Advertising is a non-personal form of promotion that is delivered through selected
media outlets that, under most circumstances, require the marketer to pay for
message placement. Advertising has long been viewed as a method of mass
promotion in that a single message can reach a large number of people. But, this
mass promotion approach presents problems since many exposed to an advertising
message may not be within the marketer’s target market, and thus, may be an
inefficient use of promotional funds. However, this is changing as new advertising
technologies and the emergence of new media outlets offer more options for
4Ps of Marketing
Product: The product aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of the
actual goods or services, and how it relates to the end-user's needs and wants. The
scope 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, including
discounts. The price need not be monetary; it can simply be what is exchanged for
the product or services, e.g. time, energy, or attention. Methods of setting prices
optimally are in the domain of pricing science.
Placement (or distribution): refers to how the product gets to the customer; for
example, point-of-sale placement or retailing. This third P has also sometimes been
called Place, referring to the channel by which a product or service is sold (e.g.
online vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young
adults, families, business people), etc. also referring to how the environment in
which the product is sold in can affect sales.
Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and personal
selling. Branding refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand, or
company. These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix, which a
marketer can use to craft a marketing plan.
3. The four Ps model is most useful when marketing low value consumer products.
Industrial products, services, high value consumer products require adjustments to
this model. Services marketing must account for the unique nature of services.
The 5 M's of advertising
4 Stages of Marketing
• 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 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
• Increased competition leads to price decreases
4. 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 down
Saturation 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
Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") is a
term that has different meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde
Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical
Review of Concepts and Definitions. However, the word "culture" is most
commonly used in three basic senses
Advertising and culture
Advertisements are one aspect of mass communication and are influenced by
culture as much as the programming or stories that they are enveloped within. In
the advertising industry specifically, there is debate about whether culture is
reflected in advertisements.
It is not likely that advertisements escape cultural influence, but the trick is to find
the source. Identifying cultural dimensions found to be correlated with content
should be useful in understanding the world’s people, and helpful for educators,
government and other policy makers and businesses. For marketers it could mean
gaining more confidence that new products and marketing messages will be
5. accepted and understood. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships
between cultural dimensions and particular characteristics of advertising.
From these perspectives, mass media and culture are closely related and are not
easily separated: culture provides mass media with sources for content. All
content must be derived from culture, including entertainment, news and
advertisements, otherwise it could not be understood.
Advertising and Popular Culture
Popular culture (commonly abbreviated as pop culture) is the totality of distinct
memes, ideas, perspectives, and attitudes that are deemed preferred per an informal
consensus within the mainstream of a given culture. Heavily influenced by mass
media (at least from the early 20th century onward) and perpetuated by that
culture's vernacular language, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives
of 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 of
this 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 various
subjects as cooking, clothing, consumption, and the many facets of entertainment
such as sports, music, film, and literature.
Popular culture is what we have made out of products and practices of mass
produced culture. Popular culture is the expressive content that is produced and
consumed. It is light entertainment that is delivered through the channels of mass
media and finally absorbed voluntarily, to be absorbed by the individual who
receives it. Popular culture consists of the many facets of music, fashion, slang,
entertainment, and the newer forms of media like internet.
1. Hippies (early 1960’s)
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that began in the United
States during the early 1960s and spread around the world. The word hippie
derives from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved
6. into San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. These people inherited the
countercultural values of the Beat Generation, created their own communities,
listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such
as cannabis and LSD to explore alternative states of consciousness.
In music, the folk rock and psychedelic rock popular among hippies evolved into
genres such as acid rock, world beat and heavy metal music. Psychedelic trance
(also known as psytrance) is a type of electronic music influenced by 1960s
psychedelic rock. The tradition of hippie music festivals began in the United States
in 1965 with Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, where the Grateful Dead played stoned on
LSD and initiated psychedelic jamming.
