Advertisement as a Cultural Product Values, Practises and Cultural Symbols Reproduced in the Japanese Commercials

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ADVERTISEMENT AS A CULTURAL PRODUCT VALUES, PRACTISES AND CULTURAL SYMBOLS REPRODUCED IN THE JAPANESE COMMERCIALS

Abstract This paper explores the most important aspects of Japanese advertising, both economic and cultural. The presentation consists of two main parts. First we will have a quick look at the data on the structure and organisation of the advertising industry and on the forms of advertisement transmission. Than a short history of consumerism and advertising will help us to determine it’s specific characteristics and main trends. Basing on the television advertising and on a interview with the leading japanese advertising agency i show the most commonly used motifs connected with the Japanese culture, that is concerning tradition, history, famous personalities, literature. Furthermore, the paper continues with some inferences about the nature of Japanese society, summarizing the achievements, but also it challenges and limitations. The analysis examines the economic importance, showing ways in which advertising contributes to the creation of a mass consumer society. Second, this talk stresses the importance of cultural values in Japanese advertising and asserts the need to acknowledge this importance.

Looking at the streets, walking through the shopping areas and making the first steps in Japan a foreign visitor might think the Japanese have adopted all the modern aspects of Western culture. The same feeling might occur if the visitor looks at the advertisement and commercials which often show faces, music and language that he is familiar with. A deeper look at the Japanese culture and Japanese values inside those commercials, though, may show you something completely different. 75

Identity, Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue

Since the World War ii Japan continuously opened her boundaries to the western ideas and developments. Technology and the flow of in formations, exchange of knowledge and experience with the rest of the world put Japan in a new dimension. She took advantage of the situation and got modernized very fast. And than because of that, globalization process is present in Japanese advertisements, though the meaning concerning globalization and the attitude towards it is different from the european point of view. Simply switching on the TV, it is very hard to see the difference between a program and the commercial. in the most european countries there is a remarkable transition between the ad and the program, whereas in Japan the same people who cooked a dinner on the TV screen appear five minuets later in a commercial and they follow you very often onto the pages of the daily newspapers, into shops and subways. My considerations seeks to show theoretically and empirically the characteristics of Japanese advertising by focusing on the use of traditional motifs derived from the culture. First, it examines the economic importance, showing ways in which advertising contributes to the creation of a mass consumer society. Second, this talk stresses the importance of cultural values in Japanese advertising and asserts the need to acknowledge this importance.

STRUCTURE AND ORGANIzATION OF THE ADVERTISING MARkET
Japan is now one of the world’s biggest economies, famous for its achievement of highly efficient electronic goods and the creation of a mass consumer society. The Japanese advertisement agencies take the first places in the rankings of the largest ad agencies in the world. in the chart of Top Marketing organizations 2006 ranked by Advertising Age Agency, dentsu took the fifth place, followed by Hakuhodo dY Holdings on the 8th position, the 9th place Asatsu-dK, than Tokyu Agency and Asahi Advertising. The leading advertisement agency in Japan is the dentsu inc. dentsu was founded in 1901, first the company served advertising and news service, becoming a specialized advertising agency in 1936. Today the Agency conducts many surveys about the consumer trends and changes in the...
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