Brand Antarctica


Brand Antarctica

How Global Consumer Culture Shapes Our Perceptions of the Ice Continent

Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen

Polar Studies Series

268 pages
13 photographs, 6 illustrations, 1 map, index


December 2023


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2023


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2023


$60.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Antarctica is, and has always been, very much “for sale.” Whales, seals, and ice have all been marketed as valuable commodities, but so have the stories of explorers. The modern media industry developed in parallel with land-based Antarctic exploration, and early expedition leaders needed publicity to generate support for their endeavors. Their lectures, narratives, photographs, and films were essentially advertisements for their adventures. At the same time, popular media began to use the newly encountered continent to draw attention to commercial products. These advertisements both trace the commercialization of Antarctica and reveal how commercial settings have shaped the dominant imaginaries of the place.

By contextualizing and analyzing Antarctic advertisements from the late nineteenth century to the present, Brand Antarctica identifies five key framings of the South Polar continent: a place for heroes, a place of extremity, a place of purity, a place to protect, and a place that transforms. Demonstrating how these conceptual framings of Antarctica in turn circulate through our culture, Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen challenges common assumptions about Antarctica’s past and present, encouraging readers to rethink their own relationship with the Far South.

Author Bio

Hanne Elliot Fønss Nielsen is a senior lecturer in Antarctic law and governance at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. In addition to her Antarctic research, she has spent five seasons working in Antarctica as a polar tourism guide.


“Innovative and engaging. . . . Brand Antarctica is packed full of intriguing reflections about a myriad of advertisements, packaging, and sensationalist materials. Hanne Nielsen shows remarkably clearly how Antarctica has been and continues to be commodified, marketized, and thematized.”—Klaus Dodds, professor of geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London and author of Antarctica: A Very Short Introduction

“This exploration into the materiality of place, and how it manifests in the Antarctic, offers surprising insights to readers who are less familiar with the Antarctic while also appealing to Antarctic research scholars. . . . Brand Antarctica includes a wide array of polar scholars, which offers others interested in the environmental humanities a ‘golden Rolodex’ of contemporary researchers.”—Leslie Carol Roberts, author of The Entire Earth and Sky: Views on Antarctica

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Antarctica’s Commercial Connections
1. Heroic Antarctica: Sponsorship and Selling a Narrative in the Age of Heroes
2. In the Footsteps of Heroes: Reprising and Rethinking Antarctic Histories
3. Cold Weather Branding: Superlatives and Survival on “Continent 7”
4. Purifying Antarctica: Clean, Wild, and Untouched
5. Fragile Antarctica: Ice-Washing and Protecting the Penguins
6. Destination Antarctica: Tourism and the Polar Product
Conclusion: Brand Antarctica Past, Present, and Future

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