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Advertising and culture


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Advertising and culture

Advertising and culture

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  • 1. AdvertisingAdvertising is a non-personal form of promotion that is delivered through selectedmedia outlets that, under most circumstances, require the marketer to pay formessage placement. Advertising has long been viewed as a method of masspromotion in that a single message can reach a large number of people. But, thismass promotion approach presents problems since many exposed to an advertisingmessage may not be within the marketer’s target market, and thus, may be aninefficient use of promotional funds. However, this is changing as new advertisingtechnologies and the emergence of new media outlets offer more options fortargeted advertising.4Ps of MarketingProduct: The product aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of theactual goods or services, and how it relates to the end-users needs and wants. Thescope of a product generally includes supporting elements such as warranties,guarantees, and support.Pricing: This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, includingdiscounts. The price need not be monetary; it can simply be what is exchanged forthe product or services, e.g. time, energy, or attention. Methods of setting pricesoptimally are in the domain of pricing science.Placement (or distribution): refers to how the product gets to the customer; forexample, point-of-sale placement or retailing. This third P has also sometimes beencalled Place, referring to the channel by which a product or service is sold ( vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (youngadults, families, business people), etc. also referring to how the environment inwhich the product is sold in can affect sales.Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and personalselling. Branding refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand, orcompany. These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix, which amarketer can use to craft a marketing plan.
  • 2. The four Ps model is most useful when marketing low value consumer products.Industrial products, services, high value consumer products require adjustments tothis model. Services marketing must account for the unique nature of services.The 5 Ms of advertising • Mission • Money • Message • Media • Measurement4 Stages of MarketingIntroduction stage • costs are high • slow sales volumes to start • little or no competition - competitive manufacturers watch for acceptance/segment growth losses • demand has to be created • customers have to be prompted to try the product • makes no money at this stageGrowth stage • Costs reduced due to economies of scale • Sales volume increases significantly • Profitability begins to rise • Public awareness increases • Competition begins to increase with a few new players in establishing market • Increased competition leads to price decreases
  • 3. Mature stage • Costs are lowered as a result of production volumes increasing and experience curve effects • sales volume peaks and market saturation is reached • increase in competitors entering the market • prices tend to drop due to the proliferation of competing products • brand differentiation and feature diversification is emphasized to maintain or increase market share • Industrial profits go downSaturation and decline stage • costs become counter-optimal • sales volume decline or stabilize • prices, profitability diminish • profit becomes more a challenge of production/distribution efficiency than increased salesCultureCulture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") is aterm that has different meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and ClydeKluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A CriticalReview of Concepts and Definitions. However, the word "culture" is mostcommonly used in three basic sensesAdvertising and cultureAdvertisements are one aspect of mass communication and are influenced byculture as much as the programming or stories that they are enveloped within. Inthe advertising industry specifically, there is debate about whether culture isreflected in advertisements.It is not likely that advertisements escape cultural influence, but the trick is to findthe source. Identifying cultural dimensions found to be correlated with contentshould be useful in understanding the world’s people, and helpful for educators,government and other policy makers and businesses. For marketers it could meangaining more confidence that new products and marketing messages will be
  • 4. accepted and understood. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationshipsbetween cultural dimensions and particular characteristics of advertising.From these perspectives, mass media and culture are closely related and are noteasily separated: culture provides mass media with sources for content. Allcontent must be derived from culture, including entertainment, news andadvertisements, otherwise it could not be understood.Advertising and Popular CulturePopular culture (commonly abbreviated as pop culture) is the totality of distinctmemes, ideas, perspectives, and attitudes that are deemed preferred per an informalconsensus within the mainstream of a given culture. Heavily influenced by massmedia (at least from the early 20th century onward) and perpetuated by thatcultures vernacular language, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday livesof the society. Popular culture is often viewed as being trivial and "dumbed-down"in order to find consensual acceptance throughout the mainstream. As a result ofthis perception, it comes under heavy criticism from various scientific and non-mainstream sources (most notably religious groups and countercultural groups)which deem it superficial, consumerist, sensationalist and corrupted.It is manifest in preferences and acceptance or rejection of features in such varioussubjects as cooking, clothing, consumption, and the many facets of entertainmentsuch as sports, music, film, and literature.Popular culture is what we have made out of products and practices of massproduced culture. Popular culture is the expressive content that is produced andconsumed. It is light entertainment that is delivered through the channels of massmedia and finally absorbed voluntarily, to be absorbed by the individual whoreceives it. Popular culture consists of the many facets of music, fashion, slang,entertainment, and the newer forms of media like internet.MusicMusical chronology1. Hippies (early 1960’s)The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that began in the UnitedStates during the early 1960s and spread around the world. The word hippiederives from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved
  • 5. into San Franciscos Haight-Ashbury district. These people inherited thecountercultural values of the Beat Generation, created their own communities,listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs suchas cannabis and LSD to explore alternative states of consciousness.In music, the folk rock and psychedelic rock popular among hippies evolved intogenres such as acid rock, world beat and heavy metal music. Psychedelic trance(also known as psytrance) is a type of electronic music influenced by 1960spsychedelic rock. The tradition of hippie music festivals began in the United Statesin 1965 with Ken Keseys Acid Tests, where the Grateful Dead played stoned onLSD and initiated psychedelic jamming.2. Elvis Presley (1977 onwards)Since the beginning of his career, Elvis Presley has had an extensive culturalimpact. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, "it was Elvis who made rock n rollthe international language of pop." A PBS documentary described Presley as "anAmerican music giant of the 20th century who single-handedly changed the courseof music and culture. John Lennon later observed, "Before Elvis, there wasnothing." With his death, in 1977, such interest increased even further the numberof works dedicated to his memory and legacy. Even scholars have studied manyaspects of his profound cultural influence.3. Michael Jackson Michael Jackson also known as the "King of Pop", was an American recording artist who became one of the most commercially successful entertainers of all time. He started a solo career in 1971, having made his debut in 1964 as a member of The Jackson 5. His unique contributions to music and dance, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent figure in global popular culture for four decades.4. The MTV Generation (1975 – 1986)The MTV Generation is a term sometimes used to refer to people born betweenroughly 1975-1986, a generation whose adolescence and coming of age isperceived to have been heavily influenced by 1990s era popular culture in generaland mass media in particular. Their early psychosocial exposure to these factors isthought to have been unprecedented and, along with peer pressure, resulted in apeculiar, homogenous youth culture defined by a deep appreciation of the fashiontrends, perspective, attitude and music popularized by MTV and similar media(Viva, Triple J etc.) that rose to prominence in the late 1980s. Also note that "with
