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A Cultural Analysis
of American & Indian Advertisements

Prof. (Dr) Sanjeev Bansal
Director-MBA & Head,
Department of Decision Science,
Information Technology
Ph.D. Programme        
Amity Business School,
Amity University, Noida. Uttar Pradesh- 201301 India.
+91-98100-70464 (M), +91-120-4392333 (D)

Varsha Khattri
Amity Business School,
Amity University, Noida. Uttar Pradesh- 201301 India.
+ 91-120-4392455 mobile: 919910160709
Email: vkhattri@amity.edu, varshakhattri@gmail.com

Brief Profile:

Dr. Sanjeev Bansal is Professoor in the area of Decision sciences. He has a work experience of over 17 years. Currently, he is the Director-MBA & Head, Department of Decision Sciences, Information Technology and Ph.D. Programme at Amity Business School, Amity University, Noida.

Ms. Varsha Khattri is a Lecturer in Amity Business School. She is a Post Graduate in Management with specialization in Advertising & Public Relations. She has more than 4 years of teaching experience. To her credentials, she has organized a large number of marketing events, conferences and seminars.

American & Indian Advertisements: A Cultural Analysis


Comparative analysis of advertising from Western industrialized countries and Eastern developing countries may reveal specific similarities or differences in manifest cultural values, norms and stereotypes in line with, or divergent from, those of Western nations. Such information can be used to address the question of cultural imperialism and the debates over whether and how advertising reflects, reinforces and affects cultural values of its target audience. On the other hand, findings about gender role portrayals in advertising may reveal how gender roles are changing in these societies, and to what extent the images of the gender in advertising are keeping pace with social change.

From a more pragmatic standpoint, if specific cross-cultural differences or similarities in advertising strategies, expressions and manifest values and norms can be identified, researchers and practitioners will better understand which aspects of advertising can be shared across several countries, and conversely, which aspects need to be adapted to local cultures.

From the standpoint of international marketing and advertising practitioners, such cross cultural understanding is imperative in order to be able to formulate effective localized advertising that would reflect the cultural values and norms of its intended audience. This research examines the cultural differences from the point of view of the advertisers who create the ads rather than from the point of view of the consumer. It also studies the advertising agencies policies of standardization across the nations where there are present and customization of advertisements keeping in view the cultural differences among nations. The study emphasizes the need for localized solutions, which are more efficient in getting its communication across.

Key Words: High-context cultures, Low-context cultures, Speech acts in Advertising, Imagery, Elements of Advertisements

American & Indian Advertisements: A Cultural Analysis

The phenomenon of advertising has long been a topic of research in several disciplines such as mass communication, marketing, sociology, cultural anthropology, social psychology, semiotics and cultural studies. One area that has attracted a great deal of consideration in several disciplines during the last two decades is the analysis of mass media advertising content to gain insights into how cultural factors affect advertising strategies and expressions; how cultural values, norms and stereotypes are reflected in advertising; how advertising creates meanings and affects the audience and the larger society over time.

Although the phenomenon of advertising has been studied for several decades, cross-cultural advertising research is a relatively new area of...
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