Promotional video of a city with its strengths in visual and audio impacts that crystallizes the history, culture and future of it is playing an ever more important role in city branding. Against this backdrop, this study will conduct an empirical examination into such videos of Ningbo, a coastal city in Zhejiang province in China. Guided by the conceptual framework of narrative paradigm in the operationalization of repositioning in city branding in comparison with some successful cases of promotional videos, this study has found that the city’s repositioning branding strives still have many aspects to improve so that its competitive edge, uniformity in positioning, compelling story-telling and uniqueness can be enhanced and improved. Contribution to literature and innovation of the study lies in the incorporation of the method of thematic multimodal discourse analysis into city branding through analyzing visual, audio and textual effects of promotional videos. Significance of this study is that second and lower tier cities such as Ningbo home the bigger population of a country, successful promotion will set a good example for other place brandings and in turn may improve the overall competitiveness of such cities.
- City branding
- Promotional videos
- Narrative paradigm
- Multimodal discourse analysis