2. Elvis Presley (1977 onwards)
Since the beginning of his career, Elvis Presley has had an extensive cultural
impact. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, "it was Elvis who made rock 'n' roll
the international language of pop." A PBS documentary described Presley as "an
American music giant of the 20th century who single-handedly changed the course
of music and culture. John Lennon later observed, "Before Elvis, there was
nothing." With his death, in 1977, such interest increased even further the number
of works dedicated to his memory and legacy. Even scholars have studied many
aspects 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 between
roughly 1975-1986, a generation whose adolescence and coming of age is
perceived to have been heavily influenced by 1990s era popular culture in general
and mass media in particular. Their early psychosocial exposure to these factors is
thought to have been unprecedented and, along with peer pressure, resulted in a
peculiar, homogenous youth culture defined by a deep appreciation of the fashion
trends, 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
7. the proliferation of technology, the internet, beepers and cell phones have become
social lifelines for this generation. They are technology savvy, independent and
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 new
age gadgets like the play station and x box to derive entertainment. For them, it
isn’t only about entertainment anymore. The ownership of such a device becomes
an issue of prestige.
Uses of Music in Advertising
Good music can contribute to the effectiveness of an advertisement merely by
making it more attractive. A good ad engages the attention of an audience, and the
most straightforward way of achieving this is to fashion an appeal which is
Music may also be employed in various structural roles. Perhaps the most
important structural role is in tying together a sequence of visual images and/or a
series of dramatic episodes, narrative voice-overs, or a list of product appeals. This
is the function of continuity. A second structural function is the use of music to
heighten or emphasize dramatic moments or episodes. This single passage nicely
illustrates how the composition of advertising music may be constrained by several
promotional goals simultaneously.
The use of rhythmic foreshadowing points to a third important function for music:
to increase the memorability of a product or the product's name. Consumers are
known to favor products which elicit some degree of recognition or familiarity --
even if it is merely the product's name. It is one of the peculiarities of human
audition and cognition that music tends to linger in the listener's mind.
Surprisingly, such musical lingering may occur even when the mind is an
unwilling host. Thus, the association of music with the identity of a certain product
may substantially aid product recall.
4. Lyrical Language
8. A fourth technique of musical enhancement is the use of lyrical language. Vocal
music permits the conveyance of a verbal message in a nonspoken way. Language
utterances can sound much less naive or self-indulgent when couched within a
musical phrase rather than simply spoken. An individual can respectably sing
things which would sound utterly trite if said.
Many 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 purchase
women's shoes, and children have little interest in office furniture. A large portion
of an advertising budget will be wasted through misdirected messages.
Consequently, advertisers are interested in media whose demographic
characteristics more nearly match the market segment sought. The choice of media
and broadcast scheduling can be used to focus more selectively on a particular
group or class of potential consumers. This focusing in on a particular audience is
Advertising and popular culture
Advertising and popular culture have come to occupy central positions with global
economic growth. Both are approached as economic entities as well as symbolic
entities. Popular culture offers lavish store to advertisers who try to create
attractive messages for consumers. Advertisers will approach popular cultural
symbols such as celebrities and popular channels to promote their product.
Advertising is not depleting popular culture. The interpretation of advertising is
pop culture is recognized. Highlights from one adds luster to the others. The target
audience is always looking for symbols and meanings which alternate between the
Case Study 1
The Harry Potter phenomenon has swept the American and British nations ever
since author J.K. Rowling came out with the famed and popular serious several
9. years ago. The Harry Potter serious is much more than a book on the best selling
list. The Harry Potter series while it has sold millions of copies and shattered
numerous publish records. However the greater extent that one can examine the
Harry 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 are
looking at schools that have just finished class for the day? You actually see
children 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 book
alone and its 500 pages is intimidating enough not to read. But the question is why
children would go through such agony to read so many pages. The answer lies in
the riveting material and imagination that lies in the Harry Potter books.
American and British children and adults want to escape the hardships of their
daily lives. For many adults who read the Harry Potter books, the stories in the
book transports them away from their boring and tedious lives of going to work
each day. For children the books represent a haven away from problems with their
parents or friends. The mind is transported to the magical world of Hogwarts and
the magic community. In the U.S. and in England, the Harry Potter series has
created the movies which are block bust hits. So far there have been 5 Harry Potter
films and each one has gotten great reviews by the public. Literacy rates in the
U.S. and in England have grown tremendously and now more children than ever
before have learned how to read. The Harry Potter series has also taught children
the values of hard work, caring for one another, kindness and friendship. For
example, in the fifth book, Harry rescues one of the Tri-Wizard contestants'
siblings who are trapped underwater even though he himself is trying to win the
competition. Harry Potter also teaches the good vs. evil battle.
