Zazoo Condoms is located in Antwerp, Belgium and was founded in 1998. In 2004 sales in condoms decreased drastically and Zazoo Condoms responded with a controversial television advertisement. The video shows the embarrassment of an incompetent father with his screaming child in the super market. The advertisement tries to create fear in the viewers mind to make him/her realize what can happen if the company’s product is not used. However, the message could be misinterpreted as an encouragement to not have kids, who only pose problems. It also negatively advertised children, which opposed efforts to increase birthrates in Europe. Many viewers were offended by the advertisement because of their cultural beliefs and principles. Reviewing Hofstede’s theory of “the five dimensions”, there are several factors that have to be taken into account to analyze how this ad failed to convey its intended message.
The most influential aspect that affected Zazoo’s advertisement of the five dimensions is the uncertainty avoidance in Belgium’s society. Uncertainty avoidance describes the mindset of a society towards change and being in unstructured situations. With a Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) of 94, Belgium has one of the highest UAI’s globally. The advertisement supported the society’s affection toward security, regularity and routine and it’s resistance towards change and innovation, exploiting the society’s fear of unfamiliar risks and stress. Therefore, the advertisement was seen as a misrepresentation and delivered the wrong message.
One of Hofstede’s five dimensions, which antagonized many viewers, is the concept of individualism and collectivism. Hofstede describes collectivist as individuals with many trustworthy connections with other individuals as loyalty and trust are a key value in their cultural beliefs. Opposing, individualist do not share their trust so easily and tend to have few close relationships and only the closest family members are trusted...
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