biri)’ in the ads. Though the ads that featured van Hooijdonk may have appealed to male consumers, women saw them as overly macho (Sümer 2004). Subsequent ads featured a young girl and her grandmother and a couple in a romantic mood in a New York apartment. It is not known how successful these ads were with the women who were put off by soccer-themed commercials, however. But in 2005 a second soccer star, Emre Belezoglu, a star player for Galatasaray team, was featured in the commercials described previously where the local hero made good globally. Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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6. Eda Gökkan said that Coke has now replaced the traditional yogurt drink, Ayran, as the accompaniment to the Turkish fast food, lahmajun (a kind of local pizza with ground meat, spices, tomato and peppers).

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Conclusion The trial rate of Cola Turka was 40 per cent within three months. Its market share shot up to 23 per cent but eventually stabilized at 16 per cent by the end of the first year according to Sümer. The most recent advertisements claim that Cola Turka has entered 65 per cent of Turkish households, but make no claim to its share in the market. Resistance to trying the product came mostly from loyal Coke fans and anti-Ülker consumers. The latter group was defined by Sümer as more intellectual or ‘white Turks’. The series of commercials for Cola Turka that were first created at Young & Rubicam and later by most of the same creative team at Alametifarika constituted a very clever approach to marketing an image and identity for a soft drink in a market dominated by the global king of soft drinks, Coca-Cola (and to a much lesser extent Pepsi-Cola). Just as Coke has for years capitalized on combining the global with the local in their ads,6 Cola Turka reverses this process. Cola Turka is a local product that is advertised as if it were a global product that everyone wants to drink because they will achieve what the whole world wants – the Turkish dream. That dream, however, is a dream that is rapidly passing. Turks have less time to spend in the traditional Turkish bath, have become members of a more individualistic society, live in a place where women do most of the shopping in urban malls and want an equal place in society, and where they have worked hard to adopt the American dream for themselves. So it is a fabrication to say that the Turkish dream is a future that can be acquired with a sip of Cola Turka. And as much as the advertising agency representatives deny that the commercials were anti-American, there are signs in several of them that ‘positive nationalism’ was also anti-American. That was particularly true of one of the commercials that took a distinct departure from all the rest. It was set in the Iraqi desert and featured an American soldier with tanks and planes surrounding him while military music played in the background. He is crawling across the desert on his stomach along with his comrades when he comes upon a red and white cooler in the sand. Upon opening it he finds Cola Turka inside, pops a can and drinks it. Immediately he begins to take off his weapons and backpack and throws them on the ground. Next he removes his flak jacket and helmet. Finally he walks away from the uniform and gun on the ground and across the screen flashes the message, ‘Yurtta suhl, Cihanda suhl’ (‘Peace at home; Peace in the world’ – a saying and a philosophy advocated by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic). More generally, however, the whole Cola Turka promotion, beginning at a time when Turkish–US relations were at a near all-time low, created an environment for acting on the anti-American feelings. Or as Andrew Finkel, writing for the New York Times put it, ‘But while Turka is neither Islamic nor anti-American per se, there is no doubt that anti-Americanism has helped create its market niche’ (Finkel 2003: B01). He goes on to say that the current prime minister of Turkey (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) was elected in part because of ‘a growing sense of disillusionment with the culture cultivated by the elite’ in the country (Finkel 2003: B01). That elite constituted a group that wholeheartedly bought into a worship of US society and its values. So as Finkel points out, it is also ironic that both the prime minister and his party along with Cola Turka’s 58