  • 6. the proliferation of technology, the internet, beepers and cell phones have becomesocial lifelines for this generation. They are technology savvy, independent andresourceful."The millennial generation (2000 onwards)This generation refers to the progress from radio to television and eventually the I-pod. The millennial generation, also known as generation y is dependent on newage gadgets like the play station and x box to derive entertainment. For them, itisn’t only about entertainment anymore. The ownership of such a device becomesan issue of prestige.Uses of Music in Advertising1. EntertainmentGood music can contribute to the effectiveness of an advertisement merely bymaking it more attractive. A good ad engages the attention of an audience, and themost straightforward way of achieving this is to fashion an appeal which isentertaining.2. Structure/ContinuityMusic may also be employed in various structural roles. Perhaps the mostimportant structural role is in tying together a sequence of visual images and/or aseries of dramatic episodes, narrative voice-overs, or a list of product appeals. Thisis the function of continuity. A second structural function is the use of music toheighten or emphasize dramatic moments or episodes. This single passage nicelyillustrates how the composition of advertising music may be constrained by severalpromotional goals simultaneously.3. MemorabilityThe use of rhythmic foreshadowing points to a third important function for music:to increase the memorability of a product or the products name. Consumers areknown to favor products which elicit some degree of recognition or familiarity --even if it is merely the products name. It is one of the peculiarities of humanaudition and cognition that music tends to linger in the listeners mind.Surprisingly, such musical lingering may occur even when the mind is anunwilling host. Thus, the association of music with the identity of a certain productmay substantially aid product recall.4. Lyrical Language
  • 7. A fourth technique of musical enhancement is the use of lyrical language. Vocalmusic permits the conveyance of a verbal message in a nonspoken way. Languageutterances can sound much less naive or self-indulgent when couched within amusical phrase rather than simply spoken. An individual can respectably singthings which would sound utterly trite if said.5. TargetingMany of the people who encounter a particular ad are simply in the wrong game:most people are not in the market for diapers, men do not generally purchasewomens shoes, and children have little interest in office furniture. A large portionof an advertising budget will be wasted through misdirected messages.Consequently, advertisers are interested in media whose demographiccharacteristics more nearly match the market segment sought. The choice of mediaand broadcast scheduling can be used to focus more selectively on a particulargroup or class of potential consumers. This focusing in on a particular audience iscalled "targeting."EntertainmentRadioTelevisionComputersI PodPlay StationAdvertising and popular cultureAdvertising and popular culture have come to occupy central positions with globaleconomic growth. Both are approached as economic entities as well as symbolicentities. Popular culture offers lavish store to advertisers who try to createattractive messages for consumers. Advertisers will approach popular culturalsymbols such as celebrities and popular channels to promote their product.Advertising is not depleting popular culture. The interpretation of advertising ispop culture is recognized. Highlights from one adds luster to the others. The targetaudience is always looking for symbols and meanings which alternate between thetwo domains.Case Study 1The Harry Potter phenomenon has swept the American and British nations eversince author J.K. Rowling came out with the famed and popular serious several
  • 8. years ago. The Harry Potter serious is much more than a book on the best sellinglist. The Harry Potter series while it has sold millions of copies and shatterednumerous publish records. However the greater extent that one can examine theHarry Potter phenomenon is by looking at its impact on the American culture.When the latest Harry Potter book comes out, what comes to mind when you arelooking at schools that have just finished class for the day? You actually seechildren outside the school, sitting on the steps and reading the Harry Potter books.Those Harry Potter books are not easy to read at all. The thickness of the bookalone and its 500 pages is intimidating enough not to read. But the question is whychildren would go through such agony to read so many pages. The answer lies inthe riveting material and imagination that lies in the Harry Potter books.American and British children and adults want to escape the hardships of theirdaily lives. For many adults who read the Harry Potter books, the stories in thebook transports them away from their boring and tedious lives of going to workeach day. For children the books represent a haven away from problems with theirparents or friends. The mind is transported to the magical world of Hogwarts andthe magic community. In the U.S. and in England, the Harry Potter series hascreated the movies which are block bust hits. So far there have been 5 Harry Potterfilms and each one has gotten great reviews by the public. Literacy rates in theU.S. and in England have grown tremendously and now more children than everbefore have learned how to read. The Harry Potter series has also taught childrenthe values of hard work, caring for one another, kindness and friendship. Forexample, in the fifth book, Harry rescues one of the Tri-Wizard contestantssiblings who are trapped underwater even though he himself is trying to win thecompetition. Harry Potter also teaches the good vs. evil battle.Role of advertising in bringing about changes in culture,custom and tradition
  • 9. A characteristic of human culture is that change occurs. We can see that how overtime peoples habits, tastes, styles, behaviours and values have changed. Rapidindustrialization has changed many long honoured attitudes regarding time andwomen. Instant food, labours saving devices, fast food establishments have allgained rapid acceptance. High birth rate due to early marriage, the Hindu religion’semphasis on bearing sons, dependence on children for security and old age and lowlevel of education among the rural masses are cultural patterns, which areaccepting gradual change due to advertising.Advertising promotes more than mere products in our popular culture. Images usedin advertising are often idolized; they eventually set the standard which we in turnfeel we must live up to. Advertisements serve to show us what the ideal image is,and further tell us how to obtain it. Advertisers essentially have the power topromote positive images or negative images this in turn affects our culture.In many cases, advertisers want to influence the public for buying a certain idea,product or service, directly impacting their free wills. The skilled public speakerand advertiser will take advantage of peoples weakest points, such as greed anddesire and attempt to sway them to do what they want.Examples: 1. The cosmetic and fashion industries keep telling people that they will improve their self image with this cosmetic or that fashion. 2. The manufacturers or cars, truck and SUVs constantly say you need to have this new gadget or feature. 3. The junk food manufacturers tell you that in order to have fun you must consume our product, etc.
