Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blog #5: Global Culture and Diversity in Advertising

By: Matthew Larson
                Global Culture is a contributor to the diversity of advertising.  Globalization of advertising has reshaped the way messages are received by consumers.  Westernization has also contributed to the diversity of advertising in foreign nations.  Strong cultural countries such as China, Japan and India have been positively influenced by western ideas in advertising.  Since business is conducted more globally, there has been emphasis on structuring advertising and marketing campaigns around specific cultures.  Messages are tailor to fit the consumer profile for a country.  Influences are triggered by brand image, product relevancy and consumer behavior. 
                Since consumers play such a vital role in advertising.  Many global companies look to the culture of where an advertising campaign will be released.  An example of this would be subjecting the consumers of India to beef products.  Beef is considered a sacred animal in some cultures of India.  Therefore, a marketing campaign for McDonald’s hamburgers would be irrelevant to the culture of India.  This is not limited to just McDonald’s customers in India.  Worldwide there are many subcultures that have values and beliefs, so for companies to maintain a successful stance in the global marketplace they have to sympathize with the cultural background of a country or even community. 
                With so many different countries with so many different cultures the United States has become a melting pot.  Most worldwide business is in some way connected to the western culture.  America’s influence in the worldwide market spreads from fashion to food.  The influence that America has on the rest of the world began when the rest of the world came to America.  This is where the melting pot theory is defined.  There are many companies that conduct their business in America.  This has to do with import/export, business to business and business to consumer.  Diversity begins with the consumers and since there are so many cultures in the U.S.  Messages are made general and open to the public.
                Advertisements begin to go through a sorting process.  Messages are sorted and placed into categories of where they will be most successful and reach the largest market.  Placement of Ads contributes to the diversity as well.  Having an advertisement for snow tires in Miami, Florida would be quite inappropriate; therefore messages need to be specifically placed in society so that they can reach their maximum potential.  This occurs globally in all cultures.  Each culture is defined by value and beliefs established many years ago.  Culture evolves with time, but there are still many factors that tie into the roots of a culture.
                On the other hand some view globalization as threatening.  The idea comes from a vision that if everyone is doing the same thing then one idea can be followed.  This erases any diversity and constricts the limits of culture.  By assuming everything will be just one control can be gained by companies. Multi-national corporations promote a certain kind of consumerist culture, in which standard commodities, promoted by global marketing campaigns exploiting basic material desires, create similar lifestyles--"Coca-Colanization"
                It it’s the idea that because consumers can maintain an identity of individualism. In turn, it drives companies to further their research of lifestyles and cultural backgrounds.  Penetration into society creates a basic profile that assists companies in gaining domination of an entire market.  The world is changing because of technology and the ability for more people to be exposed to the same things.  Diversity exists in small pockets of society.  Global, regional, and local all contribute to the movement of diversity.  Global Culture gathers at the melting pot know as America.  It remains to be seen that society will shift towards a single view.  Only consumers and the way people spend their money will dictate the outcome of advertising from a global approach.

Global nature, global cultures Franklin, C Lury… - 2000 - Sage Publications Ltd
Global Scan: The Globalization of Advertising Agencies, Concepts and Campaigns, D A Leslie, Department of Geography, Brock University, St. Catherine’s, Ontario Canada

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