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producers and ad creation team exploit the disillusionment by using the same elite’s skills (Finkel 2003). We could look upon the Cola Turka campaign and the gender and nationalism issues that define it as simply an interesting case. But there are wider theoretical and real-world implications of the advertisements we analyse here. First, this is not the only situation where commercial products have been used to identify a nation. Anthropologists and media scholars have been considering ways to understand and narrate the constantly changing definition of nationalism and the role of media in the nation-making process. Several scholars have focused on media and, in particular, advertising, in explaining the relationship between mass-mediated commercial cultures and national identity. (Askew and Wilk 2002; Abu-Lughod 2005; Foster 2002). In Materializing the Nation, Robert Foster provides important insights into the relationship between nationalism, consumption and media through his ethnographic research in Papua New Guinea. Pointing to the ways foreign imports are used in the service of domestic agendas, Foster (2002: 13) shows how mass consumption and advertising campaigns promote a new nation state and have fostered a sense of nationhood among the disparate populations brought together arbitrarily. He emphasizes the instrumental role of commodity consumption in nation-making in several settings and historical periods. Lila Abu-Lughod uses the same argument about the importance of advertising in nation-making with her reference to another scholar’s work. ‘Arvin Rajagopol’s reflection on the “sentimental education of the Indian consumer” suggests that Indian television commercials that follow motor scooters or cigarettes across varied urban landscapes are attempting to bring fragmented social groups into (a Hinduized) national unity’ (Abu-Lughod 2005: 194). So we see that the connection between national identity formation and consumption is not unique to Turkey or the Cola Turka campaign. By analysing commercials that play on national themes and promote national identity in different societies, we may better understand the role of mass media in facilitating nation-building and global culture in the current era. Anti-American sentiment has also been played out in other media products recently. At $10 million, the Turkish cinema produced the most expensive film ever made in the country, Valley of the Wolves – Iraq. Unlike the totally fictional portrayal of the Turkish family or the American soldier in the Cola Turka commercials, this film combined facts with fiction in portraying the US soldiers as the enemy and their commander Sam William Marshall, portrayed by Billy Zane, as a sociopathic killer (Arsu 2006). The factual parts of the film include the hooding of the Turkish soldiers taken for insurgents in Iraq, the portrayal of the inmates at Abu Ghraib prison, and acts of violence by US marines against Iraqis. The film highlights the rise of a cultural divide between the United States and Turkey that has lately also been played out in the Armenian genocide vote in the US Congress and the concerns over the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) acts of terrorism being enacted in Turkey by Kurds who have come across the borders from Iraq. Our analysis is also supported by public opinion. In the most recent surveys conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project (2007), opinions about a range of subjects were collected in Turkey and 46 other nations. When compared with polls conducted in previous years, favourable views of the Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant

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United States have shown a near steady decline from a high of 52 per cent in 2000 to a low of 9 per cent in 2007. A slightly higher favourability rating was given to the American people (13 per cent), while a more positive rating was given to US movies, music and television (22 per cent) in the 2007 poll. These negative views of the United States and of Americans most surely derive from opposition to the war in Iraq and its consequences for Turkey’s security and economic well-being. But when advertising capitalizes on these feelings, the message that buying Cola Turka will help bring an end to the war and allow Turks to act on their anti-American feelings through the purchase of a soft drink, the concept of national identity becomes conflated with consumerism. The more favourable opinion of US media expressed in the poll is also reflected in the use of American actors as stars in the narratives of the commercials for Cola Turka. This analysis demonstrates that advertising may have a wider impact than just promoting higher levels of consumerism in the viewing public. It may well extend to the defining of nationhood in the global market. References Abu-Lughod, L. (2005), Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Aktay, Y. (1999), ‘Formanin Rengi Sermayenin Rengine Karisirsa: Futbol Dünyasinin Metalasmasinda Son Durumlar ve Sponsorluk’, http://www. angelfire.com/art/yasinaktay/Makaleler/Formanin_Rengi_Sermayenin_Rengi ne_Karisirsa.htm Accessed April 2005. Arsu, S. (2006), ‘U.S. Officer is Villain in Turkish Movie Hit’, International Herald Tribune, 15 February, p. 4. Askew, K. and Wilk, R. (2002), The Anthropology of Media, Malden, MA: Blackwell Press. Babcock, B. (1982), ‘Ritual Undress and the Comedy of Self and Other: Banderlier’s The Delight Makers’, in J. Ruby (ed.), A Crack in the Mirror, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 87–203. Baker, M. and Sterenberg, G. (2002), ‘International Branding: Resolving the Global-Local Dilemma’, Market Leader: The Journal of the Marketing Society, 19 (Winter), pp. 1–9. Bora, T. and Erdogan, N. (1993) ‘Dur Tarih, Vur Turkiye’, in R. Horak, W. Reiter and T. Bora eds), Futbol ve Kultur: Takimlar, Taraftarlar, Endustri, Efsaneler, Istanbul: Iletisim Yayinlari. Canclini, N. (1997), ‘Hybrid Cultures and Communicative Strategies’, Media Development, 54: 1, pp. 22–29. Durakbasa, A. and Cindoglu, D. (2002), ‘Encounters at the Counter: Gender and the Shopping Experience’, in D. Kandiyoti and A. Saktanber (eds), Fragments of Culture: The Everyday of Modern Turkey, London: I.B. Tauris & Co., pp. 73–89. Finkel, A. (2003), ‘Made in Turkey: Mix soda, a star, nationalism and stir’, The New York Times, 10 August, p. B01. Foster, R.J. (2002), Materializing the Nation: Commodities, Consumption and Media in Papua New Guinea, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Giulianotti, R. and Robertson, R. (2004), ‘The Globalization of Football: A Study in the Glocalization of the “Serious life”’, The British Journal of Sociology, 55: 4, pp. 545–68.