  • 10. This is the greatest casualty in advertising. But the real value that advertising reallyhas is to simply inform the public that a product or service actually exists, and letthe consumer make up their own mind and not force their product on the consumer.Part of the truth thats lost here is that the culture of consumerism, which exists invirtually every country in the world, is destroying our environment by encouragingpeople to continue to buy, go into debt, not to recycle, and even to the point ofpressuring our children in schools to train for becoming more "successful" in acompetitive in a materialistic world at the cost of their own health and happiness.The drive for procuring more materialistic gain has not made our civilization anyhappier. Also most of the roles portrayed by women tend to fit this negative imagedescription. It is these negative images which have been most successful in sellingproducts. It is easy to understand the appeal which these ads hold for men, as theyplace women in an inferior role. Certainly one cannot deny that visual imagesserve to create the ideal female beauty within the material realm of consumerculture. The problem is that if one strays from this ideal, theres the risk of notbeing accepted by men.Women portrayed in sexual ads are depicted as objects and commodities, to beconsumed by men for visual pleasure and by women for self-definition. Studiesshow that advertisements will concentrate primarily on a womans body partsrather than her facial expressions. Also, it was proven that over 50% ofcommercials portraying women contained at least one camera shot focusing on her
  • 11. chest. Men enjoy these images, and sadly, women tend to try to embody them,regardless of the extent to which they degrade themselves.Advertising has introduced innovation into culture by introducing an idea, productand deliberately setting about to overcome resistance and cause to change culture.It has also accelerated the rate of acceptance. Advertising efforts whether successor failure leave their imprint on culture.Case studyCalvin Klein JeansOne of the most recent, successful, and controversial ad campaigns of the ninetiesis that of Calvin Klein. Ironically, in contrast to the normal, objectifyingadvertisements that deface women altogether, Klein focuses on his modelsexpressions. However, these expressions are similar to those of a scared child. Thenaked female model in turn looks even more vulnerable than when she wasfaceless. Here, in this ad Kate Moss is depicted as an innocent scared child. Her fingers touch her lips as if she is not permitted to speak, while her eyes look as if they are bruised. Moss breast is exposed in this image, but instead of appearing voluptuous, Moss appears to be almost prepubescent. She stares vacantly and helplessly into the camera. Again, women see these images as attractive to men and subsequently feel the need to embody them. Unfortunately, the body of Kate Moss is an unrealistic and unattainable ideal for most women. This distorted ideal body image is one of the leading causes for the recent rise of anorexia in young girls. The waif woman image is causing extreme low self-esteem for
  • 12. women in the nineties. The advertisement proves effective because normal womencan never, and will never look like Kate Moss. All the hollow attempts will onlybring more attention to these marketing strategies, ultimately more business forCalvin Klein. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause for Kleins overwhelming successdespite the nature of his advertisements. Before Calvin Kleins waif imagedeveloped, it was thought that concentration on a womans voluptuous physicalfeatures was what intrigued men. But this idea of Moss as a helpless child, with noreal feminine curves at all, reiterates the argument that the male attraction tocertain ads lies in the sexual power it gives them. Women please men in theirnudity, their purity, and their body size. Women can never be happy withthemselves until their representation in advertising become more reflective ofreality. But if the ads become more realistic, then the advertisements arent able tosell their self-help images. Essentially the world of morals and advertising, if thetwo can logically coexist, form a constant vicious cycle.Case studyUnited Colors of BenettonUnited Colors of Benetton in their advertisements tries to bring about the unityamong the different parts of the world. Their advertisement campaigns involvepeople of different countries come together and united by their clothing. “All thecolors of the world” was one of the first slogans to appear in Benetton ads, and waslater altered to “United Colors of Benetton.” The concept of united colors was such
  • 13. a strong one that for the first time in its history, the company adopted the slogan asits actual logo.A trademark that became the driving force behind the “United Colors” message,which formed the basis of the advertising visuals designed to create a growingnetwork of “United People.”These images showed youth of both sexes and everyskin tone who exuded integration, energy and joie de vivre. They suggested asomewhat abstract universe ruled by the easy straightforwardness of relationshipsand feelings. This kind of advertising shows how ads today are trying to bringabout a positive change in culture and thus uniting people.Impact of Globalization on Indian CultureThe economic boom that is being experienced in India is largely attributed to theglobalization and liberalization of the Indian economy. The era prior to the 1990swas quite averse to the concept of an open market policy and the Indian marketswere predominantly closed in nature. The government of India, however, ruled andregulated Indian markets but with the globalization and liberalization of the Indianeconomy, the whole market scenario changed in no time. The economic policydrafted in early 1990s by the government of India facilitated huge inflow ofForeign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) in to themuch insulated Indian markets. Prime economic factors like Industrial Growth,Balance-of-Payments, Merchandise Exports, Invisible Accounts and Foreign-Exchange-Reserves witnessed positive growth and effected tremendous growth ofIndian Economy.The economic reforms