CROSS CULTURAL ADVERTISING
(November 22nd 2010)
ISCOM, TC 11, Justin Pepper Work by Céline PUIGSEGUR
I. CROSS CULTURAL ADVERTISING
1) What is cross cultural advertising?
Cross cultural advertising has appeared with trends of the last decades in economic and commercial activities: with the tendency to economic integration, the issue in international marketing and advertisingis to understand if consumers will be more and more alike from a country to another or if their differences will stay stable. In other words, the interest is to know if we should globalize marketing and advertising or adapt them to the culture of each country.
And studies have shown that in developed countries, consumers were more and more alike. Economic growth seems to determine a pattern ofevolution for consumers. They would have common tastes in media, advertising consume and consuming habits. But global campaigns would be successful only in a context of cultural and behavioural convergence between the countries where they are launched. And even in this case, success isn’t totally guarantied, because advertising is strongly culture-bound and each country has its culturalspecificities in language, values, lifestyle, etc.
It is important to understand how to make an international marketing and global advertising campaign because it is the key for a future growth for a company.
However, international marketing target different countries and it is possible to answer similar needs in different countries. It is possible to convince people that a product or a service ismeant for them and will bring them some benefit, whatever their lifestyles or status are. But we won’t communicate exactly the same way for each country because every culture has its specificities and every culture has different values and perceptions. To make a cross cultural campaign successful, we must highlight areas of cross cultural differences in advertising by incorporating characteristicsto complement the values, traditions and perceptions of the target market, and we must convince consumers that they will receive a benefit from our products so that they buy them.
Cross cultural communication aims to minimize cross cultural differences through building common frameworks for people of different cultures. It is applied in areas such as HR, team buildings, negotiations, etc., butit seems difficult to apply in advertising, because products and services are usually marketed for a precise and domestic audience.
2) How to make a good cross cultural advertisement?
Before adapting your advertisement to the target market, we have to know this market, because what is acceptable in one culture may not be in another. So we have to know who the consumers we are targeting are,what are their values, their habits, their specificities. And according to consumers’ expectations, we won’t communicate on the same characteristic of the product, on the same benefit it will bring. But sometimes, adapting communication to the market is not enough, it is necessary to adapt the product itself to the market. According to consumers’ expectations and habits, a company can be lead toimprove its products so that they respond to specific needs. To lead an international campaign, we also have to be neutral. We can’t target very specifically because we have to talk to many different people so we have to be very general. Our campaign must be able to be adapted in different countries, we must be careful not to offend any culture. So stay simple, general and neutral!
a. Adapt ouradvertisement to the target market
A last point which is important is to translate correctly. From a country to another, words don’t have same meanings and connotations even though the language is the same, so we have to be very careful with the words used. And when the campaign must be translated to a different language, we should call for specialists who know perfectly the original language...