The nature of nationhood is changing in the age of globalization, marketization, and mediatization. In this context, the nation is built as a brand with the aim of attracting tourists and increase economic development. A particular case of nation branding is to be found in Romania and Moldova, two countries that started to reposition themselves after the fall of communism. In this context, this paper focuses on a comparative semiotic analysis of two nation branding campaigns initiated by the Romanian and Moldavian Governments: “Discover the Place Where You Feel Reborn” (Romania, 2014) and “Discover the Routes of Life” (Moldova, 2014). In so doing, a multimodal approach (Iedema, 2003; Kress & Van Leeuwen, 1996; Van Leeuwen, 2001) is employed, highlighting the importance of image, sound and text as semiotic resources in the discursive configuration of Romania’s and Moldova’s nation brands, comparatively. Special attention is given to the analysis of logos, websites and videos, comprising different communication situations used to create meaning in the tourism campaigns. The paper investigates how elements of neoliberal ideology are addressed in two governmental campaigns, comparatively, considering the “marketization of public discourse” (Fairclough, 1993).
Keywords: nation branding, transition countries, multimodal analysis, social semiotics, neoliberal ideology