Role of advertising in bringing about changes in culture,
custom and tradition
10. A characteristic of human culture is that change occurs. We can see that how over
time peoples habits, tastes, styles, behaviours and values have changed. Rapid
industrialization has changed many long honoured attitudes regarding time and
women. Instant food, labours saving devices, fast food establishments have all
gained rapid acceptance. High birth rate due to early marriage, the Hindu religion’s
emphasis on bearing sons, dependence on children for security and old age and low
level of education among the rural masses are cultural patterns, which are
accepting gradual change due to advertising.
Advertising promotes more than mere products in our popular culture. Images used
in advertising are often idolized; they eventually set the standard which we in turn
feel 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 to
promote 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 speaker
and advertiser will take advantage of people's weakest points, such as greed and
desire and attempt to sway them to do what they want.
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.
11. This is the greatest casualty in advertising. But the real value that advertising really
has is to simply inform the public that a product or service actually exists, and let
the consumer make up their own mind and not force their product on the consumer.
Part of the truth that's lost here is that the culture of consumerism, which exists in
virtually every country in the world, is destroying our environment by encouraging
people to continue to buy, go into debt, not to recycle, and even to the point of
pressuring our children in schools to train for becoming more "successful" in a
competitive 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 any
happier. Also most of the roles portrayed by women tend to fit this negative image
description. It is these negative images which have been most successful in selling
products. It is easy to understand the appeal which these ads hold for men, as they
place women in an inferior role. Certainly one cannot deny that visual images
serve to create the ideal female beauty within the material realm of consumer
culture. The problem is that if one strays from this ideal, there's the risk of not
being accepted by men.
Women portrayed in sexual ads are depicted as objects and commodities, to be
consumed by men for visual pleasure and by women for self-definition. Studies
show that advertisements will concentrate primarily on a woman's body parts
rather than her facial expressions. Also, it was proven that over 50% of
commercials portraying women contained at least one camera shot focusing on her
12. 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, product
and deliberately setting about to overcome resistance and cause to change culture.
It has also accelerated the rate of acceptance. Advertising efforts whether success
or failure leave their imprint on culture.
Calvin Klein Jeans
One of the most recent, successful, and controversial ad campaigns of the nineties
is that of Calvin Klein. Ironically, in contrast to the normal, objectifying
advertisements that deface women altogether, Klein focuses on his model's
expressions. However, these expressions are similar to those of a scared child. The
naked female model in turn looks even more vulnerable than when she was
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
13. women in the nineties. The advertisement proves effective because normal women
can never, and will never look like Kate Moss. All the hollow attempts will only
bring more attention to these marketing strategies, ultimately more business for
Calvin Klein. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause for Klein's overwhelming success
despite the nature of his advertisements. Before Calvin Klein's waif image
developed, it was thought that concentration on a woman's voluptuous physical
features was what intrigued men. But this idea of Moss as a helpless child, with no
real feminine curves at all, reiterates the argument that the male attraction to
certain ads lies in the sexual power it gives them. Women please men in their
nudity, their purity, and their body size. Women can never be happy with
themselves until their representation in advertising become more reflective of
reality. But if the ads become more realistic, then the advertisements aren't able to
sell their self-help images. Essentially the world of morals and advertising, if the
two can logically coexist, form a constant vicious cycle.
United Colors of Benetton
United Colors of Benetton in their advertisements tries to bring about the unity
among the different parts of the world. Their advertisement campaigns involve
people of different countries come together and united by their clothing. “All the
colors of the world” was one of the first slogans to appear in Benetton ads, and was
later altered to “United Colors of Benetton.” The concept of united colors was such
14. a strong one that for the first time in its history, the company adopted the slogan as
its 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 growing
network of “United People.”These images showed youth of both sexes and every
skin tone who exuded integration, energy and joie de vivre. They suggested a
somewhat abstract universe ruled by the easy straightforwardness of relationships
and feelings. This kind of advertising shows how ads today are trying to bring
about a positive change in culture and thus uniting people.
