Compares toy commercials in France, Germany and Italy in relation to globalisation, which is claimed to produce a uniform consumer culture. Investigates the roles performed by different territories (international, national, regional and local) in advertising directed at children of these different nationalities. Focuses on the apparent tendency towards universalism in the form and content of TV commercials aimed at children, based on a comparative analysis of 163 commercials for toys. Finds that the commercials in the three countries used the same types of persuasion, with toys linked to fantasy worlds, different depictions of boys and girls, and reference to a widely shared extra‐textual body of knowledge; international commercials were much more standardised than for other types of products, and images crossed national boundaries more easily than language, with various reinventions of voiceovers and other verbal messages. Concludes that transnational toy advertising cannot escape local obstacles linked to sociocultural variables.
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