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Naturalising electricity in Greek advertising: transitions between past and present in identity crafting, 1954-62

Emmanouil, Marina;


Selling this invisible, odourless, colourless, potentially dangerous and expensive form of energy (electrical power) has been a challenge throughout the developed world since the late nineteenth century. Greece’s nation-wide electrification in the 1950s was closely associated with the overriding post-war concept of progress and a modern, civilised way of life. Convincing people living outside of the metropolis of the essentiality of the new form of energy was very important as general mentalities concerning fear of using this new power, as well as its perceived superfluous and luxurious connotations, had to be argued against. This paper looks at the themes employed in print advertising commissioned by two competing electrical provision companies to convince the Greek public to use this new, abstract, and technologically advanced commodity. Although both companies started by showing their industrial profile through photographs, and generally, shared common themes, they soon developed their own sophisticated, creative advertising solutions choosing distinct representation techniques: photography and illustration respectively. Their divergence raises questions with respect to the role and relevance of (new and old) media in promoting electricity a product of modernity writ large, and ultimately, in addressing the country’s post-war identity.


Palavras-chave: print advertising, cultural heritage, technical civilisation, visual media, national identity,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0049

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Como citar:

Emmanouil, Marina; "Naturalising electricity in Greek advertising: transitions between past and present in identity crafting, 1954-62", p. 359-364 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0049

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