Impact of Globalization on Indian Culture
The economic boom that is being experienced in India is largely attributed to the
globalization and liberalization of the Indian economy. The era prior to the 1990s
was quite averse to the concept of an open market policy and the Indian markets
were predominantly closed in nature. The government of India, however, ruled and
regulated Indian markets but with the globalization and liberalization of the Indian
economy, the whole market scenario changed in no time. The economic policy
drafted in early 1990s by the government of India facilitated huge inflow of
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) in to the
much 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 of
The economic reforms were initiated in 1991 in India in a demonstrative way after
the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by Narsinmha Rao. Increased borrowing from
foreign sources in the late 1980s, which helped fuel economic growth, led to
pressure on the balance of payments. The problem came to a head in August 1990
when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the price of oil soon doubled. In addition, many
Indian workers resident in Persian Gulf states either lost their jobs or returned
home out of fear for their safety, thus reducing the flow of remittances.The direct
economic impact of the Persian Gulf conflict was exacerbated by domestic social
and political developments. In the early 1990s, there was violence over two
domestic issues: the reservation of a proportion of public-sector jobs for members
of Scheduled Castes (see Glossary) and the Hindu-Muslim conflict at Ayodhya
.The central government fell in November 1990 and was succeeded by a minority
15. government. The cumulative impact of these events shook international confidence
in India's economic viability, and the country found it increasingly difficult to
borrow internationally. As a result, India made various agreements with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) and other organizations that
included commitments to speed up liberalization.
People around the globe are more connected to each other today than ever before
in 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 in
all parts of the world. International travel is more frequent. International
communication is commonplace.
We live in an intensely interdependent world in which all the earth's peoples with
their immense differences of culture and historical experience are compressed
together in instant communication. We face today a world of almost infinite
promise which is also a world of terminal danger. This phenomenon has been titled
'The Era of Globalization' is fast becoming the preferred term for describing the
current times. Just as the Depression, the Cold War Era, the Space Age, and the
Roaring 20's are used to describe particular periods of history; Globalization
describes the political, economic, and cultural atmosphere of today.
While some people think of Globalization as primarily a synonym for global
business, it is much more than that. The same forces that allow businesses to
operate as if national borders did not exist also allow social activists, labour
organizers, journalists, academics, international terrorists and many others to work
on a global stage.
British Imperialism or Western Colonialism did not die after the end of World War
II when the West gave up its colonies in Africa, Asia, Latin America, West Indies
and the East Indies. Gradually it changed itself into a more subtle form which is
proving to be more harmful to all non-Western cultures both in the short run and
the 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 ruthless
forces of Globalization today. What went by the name of Colonialism in classical
history textbooks produced in the days of British Raj has been replaced today by
the synonym of Globalization. The unbridled expansion of western culture has
continued at an accelerated rate along with the denigration and decline of Hindu
culture, civilization, religion, art, literature and customs. This new Colonialism has
16. taken on several new faces or rather put on new masks. It cleverly masquerades
itself through labels and slogans like democracy, humanitarian rights, gender
equality, internationalism, free trade and humanitarianism. In the name of
modernization and Globalization it pretends to be uplifting peoples whom it is
really exploiting. This is not very different in either kind or intent from old
Western Colonialism – British Imperialism in the Indian context – which vaunted
itself as the benign bringer of Civilization and culture to the uncivilized world. It
was given the glorious title of 'White Man's Burden'.
Religion provided the needed rationale for this cruel plunder. All native Hindus
were dismissed as heathens or pagans – despicable creatures who don't have to be
treated like human beings till they take their fateful decision to embrace
Christianity. According to the missionaries who came to India to play second
fiddle to the British Imperial rulers, Christianity was the only true religion. Jesus
Christ was the only true God. All other religions like Hinduism, Jainism,
Buddhism, Sikhism, and many other traditional faiths and religions in India had to
be eliminated to save the souls of India and Indians. All facets and all aspects of
Hindu religion and Hindu society were dismissed as idolatry and superstition, in
order to advance the noble Christian pursuit of salvation for the barbarous heathens
Though all forms of Colonial Empire in the geographical sense came to an end
after the II World War, yet the same forms of colonial exploitation continue even
today 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 in
India? Every educated Indian seems to believe that nothing in Hindu India, past or
present, is to be approved unless recognized and recommended by an appropriate
authority in the West. There is an all-pervading presence of a positive, if not
worshipful, attitude towards everything in western society and culture, past as well
as present in the name of progress, reason and science. Nothing from the West is to
be rejected unless it has first been weighed and found wanting by a Western
Swamy Vivekananda foresaw the dangers of Globalization as early as in 1893
when 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 female
deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and
human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be'.
17. Precisely such a terrible thing is taking place in India today on account of the
inexorable and immutable process of Globalization.
