Selling or Buying American Dreams? Americanization and Australia's Interwar Advertising Industry

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Journal Article
Comparative American Studies, 2005, 3 (2), pp. 213 - 236
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During the interwar period, the US industrial and financial sectors expanded at a phenomenal rate. Despite the Depression, America had become an economic, industrial, and cultural powerhouse by the beginning of the Second World War. The advertising industry had been both a beneficiary of this growth and, indeed, a key contributor - spreading the American Dream to national and international audiences, including Australia. An important member of this audience was Australia's advertising industry. Like its American counterpart, the local advertising industry was directly involved in the process of Americanization. However, the Australian advertising industry did not simply ape its American counterparts. By examining the discourse of America in interwar Australian advertising literature, this article argues that the Australian advertising industry was interested in American advertising methods and techniques because they had been devised by the most modern advertising industry in the world. For Australian advertising agents, Americanization was simply viewed as a means to an end - to maximize consumption.
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