The creative aspect of country branding : How music is able to influence the country image in case of Hungary

Jentetics, Kinga (2012) The creative aspect of country branding : How music is able to influence the country image in case of Hungary. MA/MSc thesis, BCE Gazdálkodástudományi Kar, Marketingkutatás és Fogyasztói Magatartás Tanszék.

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Musical rhythm is in our first heartbeat and it follows us in every moment in forms of communication, entertainment and learning and even it can provide a resort for disabled persons. “Music is a fundamental channel of communication: through music people can share emotions, intentions and thoughts even though their spoken languages may be mutually incomprehensible.” (Hargreaves – Miell – McDonald, 2002) In fact, music is present in our lives everywhere playing a greater part than ever before. The rapid technological development made it possible to listen to music every time and everywhere through the commercialization and economic power of music. But how is music connected to country branding and nation image? The answer is quite simple: music can be a source of a wide range of associations. When we listen to a song featuring a country’s original characteristics, the nation itself pops into our mind with all of its typical symbols, inhabitants – briefly the image of a country. When flamenco is played we cannot avoid imagining the passionate dancing movements, temperamental women and men, moreover the associations of bullfights. When one plays the bagpipe we are picturing gentlemen in Scottish skirt, as long as accordion reminds us of the background music during French movies, so Paris and specific French cuisine. As a presumption of my thesis music affects the reputation of countries as playing a crucial role in the cluster of creative class (Florida, 2002). „The creative class is a fast-growing, highly educated, and well-paid segment of the workforce on whose efforts corporate profits and economic growth increasingly depend” (Florida, 2002 p. 64.). Members of the creative class are involved in a wide variety of work in different industries – from technology to entertainment, journalism to finance, high-end manufacturing to the arts. In the economic crisis innovative ideas and especially creative ideas are needed to engage in reforms in my opinion, the presence of creative class has to be scrutinized in the matter of country branding as well. Zenker (2011) highlights the importance of creative class in country branding marking it as a relevant target group from the resident point of view. The main objective of my thesis is to uncover the linkage between music and country image and to draw a model based on Anholt-hexagon (2003) which can be used by practitioners as well. Therefore I will review the relevant literature in this field focusing on the creative class (Florida, 2002) and their connection to each other. The thesis’ novelty lies in the synthesis of theoretical approaches, which were not applied and connected to each other before according to my secondary research. Nevertheless, the topic’s nature requires several examples from practical life as well: I analysed different international and Hungarian case studies where it was applicable. For distinguishing the practical examples I enhanced them with separate boxes in order to support the relevance of a theoretic approach. Because of the novelty of my thesis’ topic it was necessary to conduct a primary research besides secondary research. Therefore, I conducted in-depth interviews with experts from the music industry, focus group interviews with visitors and I designed a questionnaire in order to gain quantifiable data from visitors especially in case of Hungary. During the primary research I applied different creative techniques (combining audio, visual and audiovisual elements) in order to identify the main associations of respondents. In the primary research part the Hungarian focus from a practical point of view is enhanced, especially because there is no direct literature available on this topic. As a result I will first define a general model for musical nation image and after all consequently, I will demonstrate the Hungarian Musical Country Image in Chapter 8 followed by some suggestions how to improve country image strategy built on music. Through the primary and secondary research it was confirmed that music has a crucial effect on country image by mediating through five main platforms. These platforms integrate the place as a creative city or country itself; the artist as a symbolic icon; any digital platforms where the message can be communicated in an innovative way; events where icons and visitors can contact; and the institutional background that supports the international musical network of a country through cultural diplomacy. In case of Hungary the following dimensions can be differentiated according to the Musical Nation Image based on the Anholt-hexagon (2006): where the cluster of the creative class; Budapest as a creative city fuelled with ruin bars and spas as ‘Musical Hungaricums’; the Sziget Festival as an international showcase; and innovation in public music education, infrastructure and location-based technology play the most important roles. Hungary has a musical nation image, although it is momentarily weak and has several problematic areas (depicted in Chapter 7). According to international examples, Hungary could build a country branding strategy on music, which is moving forward from traditional values into the direction of modern understanding of a creative country.

Item Type:MA/MSc thesis
Culture, sport
ID Code:4863
Deposited On:25 Sep 2012 12:12
Last Modified:02 Dec 2021 11:43

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