Making Messages Culture Specific
Cultural misunderstandings can raise havoc on the best business plans. Even
though it is basic communication tool of advertising in foreign lands, advertisers
often fail to develop even a basic understanding of foreign languages, much less
master the linguistic nuances that reveal unspoken attitudes and information “even
a good interpreter doesn’t solve the problem” e.g. business terms in English and
Japanese often have different meanings. Linguistic communication, no matter how
imprecise is explicit, but much business communication depends on implicit
messages not verbalized. In some cultures, messages are exploiting, the words
carry most of the information. In order cultures, less information is contained in the
verbal part of the message since more lies in the context. The advertiser must
achieve expert communication that is gained by a thorough understanding of the
language for making messages culture specific. Advertising copywriters should be
concerned less with obvious differences between languages and more with
idiomatic meanings expressed.
No generalized recommendation can be made about whether to adapt or
standardize international advertising. It depends on the product, the culture, and
user pattern and so on. Advertising efforts are moving towards a centralized
position, standardize where possible and adapt where necessary, which generally
translates into pattern advertising.
Nescafe has a global brand but advertising messages and formulations vary to suit
cultural differences. In Japan and UK tea is popular, in France, Germany & Brazil
ground coffee is preferred. Even in this situation there is some standardization all
ads have one common emotional link “whatever good coffee means to you and
however you like to serve it, Nescafe has a coffee for you.”
18. Markets are constantly changing and are in the process of becoming more alike but
the world is far from being a homogenous market with common needs and wants
for all products. Advertising strategies can be transferred but the creative execution
must be changed to suit the local context.
Challenges Faced By International Advertising
The growing intensity of international competition, coupled with the complexity of
multinational marketing, demands that the international advertisers function at the
highest level. A successful advertisement in one country cannot be simply
transferred or translated into another country’s market without understanding the
peculiarities of that country.
Different countries have different advertising laws that need to be accepted and
followed. Therefore while creating advertisements it is very important to know the
laws that are imposed in that particular country. In Germany it is illegal to use any
comparative terminology a competitor can sue you if you do so. Belgium and
France explicitly ban comparative advertising, where as it is clearly authorized in
the U.K, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Banning explicit comparisons will rule out an
effective advertising approach heavily used by US companies. Therefore it is very
important for the advertiser to identify this and act accordingly.
Language is one of the major barriers to effective communication through
advertising. The problem involves different languages of different countries or
dialects within one country. Everyday words have different meaning in different
cultures. Even pronunciations cause problems.
19. The problem associated with communicating to people in diverse cultures presents
one of the greatest challenges in advertising. Communication is more difficult
because cultural factors largely determine the way various phenomena are
perceived. If the perceptual framework is different, perception of the message it
differs. Existing perceptions based on tradition and heritage is often hard to
A marketer’s creativity is certainly challenged when a television commercial is
limited 10 showings a year with no exposures closer than 10 days as is the case in
Italy. Creative advertisers in some countries have even developed their own media
for overcoming media limitations. In some African countries, advertisers run boats
up and down rivers playing popular music and broadcasting commercial into the
bush as they travel.
Coke and Pepsi
20. Different countries accept ads in different ways. Culture of countries plays an
important role in legal consideration of advertisements. What is accepted by one
countries culture may not be accepted by some other countries culture. In some
places it is illegal to use any comparative terminology; a competitor can sue you if
you do so. Whereas it is clearly authorized to use comparative techniques in some
places. Pepsi for its campaign “Joy of Pepsi” came up with an ad which showed a
kid stepping on coke can in order to reach up to get Pepsi from the vending
machine. This ad was a direct case of effective comparative advertising. It was
only allowed to be screened in Netherlands and was banned in all the other
On the other hand India too has come up with comparative strategies wherein the
competitors brand is left disclosed. The Indian advertising culture does not allow
direct comparing of brands of the same product category. So in India the ad
message is very subtly brought out.
Case study 2
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 vegetarian
selections to suit Indian tastes and preferences. Keeping in line with this
McDonalds does not offer any beef or pork items in India. In the last 2 years, it has
introduced some vegetarian and some non vegetarian products with local flavors
that have appealed to the Indian palate. McDonalds has also re- engineered its
operation to address the special requirements of a vegetarian menu.
