Chinese consumers use Western brands to assert their version of national identity. This emerged from findings that Chinese form meanings for Western brands, drawing from select historical national narratives of East–West relations: the West as experiential venue and Western brands as instruments of freedom; the West as oppressor and Western brands as instruments of domination; the West as subjugated and Western brands, by their own subjugation, as symbolically erasing China’s past humiliations; and, the West as partner, such that Western brands are instruments of economic progress (Gries 2004). Our theory elaborates processes by which Western brands are shaped by macro-level sociohistorical forces to motivate consumers’ responses to them as acts of nation-making (Gerth 2003, 2008). Further, we theorize the different ways in which national narratives of international relationships can intervene in individual processing of Western brand promotions that seek to pique consumers’ imaginations.