were initiated in 1991 in India in a demonstrative way afterthe assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by Narsinmha Rao. Increased borrowing fromforeign sources in the late 1980s, which helped fuel economic growth, led topressure on the balance of payments. The problem came to a head in August 1990when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the price of oil soon doubled. In addition, manyIndian workers resident in Persian Gulf states either lost their jobs or returnedhome out of fear for their safety, thus reducing the flow of remittances.The directeconomic impact of the Persian Gulf conflict was exacerbated by domestic socialand political developments. In the early 1990s, there was violence over twodomestic issues: the reservation of a proportion of public-sector jobs for membersof Scheduled Castes (see Glossary) and the Hindu-Muslim conflict at Ayodhya.The central government fell in November 1990 and was succeeded by a minority
  • 14. government. The cumulative impact of these events shook international confidencein Indias economic viability, and the country found it increasingly difficult toborrow internationally. As a result, India made various agreements with theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) and other organizations thatincluded commitments to speed up liberalization.People around the globe are more connected to each other today than ever beforein the history of mankind. Information and money flow more quickly than ever.Goods and services produced in one part of the world are increasingly available inall parts of the world. International travel is more frequent. Internationalcommunication is commonplace.We live in an intensely interdependent world in which all the earths peoples withtheir immense differences of culture and historical experience are compressedtogether in instant communication. We face today a world of almost infinitepromise which is also a world of terminal danger. This phenomenon has been titledGlobalization.The Era of Globalization is fast becoming the preferred term for describing thecurrent times. Just as the Depression, the Cold War Era, the Space Age, and theRoaring 20s are used to describe particular periods of history; Globalizationdescribes the political, economic, and cultural atmosphere of today.While some people think of Globalization as primarily a synonym for globalbusiness, it is much more than that. The same forces that allow businesses tooperate as if national borders did not exist also allow social activists, labourorganizers, journalists, academics, international terrorists and many others to workon a global stage.British Imperialism or Western Colonialism did not die after the end of World WarII when the West gave up its colonies in Africa, Asia, Latin America, West Indiesand the East Indies. Gradually it changed itself into a more subtle form which isproving to be more harmful to all non-Western cultures both in the short run andthe long run.Indian culture which in effect means Hindu culture, Hindu religion, Hindu society,Hindu civilization, Hindu way of life are under the lethal threat of the ruthlessforces of Globalization today. What went by the name of Colonialism in classicalhistory textbooks produced in the days of British Raj has been replaced today bythe synonym of Globalization. The unbridled expansion of western culture hascontinued at an accelerated rate along with the denigration and decline of Hinduculture, civilization, religion, art, literature and customs. This new Colonialism has
  • 15. taken on several new faces or rather put on new masks. It cleverly masqueradesitself through labels and slogans like democracy, humanitarian rights, genderequality, internationalism, free trade and humanitarianism. In the name ofmodernization and Globalization it pretends to be uplifting peoples whom it isreally exploiting. This is not very different in either kind or intent from oldWestern Colonialism – British Imperialism in the Indian context – which vaunteditself as the benign bringer of Civilization and culture to the uncivilized world. Itwas given the glorious title of White Mans Burden.Religion provided the needed rationale for this cruel plunder. All native Hinduswere dismissed as heathens or pagans – despicable creatures who dont have to betreated like human beings till they take their fateful decision to embraceChristianity. According to the missionaries who came to India to play secondfiddle to the British Imperial rulers, Christianity was the only true religion. JesusChrist was the only true God. All other religions like Hinduism, Jainism,Buddhism, Sikhism, and many other traditional faiths and religions in India had tobe eliminated to save the souls of India and Indians. All facets and all aspects ofHindu religion and Hindu society were dismissed as idolatry and superstition, inorder to advance the noble Christian pursuit of salvation for the barbarous heathensof India.Though all forms of Colonial Empire in the geographical sense came to an endafter the II World War, yet the same forms of colonial exploitation continue eventoday in all parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America under the banner of that all-embracing umbrella called Globalization. What has been its impact on culture inIndia? Every educated Indian seems to believe that nothing in Hindu India, past orpresent, is to be approved unless recognized and recommended by an appropriateauthority in the West. There is an all-pervading presence of a positive, if notworshipful, attitude towards everything in western society and culture, past as wellas present in the name of progress, reason and science. Nothing from the West is tobe rejected unless it has first been weighed and found wanting by a Westernevaluation.Swamy Vivekananda foresaw the dangers of Globalization as early as in 1893when he spoke at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago. To quote his soul-stirring words: Shall India die? Then, from the world all spirituality will be extinct,all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct ;and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and femaledeities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, andhuman soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be.