Vegetable products are 100% vegetarian and are separately prepared using
different equipments and utensils. Pure veg oil, cheese and sauces are completely
21. veg and egg less. Separate vegetarian and non vegetarian food products are
maintained throughout the various stages of procurement, cooking and serving.
Commercialization of culture
Commercialization, as a process can be defined as introducing a new product in the
market which has previously been protested. Commercialization is the actual
launch of the new product which is the final stage of the new product development
Advertisements, mass production, sacrificing quality for time and quantity, the
desire for bigger and better, these are the problems of commercialism.
Commercialism has been advancing nearly unnoticed by most consumers even
since Babylonian times. But, what makes it harmful enough to be explained in a
Every day we sit in our homes desiring goods and services that we do not need or
may not even want, and discussing issues that have little or no importance to our
lives other than to make small talk. Every day we work hard to buy stuff that is
better or at least equal to what society considers normal. We are fashioning
ourselves to be boringly equal cogs in one giant corporate machine, and in turn, are
losing our culture to business and propaganda. When a new "hipper" culture
appears, commercialists explode the culture across our country like a plague. What
average adult would not know what a skateboard is, what reggae music is, or what
Middle East tension is? We have all been commercialized by the news.
When political economists analyze the commercialization of culture, they tend to
focus upon structural characteristics by which cultural products are transformed
into commodity forms. By expanding this inquiry into the social relations of
culture and ideology, however, it may be possible to open further dimensions of
analysis. Specifically, how do the structural relations of production (for example,
ownership and control, economies of scale, modes of distribution) bear upon the
social and ideological relations of consumption? Ellen Riordan (2002) insists that
the way in which structure influences media content and ideology within the
context of consumer practices is underexplored and undertheorized. “In order to
further understand capitalism, and its relationship to the daily lives of people,
political economists must focus on the meaning of consumption, not only as it
22. results from a crisis of overproduction, but also… (in) understanding wants and
desires as experienced by individuals and groups of people…” (Riordan6).
To that end, it looks at three cultural products whose structures of production have
deep relations to the ideology and practice of consumption. It explores the
phenomenon of malling, a place “to shore up the boundaries of the self via
commodities which beckon with promise of perfection…” (Morse 198). It looks at
the commercialization of children’s culture in which business synergies are
resulting, critics say, in the appropriation of child’s play and imagination. And
finally, it examines the relations between advertisers and magazines, where
policies of control and censorship lead to the reproduction of idealized images, and
people are made to identify themselves not with what they produce, but with what
1) 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 the
success of commercializing new technologies. Martin Ginn and Albert Rubenstein
intensively studied three strategic business units of a major chemical company to
examine how behavioral and performance variables interrelate for the key
participants. 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 and
more superordinate goals than those that were less successful. Increasing
compatibility of goals among participating groups is suggested as a means for
improving interface relations.
2) This study investigates the impacts of tourism, as perceived by the residents of
Pythagorion, a well-established tourism destination on the Greek island of Samos.
Interviews conducted with heads of households revealed that residents not only
supported the current magnitude of the tourism industry but also favored its
expansion. Despite this, the respondents identified a number of negative tourism
impacts, which, in their opinion, affected the town. These impacts included high
prices, drug addiction, vandalism, brawls, sexual harassment and crimes. The study
reconfirmed that those respondents who were economically dependent on tourism
had more positive attitudes towards the industry than those who were not
dependent on it.
23. Cross cultural psychological segmentation
Cross-cultural advertising is a responsible effort to borrow those cultural ways seen
as helpful for the better solution to a society’s particular problem. It Cross-cultural
advertising is a responsible effort to borrow those cultural ways seen as helpful for
the better solution to a society’s particular problem. It is important for an advertiser
to 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 social
factors 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 different
groups on the basis of psychological and personal traits, lifestyles, or values.
People within the same demographic group can exhibit very different
psychological profiles. Values and lifestyles significantly affect the product and
brand choices of customers. Religion has significant influence on values and
lifestyles. The strict norms that consumers follow with respect to food habits or
even dress codes are representative examples in this regard.
There are two types of knowledge, factual knowledge about culture which is
obvious and must be learnt. Different meanings of colour, different taste etc. and
other traits indigenous to a culture are facts that an advertiser, marketer can
anticipate, study and absorb. The other is interpretative knowledge, an ability to
understand and fully appreciate the meanings of different cultural traits and patters.
