Advertising is communicating with a particular audience group with the intention of getting a positive reaction. International Advertising is the process of communicating with multiple cultures that differ in many ways. Sometimes the advertising companies and agencies have to find uniformity in the way they pass the information to make an impact.
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They also need to localize their content so that it fits into a particular culture and community. Advertising has helped to unite the world so that there is an acceptable language to achieve the intended objectives. The developing countries are slowly catching up through sharing of information and working together. The world has become a global village whereby information can be shared across the globe instantly.
One can use International Advertising as a communication process. Due to the multiple contexts, one needs to have great care so that the message gets to the target audience and still achieves the intended meaning and reaction (Douglas & Craig, 1995). The content of the advertisement must be the one that the audience can understand and also relate to their environment and cultural life.
There are some setbacks in the process. The target audience may have literacy problems that may cause the message to fail to spur the desired action. The audience may also interpret the message in their way by attaching their meanings to the words and symbols (Rijkens, 1992). Lack of action may be as a result of insufficient funds. The advertisers need to deliver the right message to the target audience (Douglas & Craig, 1995). They need to encode the message so that people of diverse cultural contexts can understand it. The phrases need to be the ones that can be translated and still get the same message as was intended (Peebles & Ryans, 1984).
The colors have different meanings in different countries. While red stands for danger in some countries, in China it represents happiness and weddings (Douglas & Craig, 1995). The media channels only pass the message to the intended audience who then decode and react to it. Culture also determines the transmission and translation of information (Douglas & Craig, 1995). One has to use the kind of media that reaches the intended audience. Television and print advertisements may not have a greater impact as compared to other means of advertisement. The radio has the prospects of reaching a larger audience (Peebles & Ryans, 1984).
The ads are supposed to be persuasive and attend to the needs of the audience. In as much as the adverts seek to satisfy particular needs, they also result in secondary consequences (Grein & Ducoffe, 1998). Advertisements shape the thoughts of the audience to perceive things differently and accept new ideas. International Advertising always seeks to introduce and promote certain products across societies (Peebles & Ryans, 1984). Therefore, International Advertising is also a change agent. It has established and pushed for the acceptance and continued adaptation to a new lifestyle.
A majority of the International adverts come from the Western countries. They develop the Western culture across the world (Hall, 1976). Good examples of western brands that have shaped the globe’s taste include the MacDonalds and Nike (De Mooij, 1994). However, the advertisers need to take great care to avoid causing adverse reactions.
The Middle East countries are very religious and have cultures that strongly differ with the Western countries (Hall, 1976). Advertising cuts across culture, uniting communities and countries through worldwide acceptable symbols and slogans. It also establishes a common way of communicating across the globe. The global media such as the Cable News Network and MTV that target global audience have also been very resourceful to International Advertisers (Rijkens, 1992).
The promotion of consumerism is a worldwide human experience. Manufacturers have done their best in the local markets. They need to gain global acceptance and expand their markets. They have to find a way to reach those markets through international broadcasts. After thorough research, they need to launch into the world market, and especially the developing nations with proper marketing techniques (Hall, 1976). Their promotional activities also improve the economies of those countries where they pay the local media for advertisements. They promote the labor market. They also educate the consumers on the usage of their products.
Consumerism has come with many benefits to the developing nations. They can express themselves to the world without fear. It makes them have a sense of belonging to the larger world and have access to the new technology. It shows the necessary steps they can take to change. It also provokes them to change so that they can adapt to the modern life. It improves the GDP of countries that develop trading links (Rijkens, 1992).
The purpose of advertising in the developing countries does not amount to colonizing their beliefs and systems (Smelser & Baltes, 2002). The advertiser only try to persuade for acceptance. It should also not show unnecessary promotions. The competition should be free and fair, and innovative (Bronson & Merryman, 2010).
The advertisers should also use acceptable language to avoid the bans that may affect their sales and promotions (Vanderkochhove, 2002). They need to adapt to the tenets of commercial speech that is controlled and carefully analyzed.
The International Advertising Association helps to regulate the advertising industry worldwide. It helps the advertisers fight threats to the freedoms of commercial speech. There are countries that infringe on the rights of the advertisers and even ban products from particular companies and countries. It also acts as an advocate for freedom of choice across all consumer and business markets. The IAA also educates the society about the benefits of advertising that have no boundaries. Political parties channel their grievances through the IAA (Rijkens, 1992). An example of the company that has successfully benefitted from International Advertising is the Proctor and Gamble. It has managed to capture the world attention by reaching billions of customers in many countries on the globe.
Through advertising, consumers compare goods and prices and make wise judgments. It also enhances the economic growth through ensuring that customers buy goods (Douglas & Craig, 1995). When the customers get the information, they may improve their living standards. Some developing nations may have rules that suppress women’s rights (Hall, 1976). The Western world has developed women standards and has kept on promoting those rights. Advertising can help present a better way to treat women with other nations and show their importance to nation building.
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Some countries may have adverse perceptions about westernization through advertising. The positive image that advertising brings far outweighs the fears. Developing countries have an opportunity to learn through such methods and be able to improve their economy. International Advertising opens up markets and empower the community. It makes everyone equal no matter where they are because it unites the world through the products and service offerings. Advertising creates and supports employment and job opportunities.
Bronson, P., & Merryman, A. (2010). The creativity crisis. The Newsweek/Daily Beast.
De Mooij, M. (1998), Global marketing and advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications.
Douglas, S., & Craig, C. (1995). Global marketing strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Grein, A. & Ducoffe, R. (1998). Strategic response to market globalization among advertising agencies. International Journal of Advertising, 17, 301-319.
Hall, E. (1976). Beyond culture. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press.
Peebles, D., & Ryans, J. (1984). Management of international advertising. A marketing approach. Boston: Allyn, Bacon.
Rijkens, R. (1992). European advertising strategies. London, England: Cassell.
Smelser, N., & Baltes, P. (2002). International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Vanderkochhove, M. (2002). The beneficial effects on developing countries of consumerism and advertising. International advertising in developing countries.