  • 16. Precisely such a terrible thing is taking place in India today on account of theinexorable and immutable process of Globalization.Making Messages Culture SpecificCultural misunderstandings can raise havoc on the best business plans. Eventhough it is basic communication tool of advertising in foreign lands, advertisersoften fail to develop even a basic understanding of foreign languages, much lessmaster the linguistic nuances that reveal unspoken attitudes and information “evena good interpreter doesn’t solve the problem” e.g. business terms in English andJapanese often have different meanings. Linguistic communication, no matter howimprecise is explicit, but much business communication depends on implicitmessages not verbalized. In some cultures, messages are exploiting, the wordscarry most of the information. In order cultures, less information is contained in theverbal part of the message since more lies in the context. The advertiser mustachieve expert communication that is gained by a thorough understanding of thelanguage for making messages culture specific. Advertising copywriters should beconcerned less with obvious differences between languages and more withidiomatic meanings expressed.No generalized recommendation can be made about whether to adapt orstandardize international advertising. It depends on the product, the culture, anduser pattern and so on. Advertising efforts are moving towards a centralizedposition, standardize where possible and adapt where necessary, which generallytranslates into pattern advertising.Nescafe has a global brand but advertising messages and formulations vary to suitcultural differences. In Japan and UK tea is popular, in France, Germany & Brazilground coffee is preferred. Even in this situation there is some standardization allads have one common emotional link “whatever good coffee means to you andhowever you like to serve it, Nescafe has a coffee for you.”
  • 17. Markets are constantly changing and are in the process of becoming more alike butthe world is far from being a homogenous market with common needs and wantsfor all products. Advertising strategies can be transferred but the creative executionmust be changed to suit the local context.Challenges Faced By International AdvertisingThe growing intensity of international competition, coupled with the complexity ofmultinational marketing, demands that the international advertisers function at thehighest level. A successful advertisement in one country cannot be simplytransferred or translated into another country’s market without understanding thepeculiarities of that country.Legal ConsiderationsDifferent countries have different advertising laws that need to be accepted andfollowed. Therefore while creating advertisements it is very important to know thelaws that are imposed in that particular country. In Germany it is illegal to use anycomparative terminology a competitor can sue you if you do so. Belgium andFrance explicitly ban comparative advertising, where as it is clearly authorized inthe U.K, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Banning explicit comparisons will rule out aneffective advertising approach heavily used by US companies. Therefore it is veryimportant for the advertiser to identify this and act accordingly.Language LimitationsLanguage is one of the major barriers to effective communication throughadvertising. The problem involves different languages of different countries ordialects within one country. Everyday words have different meaning in differentcultures. Even pronunciations cause problems.Cultural Diversity
  • 18. The problem associated with communicating to people in diverse cultures presentsone of the greatest challenges in advertising. Communication is more difficultbecause cultural factors largely determine the way various phenomena areperceived. If the perceptual framework is different, perception of the message itdiffers. Existing perceptions based on tradition and heritage is often hard toovercome.Media LimitationsA marketer’s creativity is certainly challenged when a television commercial islimited 10 showings a year with no exposures closer than 10 days as is the case inItaly. Creative advertisers in some countries have even developed their own mediafor overcoming media limitations. In some African countries, advertisers run boatsup and down rivers playing popular music and broadcasting commercial into thebush as they travel.Case StudyCoke and Pepsi
  • 19. Different countries accept ads in different ways. Culture of countries plays animportant role in legal consideration of advertisements. What is accepted by onecountries culture may not be accepted by some other countries culture. In someplaces it is illegal to use any comparative terminology; a competitor can sue you ifyou do so. Whereas it is clearly authorized to use comparative techniques in someplaces. Pepsi for its campaign “Joy of Pepsi” came up with an ad which showed akid stepping on coke can in order to reach up to get Pepsi from the vendingmachine. This ad was a direct case of effective comparative advertising. It wasonly allowed to be screened in Netherlands and was banned in all the othercountries.On the other hand India too has come up with comparative strategies wherein thecompetitors brand is left disclosed. The Indian advertising culture does not allowdirect comparing of brands of the same product category. So in India the admessage is very subtly brought out. Case study 2 Mc Donald’s McDonalds worldwide is well known for the high degree of respect for the local customers and cultures. McDonalds has its menu different from place to place to suit the people’s taste. In America they have pork and beef burgers as their main menu. While McDonalds has developed a menu especially for India with vegetarianselections to suit Indian tastes and preferences. Keeping in line with thisMcDonalds does not offer any beef or pork items in India. In the last 2 years, it hasintroduced some vegetarian and some non vegetarian products with local flavorsthat have appealed to the Indian palate. McDonalds has also re- engineered itsoperation to address the special requirements of a vegetarian menu.Vegetable products are 100% vegetarian and are separately prepared usingdifferent equipments and utensils. Pure veg oil, cheese and sauces are completely
  • 20. veg and egg less. Separate vegetarian and non vegetarian food products aremaintained throughout the various stages of procurement, cooking and serving.Commercialization of cultureCommercialization, as a process can be defined as introducing a new product in themarket which has previously been protested. Commercialization is the actuallaunch of the new product which is the final stage of the new product developmentprocess.Advertisements, mass production, sacrificing quality for time and quantity, thedesire for bigger and better, these are the problems of commercialism.Commercialism has been advancing nearly unnoticed by most consumers evensince Babylonian times. But, what makes it harmful enough to be explained in apaper?Every day we sit in our homes desiring goods and services that we do not need ormay not even want, and discussing issues that have little or no importance to ourlives other than to make small talk. Every day we work hard to buy stuff that isbetter or at least equal to what society considers normal. We are fashioningourselves to be boringly equal cogs in one giant corporate machine, and in turn, arelosing our culture to business and propaganda. When a new "hipper" cultureappears, commercialists explode the culture across our country like a plague. Whataverage adult would not know what a skateboard is, what reggae music is, or whatMiddle East tension is? We have all been commercialized by the news.AbstractWhen political economists analyze the commercialization of culture, they tend tofocus upon structural characteristics by which cultural products are transformedinto commodity forms. By expanding this inquiry into the social relations ofculture and ideology, however, it may be possible to open further dimensions ofanalysis. Specifically, how do the structural relations of production (for example,ownership and control, economies of scale, modes of distribution) bear upon thesocial and ideological relations of consumption? Ellen Riordan (2002) insists thatthe way in which structure influences media content and ideology within thecontext of consumer practices is underexplored and undertheorized. “In order tofurther understand capitalism, and its relationship to the daily lives of people,political economists must focus on the meaning of consumption, not only as it