Factual knowledge as a fact about culture assumes additional significance whereas
the interpreted within the context of the culture.
In cross cultural psychological segmentation, customers are divided into 2 major
groups, 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.
24. 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
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 of
segmentation based on lifestyle parameters. Titan watches have a wide range of
sub-brands within their brand, such as Edge, Regalia, Nebula and Raga, to
appeal to different lifestyle segments. Some of these models are ornate watches
with gold plated bracelets while some have leather straps. The brand Titan is
prominently mentioned in these ranges. The company’s range of watches under
the Fastrack brand is for the youth. The company has another value-for-money
brand, Sonata, targeted at people who want to own a good-looking watch at an
Case study 2: Multinational companies spread all over the world use different
ad strategies for every country depending upon their buying habits, culture and
people. E.g.: Pepsi’ Lays etc.
25. Need for assimilation of universal ideas with local flavors
Culture refers to the beliefs and practices and the objects through which they are
organized that are widely shared amongst the population. Advertisement and
culture go hand in hand.
In advertisement it is very important, the way you promote your product through
the ad’s to the masses. It should be very much reachable and understandable to the
masses. In such a case promoting a foreign product in metropolitan cities is much
easier than promoting your product in a remote area so for an advertising company
the biggest challenge is to make the remote area masses to make them aware of
their product and its uses. So for that advertising company tries assimilation of a
foreign product and put their thoughts mixing it up with the local ideas. So they
promote 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 South
so their main aim would be to motivate the people to buy as well as make them
understand importance of the product. So they would promote their product in their
local language like (Tamil). Instead of using any Hollywood actor and promoting
their product they would use Rajnikanth so people would understand better and
would get inspired as Rajnikanth is a localite. So it very much obvious for a
foreign company to promote their ad having a universal idea as well as the local
flavor 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 a
problem 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 or
models or an up and running business but an every given step it is necessary to
26. take into consideration the normal public that is the target in order to maximize the
sales and profitability.
For this very purpose it is utmost important to display or interact with the local
public in their local dialect or in a friendlier ways.
Not always are all ideas new or invented many a times the old ones are modified
and portrayed in a new way so it proves quite efficient to catch the imagination of
the people in that particular area .
Ever imagine the advertisement of “JUMBO KING” (well known in metropolitan
cities) being telecasted in a remote village of India in the same way as in cities? Is
it not very difficult for us to imagine and more over it becomes even more difficult
for the people in that particular village to understand it and this leads to a
marketing failure and may lead to great losses for the very company. But if the
advertisement would have been made in the common dialect of that particular area
or locality it would have been easier for the people t decipher the meaning of the
ad 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 OF
ASSIMILATING UNIVERSAL IDEAS IN LOCAL FLAVOR”
27. As it says in the above line and in the examples explained above it is very
necessary for an advertiser to understand the requirements, conditions, literacy rate
and above all the nature of the people in a particular area before drawing
conclusions of making a ad for that very area and even becomes more important
for 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
28. The role of local flavor and its benefits
Advertisers have to realize that different cultures often seek the same value or
benefit from the primary function of a product. Eg: a car to taking you from A to
B, a camera to take picture or a wristwatch to tell time. But what is important is
that other features and psychological attributes of the items can have significant
differences For instance a camera – In USA excellent pictures can be taken with
easy foolproof operation in Germany and Japan the camera must take excellent
pictures but it also must also be ‘state of art’ in design. In Africa the concept of
picture taking must be sold. In all the three excellent pictures are expected (i.e the
primary 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
In Japan, the Blue Diamond brand of almonds was an unknown commodity until
Blue diamond launched its campaign of exotic new almond – based products that
catered to local tastes.
29. 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 California
mystique and health benefits of almonds. As a result, Japan is now the
Association’s largest importer of almonds.
Levi Strauss & Co. changed from all localized ads to pattern advertising where
broad outlines of the campaign are given but the details are not. Quality and Levi
American roots are given worldwide but details are not in each country, different
approaches express these two points.
International advertising presents a number of issues that can challenge the best
advertising managers. Advertising managers need to consider several important
issues, including egocentrism and nationalism.