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Gökkan, Eda (2004), personal interview, July, Young & Rubicam, Istanbul. Hofstede, Geert (1980), Culture’s Consequences, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Holland, B. (2001), ‘Bir Futbol ülkesi Disardan Bakis. Evet. . . Maalesef ’ in T. Bora, (ed.) Takimdan Ayri Duz Kosu. Istanbul: Iletisim, pp. 37–45. Kraidy, M. (1999), ‘The Global, the Local and the Hybrid: A Native Ethnography of Glocalization’, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 16, pp. 456–76. Maynard, M. (2003), ‘From Global to Glocal: How Gillette’s SensorExcel Accommodates to Japan’, Keio Communication Review, 25, pp. 57–75. Milovanovic, G. (1997), ‘Marketing Dimensions of Global Advertising’, Facta Universitatis, 1: 5, pp. 71–78. Milner, L.M. and Collins, J.M. (1998), ‘Sex Role Portrayals in Turkish Television Advertisement: An Examination in an International Context’, Journal of Euromarketing, 7: 1, pp. 1–28. Ohmae, K. (1990), The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Interlinked Economy, New York: Harper Business. Pew Research Center (2007), Global Unease with Major World Powers: Rising Environmental Concern in 47-Nation Survey, 27 June, Pew Global Attitudes Project, http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/256.pdf Accessed 9 October 2007. Robertson, R. (1995), ‘Glocalization: Time-Space Homogeneity-Heterogeneity’, in M. Featherstone, S. Lash and R. Robertson (eds), Global Modernities, London: Sage, pp. 27–44. Sümer, Y. (2004), personal interview, July, Alametifarika, Istanbul, Turkey. Uray, N. and Burnaz, S. (2003), ‘An Analysis of the portrayal of gender roles in Turkish television advertisements’, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 48: 1/2, pp. 77–88. Williamson, J. (1978), Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising, London: Marion Boyars.

Suggested citation Ogan, C.L., Çiçek, F. and Kaptan, Y. (2007), ‘Reverse glocalization? Marketing a Turkish cola in the shadow of a giant’, Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research 1: 1, pp. 47–62, doi: 10.1386/jammr.1.1.47/1

Contributor details Christine Ogan is Professor of Journalism and Informatics at Indiana University where she teaches courses in international communication and social informatics. She conducts research on Turkish migrants in western Europe and their uses of traditional and new media, and on gender and IT higher education. She is the author of Communication and Identity in the Diaspora: Turkish Migrants in Amsterdam and their Use of Media and numerous articles in communication journals. Contact: 970 E. 7th St., School of Journalism, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408. E-mail: [email protected] Yesim Kaptan is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University with double majors in Communication and Culture and Folklore and Ethnomusicology. She also holds an MA in Folklore from Indiana and degrees in Political Science and Public Administration from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She is currently teaching advertising and consumer culture and her research interests are anthropology of media, advertising, consumerism, globalization and nationalism

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in contemporary Turkey. Contact: 970 E. 7th St., School of Journalism, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408. E-mail: [email protected] Filiz Çiçek is a doctoral candidate in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University where she received her master’s degree in Fine Arts and a faculty member in the women’s studies department at DePauw University. Contact: 970 E. 7th St., School of Journalism, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408. E-mail: [email protected]

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