  • 21. results from a crisis of overproduction, but also… (in) understanding wants anddesires as experienced by individuals and groups of people…” (Riordan6).To that end, it looks at three cultural products whose structures of production havedeep relations to the ideology and practice of consumption. It explores thephenomenon of malling, a place “to shore up the boundaries of the self viacommodities which beckon with promise of perfection…” (Morse 198). It looks atthe commercialization of children’s culture in which business synergies areresulting, critics say, in the appropriation of child’s play and imagination. Andfinally, it examines the relations between advertisers and magazines, wherepolicies of control and censorship lead to the reproduction of idealized images, andpeople are made to identify themselves not with what they produce, but with whatthey consumeCase Study1) The R&D/production interface is a key component of the innovation process.Effective transfer of technology across this interface has a direct bearing on thesuccess of commercializing new technologies. Martin Ginn and Albert Rubensteinintensively studied three strategic business units of a major chemical company toexamine how behavioral and performance variables interrelate for the keyparticipants. The interface was found to be a key focus for interpersonal conflict.The conflict was found to be exacerbated by such factors as goal incompatibility,manufacturing complexity, uncertainty of product outcomes, exercises of power,and imperatives for action. Interestingly, projects which were more successful,both technically and commercially, tended to have higher levels of conflict andmore superordinate goals than those that were less successful. Increasingcompatibility of goals among participating groups is suggested as a means forimproving interface relations.2) This study investigates the impacts of tourism, as perceived by the residents ofPythagorion, a well-established tourism destination on the Greek island of Samos.Interviews conducted with heads of households revealed that residents not onlysupported the current magnitude of the tourism industry but also favored itsexpansion. Despite this, the respondents identified a number of negative tourismimpacts, which, in their opinion, affected the town. These impacts included highprices, drug addiction, vandalism, brawls, sexual harassment and crimes. The studyreconfirmed that those respondents who were economically dependent on tourismhad more positive attitudes towards the industry than those who were notdependent on it.
  • 22. Cross cultural psychological segmentationCross-cultural advertising is a responsible effort to borrow those cultural ways seenas helpful for the better solution to a society’s particular problem. It Cross-culturaladvertising is a responsible effort to borrow those cultural ways seen as helpful forthe better solution to a society’s particular problem. It is important for an advertiserto learn about the different cultures worldwide if he wants to globalize a brand.The basic elements of culture that define the behavior of buyers are their lifestyles,attitudes, gender, perceptions, habits, behaviors, wants and needs. The socialfactors responsible are – reference groups, family, social roles and statuses.Primary groups can be classified as family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.Secondary groups can be religious, professional, trade union.In Cross cultural psychological segmentation, buyers are divided into differentgroups on the basis of psychological and personal traits, lifestyles, or values.People within the same demographic group can exhibit very differentpsychological profiles. Values and lifestyles significantly affect the product andbrand choices of customers. Religion has significant influence on values andlifestyles. The strict norms that consumers follow with respect to food habits oreven dress codes are representative examples in this regard.There are two types of knowledge, factual knowledge about culture which isobvious and must be learnt. Different meanings of colour, different taste etc. andother traits indigenous to a culture are facts that an advertiser, marketer cananticipate, study and absorb. The other is interpretative knowledge, an ability tounderstand and fully appreciate the meanings of different cultural traits and patters.Factual knowledge as a fact about culture assumes additional significance whereasthe interpreted within the context of the culture.In cross cultural psychological segmentation, customers are divided into 2 majorgroups, they are higher resource groups and lower resource groups.The major tendencies of the four groups with higher resource are: 1. Innovators: Successful, sophisticated, active, “take-charge” people with high self esteem. Purchases often reflect cultivated tastes for relatively upscale, niche-oriented products and services.
  • 23. 2. Thinkers: Mature, satisfied, and reflective people who are motivated by ideal and value order, knowledge, and responsibility. Favor durability, functionality, and value in products.3. Achievers: Successful goal oriented people who focus on career and family. Favor a premium product that demonstrates success to their peers.4. Experiencers: Young, enthusiastic, impulsive people who seek variety and excitement. Spend a comparatively high proportion of income on fashion, entertainment, and socializing.The major tendencies of the four groups with lower resources are:1. Believers: Conservative, conventional, and traditional people with concrete beliefs. Favor familiar, products and are loyal to established brands.2. Strivers: Trendy and fun loving people who are resource- constrained. Favor stylish products that emulate the purchases to those with greater material wealth.3. Makers: Practical, down-to-earth, self sufficient people who like to work with their hands. Favor products with a functional or practical purpose.4. Survivors: Elderly, passive people who are concerned about change. Loyal to their favorite brands.Case Study 1: The market for wrist watches provides illustrations ofsegmentation based on lifestyle parameters. Titan watches have a wide range ofsub-brands within their brand, such as Edge, Regalia, Nebula and Raga, toappeal to different lifestyle segments. Some of these models are ornate watcheswith gold plated bracelets while some have leather straps. The brand Titan isprominently mentioned in these ranges. The company’s range of watches underthe Fastrack brand is for the youth. The company has another value-for-moneybrand, Sonata, targeted at people who want to own a good-looking watch at anaffordable price.Case study 2: Multinational companies spread all over the world use differentad strategies for every country depending upon their buying habits, culture andpeople. E.g.: Pepsi’ Lays etc.