Advertising need to watch out for nationalistic themes intentionally or
unintentionally offend other countries, e.g. In Spain, Japanese scooters had a major
share if market. Vespa ads urged to vaccinate themselves against a strange yellow
fever. 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
30. 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
• 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 Advertising
Culture affects everything we do. This applies to all areas of human life from
personal relationships to conducting business abroad. When interacting within our
native cultures, culture acts as a framework of understanding. However, when
interacting with different cultures this framework no longer applies due to cross
cultural differences. Cross cultural communication aims to help minimise the
negative impact of cross cultural differences through building common
frameworks for people of different cultures to interact within. In business, cross
cultural solutions are applied in areas such as HR, team building, foreign trade,
negotiations and website design. Cross cultural communication solutions are also
critical to effective cross cultural advertising. Services and products are usually
designed and marketed at a domestic audience.
When for a product is then marketed at an international audience the same
domestic advertising campaign abroad will in most cases be ineffective. The
essence of advertising is convincing people that a product is meant them. By
purchasing it, they will receive some benefit, whether it be lifestyle, status,
convenience or financial. However, when an advertising campaign is taken abroad
different values and perceptions as to what enhances status or gives convenience
exist. These differences make the original advertising campaign defunct. It is
therefore critical to any cross cultural advertising campaign that an understanding
31. of a particular culture is acquired. By way of highlighting areas of cross cultural
differences in advertising a few examples shall be examined.
Language in Cross Cultural Advertising
It may seem somewhat obvious to state that language is key to effective cross
cultural advertising. However, the fact that companies persistently fail to check
linguistic implications of company or product names and slogans demonstrates that
such issues are not being properly addressed. The advertising world is littered with
examples of linguistic cross cultural blunders. Of the more comical was Ford’s
introduction of the ‘Pinto’ in Brazil. After seeing sales fail, they soon realised that
this was due to the fact that Brazilians did not want to be seen driving a car
meaning ‘tiny male genitals’. Language must also be analysed for its cultural
suitability. For example, the slogan employed by the computer games
manufacturer, EA Sports, "Challenge Everything" raises grumbles of disapproval
in religious or hierarchical societies where harmonious relationships are
maintained through the values of respect and non-confrontation. It is imperative
therefore that language be examined carefully in any cross cultural advertising
Communication Style in Cross Cultural Advertising
Understanding the way in which other cultures communicate allows the advertising
campaign to speak to the potential customer in a way they understand and
appreciate. For example, communication styles can be explicit or implicit. An
explicit communicator (e.g. USA) assumes the listener is unaware of background
information or related issues to the topic of discussion and therefore provides it
themselves. Implicit communicators (e.g. Japan) assume the listener is well
informed on the subject and minimises information relayed on the premise that the
listener will understand from implication. An explicit communicator would find an
implicit communication style vague, whereas an implicit communicator would find
an explicit communication style exaggerated.
32. Colours, Numbers and Images in Cross Cultural Advertising
Even the simplest and most taken for granted aspects of advertising need to be
inspected under a cross cultural microscope. Colours, numbers, symbols and
images do not all translate well across cultures. In some cultures there are lucky
colours, such as red in China and unlucky colours, such as black in Japan. Some
colours have certain significance; green is considered a special colour in Islam and
some colours have tribal associations in parts of Africa. Many hotels in the USA
or UK do not have a room 13 or a 13th floor. Similarly, Nippon Airways in Japan
do not have the seat numbers 4 or 9. If there are numbers with negative
connotations abroad, presenting or packaging products in those numbers when
advertising should be avoided. Images are also culturally sensitive. Whereas it is
common to see pictures of women in bikinis on advertising posters on the streets of
London, such images would cause outrage in the Middle East.
Cultural Values in Cross Cultural Advertising
When advertising abroad, the cultural values underpinning the society must be
analysed carefully. Is there a religion that is practised by the majority of the
people? Is the society collectivist or individualist? Is it family orientated? Is it
hierarchical? Is there a dominant political or economic ideology? All of these will
impact an advertising campaign if left unexamined. For example, advertising that
focuses on individual success, independence and stressing the word "I" would be
received negatively in countries where teamwork is considered a positive quality.
Rebelliousness or lack of respect for authority should always be avoided in family
orientated or hierarchical societies. By way of conclusion, we can see that the
principles of advertising run through to cross cultural advertising too. That is –
know your market, what is attractive to them and what their aspirations are. Cross
cultural advertising is simply about using common sense and analysing how the
different elements of an advertising campaign are impacted by culture and
modifying them to best speak to the target audience.
33. 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 company's 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.