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The national pavilions at the Expo are, in essence, a themed, branded environment, that aims to convey a positive and distinctive narrative about a country. So, how is the mundane space of a pavilion transformed into a stylized and, for some countries, a spectacular location that gives it meaning, identity and, above all, resonance with visitors? The pavilions being a field of cultural production, they pursue a wide range of communication approaches to create and deliver an ultimate nation-brand experience.

From texts and visuals, to experiential

A Tale of Two Japans

As a major emerging economy and the host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil is keen to present the country as more than about soccer, samba, and carnivals. Pavilion Director Pedro Wendler discusses the country’s positioning and communication at Shanghai Expo.

Beyond Soccer …

As a venue for public diplomacy, the World Expo is highly valued yet under-analyzed. This is particularly true of the current Expo in Shanghai.

For many countries, Shanghai Expo is the most expensive and arguably the most important one they have ever attended. And, for the millions of Chinese, for whom international travel is still a luxury they cannot afford, visiting the Expo has become a once-in-a-life time chance to get a glimpse of other countries epitomized in the national pavilions. The potential cultural impact can certainly be vast.

These videos are part of the series CPD Video Conversations: National Branding at Expo 2010 Shanghai.

A view of various illuminated pavilions after dark at the 2010 Shanghai Expo: