Between Consumerism and Anticolonialism: Detergent Advertisements in Iranian State Television

  • Azra Ghandeharion Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
  • Mahboobeh Rostami Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


This paper traces how 532 detergent advertisements broadcast by Iranian State Television from 2011 to 2015 exploit Western or Western-like names and words as a synthesis of Western influence and Iran’s anti-colonial discourse in post-revolutionary era (i.e.: the Islamic Revolution of 1979). According to the Law of the Parliament of Islamic Republic of Iran, choosing or using an alien word for national organizations or products is forbidden. Despite anti-colonial policies, the use of Western words or names and a hybrid strategy in the exploitation of Western-like terms is evident; many advertisements used both strategies (491 Western and 343 hybrid out of 532 cases, respectively 92.29% and 64.47%). However, Iranian advertisements are not mere replicas of Western advertisements; they circumvent the Law and bridge Western colonial influence with Iran’s anti-colonial discourse.

Keywords: Iranian State Television, advertisement, detergent, Western words, colonialism and anti-colonialism