Coca-Cola: An Icon of the American Way of Life. An Iterative Text Mining Workflow for Analyzing Advertisements in Dutch Twentieth-Century Newspapers


This article analyses advertisements to shed light on the ways in which the Coca-Cola Company tried to shape the Dutch perception of an American way of life, and by extension provided the discursive building blocks for the construction of a mental map of America. Since the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) digitized its newspaper collection, we could analyze newspapers using both computational and traditional means. The central question this article addresses is: Did Coca-Cola advertisements in Dutch newspapers communicate themes that represented the American way of life? Using two separate workflows, we demonstrate how we combined computational and traditional methods in an iterative and transparent manner. These workflows are systematic descriptions of how we used computational tools to answer this paper’s central research question.

Digital Humanities Quarterly, Vol. 11, no. 4