  • 24. Need for assimilation of universal ideas with local flavorsCulture refers to the beliefs and practices and the objects through which they areorganized that are widely shared amongst the population. Advertisement andculture go hand in hand. In advertisement it is very important, the way you promote your product throughthe ad’s to the masses. It should be very much reachable and understandable to themasses. In such a case promoting a foreign product in metropolitan cities is mucheasier than promoting your product in a remote area so for an advertising companythe biggest challenge is to make the remote area masses to make them aware oftheir product and its uses. So for that advertising company tries assimilation of aforeign product and put their thoughts mixing it up with the local ideas. So theypromote their product foreign product to the remote areas but in a local way.For example: Promoting a foreign product as like Gillette Shave Gel Ad in Southso their main aim would be to motivate the people to buy as well as make themunderstand importance of the product. So they would promote their product in theirlocal language like (Tamil). Instead of using any Hollywood actor and promotingtheir product they would use Rajnikanth so people would understand better andwould get inspired as Rajnikanth is a localite. So it very much obvious for aforeign company to promote their ad having a universal idea as well as the localflavor the place where they are trying to promote their product.Do you have a great idea for a product or a service that meets the need or solve aproblem of the locals and you wish to develop it further?This could be in the brain storming stages, or it could be developed in drawings ormodels or an up and running business but an every given step it is necessary to
  • 25. take into consideration the normal public that is the target in order to maximize thesales and profitability.For this very purpose it is utmost important to display or interact with the localpublic in their local dialect or in a friendlier ways.Not always are all ideas new or invented many a times the old ones are modifiedand portrayed in a new way so it proves quite efficient to catch the imagination ofthe people in that particular area .Ever imagine the advertisement of “JUMBO KING” (well known in metropolitancities) being telecasted in a remote village of India in the same way as in cities? Isit not very difficult for us to imagine and more over it becomes even more difficultfor the people in that particular village to understand it and this leads to amarketing failure and may lead to great losses for the very company. But if theadvertisement would have been made in the common dialect of that particular areaor locality it would have been easier for the people t decipher the meaning of thead and it would have proved to be better for the balance sheet of the company.So here is the importance of the topic that I have been handed i.e. “NEED OFASSIMILATING UNIVERSAL IDEAS IN LOCAL FLAVOR”
  • 26. As it says in the above line and in the examples explained above it is verynecessary for an advertiser to understand the requirements, conditions, literacy rateand above all the nature of the people in a particular area before drawingconclusions of making a ad for that very area and even becomes more importantfor him to make references to the works done before him.Further examples for the same will help you understand this topic better.  It is a Government of India initiative to help farmers in need and so for this reason they have made advertisements that explains a farmer about how to harvest, sow, irrigate, supply etc. Ads related to Agricultural operations will only be shown in remote areas. If the ads were to be shown in languages that are not understood they would fall on deaf ears and more than helping it would cause chaos so for all. So for that reason they are shown in different languages depending on the region of advertisement so that the people there can easily understand the meaning of the ads and can easily follow the instructions given in it.  McDonalds is considered as one of the huge hits in India because they have promoted their foreign company product in such a way. And also they have a tadka of Indian flavor in it. Their promotional ads on TV are mainly havin a tadka of Indian flavor in it that is why it has been a huge hit in India So hence it is considered very important for advertisers to promote the foreign as well as Indian product in such a way that it has an assimailtion of universal idea but with a local flavor involved in it. It helps in a better to reach the masses to know about the product and give them knowledge about the product.
  • 27. The role of local flavor and its benefitsAdvertisers have to realize that different cultures often seek the same value orbenefit from the primary function of a product. Eg: a car to taking you from A toB, a camera to take picture or a wristwatch to tell time. But what is important isthat other features and psychological attributes of the items can have significantdifferences For instance a camera – In USA excellent pictures can be taken witheasy foolproof operation in Germany and Japan the camera must take excellentpictures but it also must also be ‘state of art’ in design. In Africa the concept ofpicture taking must be sold. In all the three excellent pictures are expected (i.e theprimary function of a camera is demanded) but the additional utility or satisfaction from a camera differs among cultures. Thus, many companies follow a strategy of “pattern advertising” a global advertising strategy with standardized basic message allowing some degree of modification to meet local situations. The popular saying “think globally, act locally”. In this way some economies of standardization can be realized while specific cultural differences are accommodated.In Japan, the Blue Diamond brand of almonds was an unknown commodity untilBlue diamond launched its campaign of exotic new almond – based products thatcatered to local tastes.
