Heroes of Nordic Masculinity in Consumer Culture Mythology


Gendered Heroism, Nordic Masculinity, Commercialisation of Heroism, Consumer Culture, Advertising


Consumer culture offers an increasingly important context for studying how heroism constructs important discursive positions and boundaries of the lifeworld of consumers. When heroism is used in advertising in order to connect brands with mythologies of national identity or the culturally ‘appropriate’ expression of ‘heroic masculinity’, it has real consequences for the choices afforded males of that culture (Avery 2012, Gentry and Harrison 2010; Molander et al 2019).

Recent trends in popular culture has highlighted ‘Nordicness’ as a theoretical perspective for understanding consumer culture (Østergaard et al 2014). The hero imagery and mythology in Nordic consumer culture seem to offer culturally specific masculine hero-mythologies: the stay-at-home father (on paternal leave), the nurturing-rebel-action hero, the ironic-anti-hero. Two very distinct examples of advertising are analysed and compared to unpack the Nordic Masculine Hero (and Anti-Hero).