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Western influences in Turkish advertising: Disseminating the ideals of home, family and femininity in the 1950s and 1960s

Nazife Karamullaoglu (Independent Scholar, Ankara, Turkey)
Ozlem Sandikci (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 24 July 2019

Issue publication date: 8 April 2020



This purpose of this paper is to explore how Western design, fashion and aesthetic styles influenced advertising practice in Turkey in the post-Second World War era. Specifically, the authors focus on the key targets of the consumerist ideology of the period, women and discuss the representations of females in Turkish advertisements.


Data were analysed using a combination of social semiotic and compositional analysis methods. Compositional analysis focused on the formal qualities and design elements of the ads; social semiotic analysis sought to uncover their meaning potentials in relation to social, cultural, political and economic dynamics of the period. The advertisements of a prominent Turkish pasta brand, Piyale, published in the local adaptation of the American Life magazine, between 1956 and 1966, constitute the data set.


The analysis reveals that Piyale followed the stylistic and thematic trends prevailing in American and European advertisements at the time and crafted ads that constructed and communicated a Westernized image of Turkish women and families. In line with the cultural currents of the 1950s and 1960s, the ads emphasize patriarchal gender roles and traditional family values and address the woman as a consumer whose priority is to please her husband and take good care of her children.


This study contributes to the advertising history in non-Western contexts and provides an understanding of the influence Western advertising conventions and fashion trends had on developing country markets. The findings indicate that Western-inspired representations and gender roles dominated advertisements of local brands during the post-war period.



Karamullaoglu, N. and Sandikci, O. (2020), "Western influences in Turkish advertising: Disseminating the ideals of home, family and femininity in the 1950s and 1960s", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 127-150.



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