  • 28. Television ads featured educational messages on how to use almonds in cooking,their nutritional value, and the versatility of almonds as a snack and the Californiamystique and health benefits of almonds. As a result, Japan is now theAssociation’s largest importer of almonds.Levi Strauss & Co. changed from all localized ads to pattern advertising wherebroad outlines of the campaign are given but the details are not. Quality and LeviAmerican roots are given worldwide but details are not in each country, differentapproaches express these two points.International advertising presents a number of issues that can challenge the bestadvertising managers. Advertising managers need to consider several importantissues, including egocentrism and nationalism.Advertising need to watch out for nationalistic themes intentionally orunintentionally offend other countries, e.g. In Spain, Japanese scooters had a majorshare if market. Vespa ads urged to vaccinate themselves against a strange yellowfever. The red circles in the ads were seen as direct reference to the Japanese flag,this ad conveyed that Vespa was the remedy and Japanese scooters were a disease
  • 29. For choosing globalisation the following checklist is provided • Are markets homogeneous or heterogeneous? • Do the products have universal appeal or it is localized? • Does the company have local staff need to manage a localized campaign? • If the local staff is available do they have decision –making authority with regard to advertising? • Do the countries have a similar level of economic development? • Are legal restrictions and advertising different enough to require change of strategy from country to country? • Are there similar media in each country? • Is the agency capable of handling advertising in each country?Cross Cultural AdvertisingCulture affects everything we do. This applies to all areas of human life frompersonal relationships to conducting business abroad. When interacting within ournative cultures, culture acts as a framework of understanding. However, wheninteracting with different cultures this framework no longer applies due to crosscultural differences. Cross cultural communication aims to help minimise thenegative impact of cross cultural differences through building commonframeworks for people of different cultures to interact within. In business, crosscultural solutions are applied in areas such as HR, team building, foreign trade,negotiations and website design. Cross cultural communication solutions are alsocritical to effective cross cultural advertising. Services and products are usuallydesigned and marketed at a domestic audience.When for a product is then marketed at an international audience the samedomestic advertising campaign abroad will in most cases be ineffective. Theessence of advertising is convincing people that a product is meant them. Bypurchasing it, they will receive some benefit, whether it be lifestyle, status,convenience or financial. However, when an advertising campaign is taken abroaddifferent values and perceptions as to what enhances status or gives convenienceexist. These differences make the original advertising campaign defunct. It istherefore critical to any cross cultural advertising campaign that an understanding
  • 30. of a particular culture is acquired. By way of highlighting areas of cross culturaldifferences in advertising a few examples shall be examined.Language in Cross Cultural AdvertisingIt may seem somewhat obvious to state that language is key to effective crosscultural advertising. However, the fact that companies persistently fail to checklinguistic implications of company or product names and slogans demonstrates thatsuch issues are not being properly addressed. The advertising world is littered withexamples of linguistic cross cultural blunders. Of the more comical was Ford’sintroduction of the ‘Pinto’ in Brazil. After seeing sales fail, they soon realised thatthis was due to the fact that Brazilians did not want to be seen driving a carmeaning ‘tiny male genitals’. Language must also be analysed for its culturalsuitability. For example, the slogan employed by the computer gamesmanufacturer, EA Sports, "Challenge Everything" raises grumbles of disapprovalin religious or hierarchical societies where harmonious relationships aremaintained through the values of respect and non-confrontation. It is imperativetherefore that language be examined carefully in any cross cultural advertisingcampaign.Communication Style in Cross Cultural AdvertisingUnderstanding the way in which other cultures communicate allows the advertisingcampaign to speak to the potential customer in a way they understand andappreciate. For example, communication styles can be explicit or implicit. Anexplicit communicator (e.g. USA) assumes the listener is unaware of backgroundinformation or related issues to the topic of discussion and therefore provides itthemselves. Implicit communicators (e.g. Japan) assume the listener is wellinformed on the subject and minimises information relayed on the premise that thelistener will understand from implication. An explicit communicator would find animplicit communication style vague, whereas an implicit communicator would findan explicit communication style exaggerated.
  • 31. Colours, Numbers and Images in Cross Cultural AdvertisingEven the simplest and most taken for granted aspects of advertising need to beinspected under a cross cultural microscope. Colours, numbers, symbols andimages do not all translate well across cultures. In some cultures there are luckycolours, such as red in China and unlucky colours, such as black in Japan. Somecolours have certain significance; green is considered a special colour in Islam andsome colours have tribal associations in parts of Africa. Many hotels in the USAor UK do not have a room 13 or a 13th floor. Similarly, Nippon Airways in Japando not have the seat numbers 4 or 9. If there are numbers with negativeconnotations abroad, presenting or packaging products in those numbers whenadvertising should be avoided. Images are also culturally sensitive. Whereas it iscommon to see pictures of women in bikinis on advertising posters on the streets ofLondon, such images would cause outrage in the Middle East.Cultural Values in Cross Cultural AdvertisingWhen advertising abroad, the cultural values underpinning the society must beanalysed carefully. Is there a religion that is practised by the majority of thepeople? Is the society collectivist or individualist? Is it family orientated? Is ithierarchical? Is there a dominant political or economic ideology? All of these willimpact an advertising campaign if left unexamined. For example, advertising thatfocuses on individual success, independence and stressing the word "I" would bereceived negatively in countries where teamwork is considered a positive quality.Rebelliousness or lack of respect for authority should always be avoided in familyorientated or hierarchical societies. By way of conclusion, we can see that theprinciples of advertising run through to cross cultural advertising too. That is –know your market, what is attractive to them and what their aspirations are. Crosscultural advertising is simply about using common sense and analysing how thedifferent elements of an advertising campaign are impacted by culture andmodifying them to best speak to the target audience.Examples
  • 32. 1. Hollywood star Richard Gere has been roped in as the brand ambassador for Visa International for the Asia Pacific market. A 90-second commercial - Birds - featuring Gere has been shot in Jodhpur for the companys new advertisement campaign that was aired in English and Hindi across the Asia Pacific. Gere was chosen after lots of research for a brand ambassador, since he suits both Indian as well as Pacific markets.2. Pepsi launched this campaign in India in 2005. This is a perfect example of cross cultural advertising. Sumo that belongs to Japanese culture and footballers were used to advertise Pepsi in India. This ad was a huge hit in the Indian market which gradually increased the sales in India.