Cross Cultural Advertising
"Culture is a like dropping an Alka-seltzer into a glass ? you don't see it, but somehow it does something," Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
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 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 for 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 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 campaign
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.
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.
Neil Payne is Managing Director of Kwintessential. Visit their site at: http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/cross-cultural/cross-cultural-awareness.html
Does Your Brochure Pass the Test - Or is It Headed for the Trash? Part Two
In part one of this article we discussed the importance of the look or appearance of your brochure.
How To Get Big Sponsorship Money for Your Band, Tour, Event or Production
Touring is a bands greatest opportunity for success. But, touring can be very expensive. Getting your tour, band or event sponsored is critical to your success. Sponsorship can off-set production, travel, promotion and virtually any of your expense. The right sponsor can also significantly augment your advertising, publicity and promotions. But, getting sponsorship participation can take a lot of effort and commitment on your part. You will need to prove to potential sponsors that your opportunity will deliver a good return on investment for them.
Advertising - Should You Be Advertising Your Services?
You offer a reliable, quality service. You know that if more people knew what you can do, you'd increase sales. So you advertise in the most likely media for potential clients to read about you. But there's no response. Why?
How To Tame The Buying Beast Inside Your Customer
What if you can understand and control your customer's mind? What if you can influence, persuade and motivate your customers to buy from you? Well, I'm not talking about a magic trick or lay down a lesson of motivation. It's about understanding the different reactions made by the human mind in various situations. I'm going to briefly discuss 3 key aspects of psychological secrets that you can apply in your promotion efforts for a certain increase in customer response. They are,
The Secrets of High Money Classified Ads
When used effectively, classified ads can be one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to increase your sales. A well written classified ad can generate thousands in sales, yet could cost you pennies to write and run.
Reach vs. Frequency: Touch 100 Once or 25 Four Times?
Reach and frequency are terms generally used when planning advertising campaigns. However, the concept of reach and frequency applies to any promotional activity you undertake: direct mail, direct selling, and even networking.
8 Low Cost Ways To Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business
We all are looking for ways to market our businesses cost effectively. I have come up with 8 ways to do just that all low cost to free. In fact most of these methods can be done from the comfort of your own home.
LED Moving Message Displays
LED's are becoming more and more popular in all kinds of lighting fixtures. For simpler, slimmer design, moving message displays utilize Light Emitting Diodes (LED's) as the display technology. They offer bright displays that can be eye catching in right environment.
Graphical LED Display
Graphical LED Displays utilize high-resolution graphics and video to transmit the information. You will find them sited in world's great cosmopolitan cities. These impressive electronic signs towering over the streets displays graphic and video to broadcast important information or to advertise themselves.
Offline Advertising Secrets: Using Offline Advertising to Get the Most from Your Name Squeeze Page
Many people online are not using one of the best advertising methods around. I'm talking about offline print advertising. I've been using it since 1998, and I have a secret to share with you. Over 60% of my online business comes from offline print advertising. I know that 60% sounds very high, but it's because I use offline print advertising as my main advertising method.
Predictions for 2010
2005 puts us at the mid-point of the first decade of the new millenium. What will things look like at the end of the 1st decade of the new millenium in the world of advertising? I thought I'd project where the ad industry is headed and what 2010 (or sooner) might look like. This two-part article will take those discussions a few steps further. First, we'll look at a scenario that is likely to be common by 2010 when the heretofore separate worlds of TV advertising, search marketing, behavioral targeting and inventory yield management blend together. If you buy some of this scenario, it's interesting to look at the implications for ad agencies. In part two, I'll speculate on the likelihood of Google being the biggest "ad agency" in world. If you look through the prism I lay out, it will cause you to think differently about where the industry is headed whether or not you agree with some of the specifics.
Dont Be a Secret Agent
This tactic of the game was hard for me to master and at first I failed many times. I carried my business cards only in my briefcase, because I thought they were only used in business. Wrong! I missed quite a few opportunities to toot my horn because of that misconception. Not only did I miss the opportunity, but when it did arise, I looked like an amateur. Here's what happen on one of those occasions.
How To Tell If An Advertisement Costs Too Much
People say it all the time: "This advertising costs too much!" They practically go into cardiac arrest when they see how much the advertising for certain media in certain markets is going to cost them. It is pretty easy to get sticker shock when you see that a sixty-second radio commercial on a popular Los Angeles station could cost you a thousand bucks. Each. Or when you realize that all the "Dot.com" businesses in Silicon Valley have made radio spots on top stations in the San Francisco market cost as much as $2,500. A Minute. Or when you realize that a newspaper ad in your city barely bigger than a Hershey Bar will cost a couple thousand dollars. It's easy to automatically think that's a lot of money. Now here's the important question for you, the advertiser: Does the ad actually cost too much?
Design Your Own Newspaper Ads
Many people in business lay-out (design) their own ads. That old adage "If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me" prevails. Do it yourself and you may get what you want. Many newspaper salespeople are poor at conveying customer wants to the design department, and slow are retunring proofs. The result is an ad with errors, not approved by the cusotmer.
Persistant Advertising Will Do No Harm!
From my experience, I've been on many discussion groups and have spoken to many other like minded people. The one topic that always seems to arise is how to get massive sales right away.
How To Use Pictures To Immediately Start Increasing The Response Rates Of Your Marketing
There should only be one, over-riding reason why you're doing anything in your marketing.
Marketing Lessons I Learned in Chicago this Week...
I was in the fine city of Chicago this week to speak at a marketing conference. And I learned some interesting things:
5 Tips for Hot Yellow Pages Ads
Yellow Pages advertising is one of the most popular forms of advertising in the country today. Almost every home in America (96.9%) and business has at least one copy of "the book".
Media Planning: Smart Choices for Your Success
Media Planning for Smarties
The Graphic Problem
Digital printing has revolutionized the sign industry. Current printers can reproduce an image at 1440 dpi (dots per inch) at virtually any size. But they are worthless if the original image is of low resolution. We define resolution using pixels. A pixel is commonly thought of as the smallest individual unit of an image (tiny dots if you will). If the pixel content is low, the image will look fuzzy. Anyone that has blown up a picture in a popular program like Adobe Photoshop has experienced the pixilation of an image. The most common way to express the resolution of an image is via two integers: the first is the number of pixel columns or width and the second is the number of pixel rows or height. Another common way to express resolution is by giving the total number of pixels in the image (usually expressed as megapixels). It is determined by simply multiplying the pixel columns by the pixel rows.
|home | site map|