Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated MarketingCommunications Approach Chris Hackley Chapter 7 International Advertising
Indicative Chapter 7 content• The specificity of cultural practices of communication• Internationalization of marketing• Standardization and localization of marketing communication• The economic case for standardization of marketing and advertising• Protests and controversies surrounding global marketing• The allure of foreignness and country-of-origin effects• Advertising in Asian economies
The specificity of cultural practices of communication• Advertising is inherently a cultural product. The managerial problems of advertising internationally cannot be reduced simply to a matter of accurately translating the message. Different cultures will interpret advertising communications through quite different systems of value and symbolism.• The task of designing an advertising communication for international consumption can be thought of in terms of two extremes. On the one hand, an advertisement which is shown the world over must tap into meanings which are common to different cultures in order to be understood. The possibilities for this are rare and difficult to execute, but there have been some notable successes.• On the other hand, advertising which is recreated anew in every local culture must carry some commonality in order to preserve the sense of brand identity. For example, MacDonald’s advertising is different in many different countries, but it is also always instantly recognizable as MacDonald’s.• Advertising executions for global brands which cross cultural borders have to achieve this dialectical balancing act, so that the sense of the brand is preserved in a persuasive way but articulated through local cultural
Internationalization of marketing• The impetus for entering international markets may be competitive, due to the saturation of domestic markets or because rivals have established markets abroad• Another factor in entering international markets is the relative ease of technology transfer: national boundaries no longer hinder the transfer of production capability to low-wage economies• The internationalization of payment systems has created liquidity to finance foreign ventures• Finally, there is a latent demand created for many brands by the international reach of, and increasing access to, cable television, movies and the internet• So, while global markets are far from homogeneous (see Levitt, 1980) there are considerable opportunities for international brand marketing activity.
Standardization and localization of marketing communication• The advantages of running the same or similar creative executions all over the world for a single campaign are cost and control• The cost of creating localized campaigns through multiple agencies is avoided• The control over the way the brand is portrayed internationally is maximized• But there are obvious difficulties with creating a single ad which transcends the cultural boundaries for a given brand
Glocalization• The response favoured by many organizations is to combine global elements of brand representation with local creative executions• This is sometimes referred to as ‘glocalization’, inserting global brand themes into local cultural and competitive contexts
Protests and controversies surrounding global marketing• Global brands attract criticism• MacDonald’s has been the focus of protest in France from people who feel that it clashes with French values of food and corporatism• Coca-Cola has been involved in controversy in India over its production methods• In some cases, protests mobilize a sense that global brands are against local national interests
The allure of ‘foreign-ness’ and country-of-origin effects• In spite of resistance in some quarters, the globalization of major brands seems to gather apace, partly because, for many consumers, foreign brands have a powerful allure• In many Asian countries, for example, Western brands are widely regarded as more desirable and prestigious than local brands• The inverse effect is seen as, for example, Asian electronic goods and tourism destinations are seen as highly desirable in Western markets
Advertising in Asian economies• Some Asian economies which are important for Western brands illustrate well the difficulties of international advertising• Not only is there a language barrier but also cultural practices, signs, rituals of interaction and conventions of politeness and etiquette are all very different, making advertising narratives for Asian audiences difficult for Western agencies to construct
Chapter 7 review questions 1• In groups, decide upon a local brand that you feel has the potential to be marketed internationally. Decide on the core brand values that may be communicated. Devise an outline communications plan with creative themes and executions using integrated media channels. How will you ensure that the brand values are interpreted appropriately? What are the major difficulties of promoting this brand internationally?
2• Choose six print or TV advertisements that promote internationally marketed brands. Discuss the need for advertising globally marketed brands to accommodate cultural differences. Use specific examples of cultural differences of behaviour, attitude or social practice to inform your discussion.
3• Try to find examples of advertisements for the same brand in different countries. Compare and contrast the respective ads and work out the possible differences in local segmentation and positioning and communication issues.
4• What is glocalization? In what ways is the concept relevant to advertising internationally? Offer examples to illustrate your points.
5• Try to think of potential international co-branding opportunities. To explore the coherence of the respective brands, you will need to list all the possible associations and connotations of each brand and discuss their various merits both singly and in conjunction with the co-brand. What opportunities do you think might arise from such co-branding initiatives?
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