University of Leicester
2022Wang D PhD.pdf (3.64 MB)

Representation and Production of City Image Advertising in China

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posted on 2022-05-30, 11:14 authored by Dian Wang

City image advertising has become one of the most used means for Chinese cities to promote their images inside and out of China. This thesis aims to investigate city image adverts as a type of advertising from the perspective of media and communication, gain a better understanding of the subject from the production practitioners, and further link the domains of content and production.

This thesis takes a sequential research design from a mixed-methods approach and employs three research methods, drawing on the data of the video city image adverts issued in Guangzhou, China, in 2017-2018. By using content analysis, the study examines the city imagery (the visual, verbal and aural representations) and city imaginaries constructed in the adverts. This study is then complemented with a multimodal analysis of the meanings and ideologies carried in the city imagery and city imaginaries. Lastly, semi-structured interviews with production practitioners were conducted to investigate the definition of city image adverts from the practitioners’ perspective, the production process, and most importantly, the influential factors on the content in the production process, which links these two important domains.

The central contributions of this thesis are the definition of city image adverts in China, from both the perspectives of academic research and production practitioners; a hierarchical system of the constructed different places’ identities from the lens of self and other; a model to link the city imagery, city imaginaries and the influential factors on them in the production process; and a linear model of power relations among the three main agents (advertisers, creative and production teams).



Anders Hansen; Sarah Qian Gong

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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