Let’s Get Hyggelig in Denmark: A Qualitative Case Study About Place Branding in Times of Mediatization

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Author: Leonie Greife; [2018]

Keywords: Social Sciences;

Abstract: Let’s get hyggelig in Denmark – a qualitative case study about place branding in times of mediatization In a world that is coined by globalization, individualization, commercialization and mediatization, place brands try to use their cultural assets to distinguish them- selves from others and compete for tourists. Although literature on place branding acknowledges the importance of culture, there is still a lack of culturally informed research in the field of place branding. The aim of this study is to bridge this gap by analyzing how mediatization informs the reproduction and transformation of cultural assets in the place branding process. The case of VisitDenmark’s brand communication with the Danish concept of hygge which can be roughly translated to coziness is chosen as an example of this phenomenon. Theories on the role of culture for place branding and mediatization are used as a framework. The analy- sis is based on interviews with marketing and communication managers at Vis- itDenmark, text and images on VisitDenmark’s website, Instagram posts and a German magazine called Hygge as an example of how foreign media present the concept. Results show how cultural assets are commercialized, simplified and transferred to another context through the place branding process and its presence in other media. In addition, the concept of hygge presents a counter-balance to so- ciocultural developments in many Western societies such as stress and infor- mation-overload. One possible downside of the concept’s popularity is that Danes could become alienated to their own cultural concept due to these changes. In the end, the study proposes a new theoretical concept to account for place branding theory and practice that puts culture at its core: Cultural place branding. Keywords: place branding, mediatization, culture, cultural place branding, Denmark, hygge

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