Cross Cultural Advertising

Topics: Culture, Advertising, Sociology Pages: 7 (2487 words) Published: January 17, 2010
Culture is an important part of each society and it clearly has an impact on people’s behavior. This impact is a key factor for a science like advertising which targets to influence behaviors. McCarty (1994) as cited in Englis, and Dahl (2004) claimed that culture and values have their importance when talking about people’s reaction to advertising. Callow and Shiffman (2002) found a difference between people from high context and low context communication system in the ability to understand implicit meaning of advertisement. Ewing, Salzberger and Sinkovics (2005) conducted a study on “how a pluralistic audience perceives a standardized television advertisement” and found dissimilarities between indigenous and nonindigenous people. O’Barr (1993) cited a social historian who considers advertisement as an edited and selected view of a society which clearly illustrates the relationship between advertisements and the culture within a specific society. Despite the abundant literature on this topic, there is no research studying the Moroccan context. The Moroccan society is special in the way that Moroccans watch both Moroccan and foreign TVs and are then exposed to different types of advertisements. The culture is an important component of each society and it is clearly influencing people’s perceptions, especially concerning advertisement, which mainly relies on people’s behavior. Is it possible for a multinational company to use the same advertisement campaign in every country where it can be implanted? Companies always want to attract people in order to gain more consumers and they use advertisement as a tool. While watching some foreign advertisements on TV, are Moroccans going to react as foreigners? The Moroccan culture still has many taboos and people would certainly not accept advertisements with sexual connotations for instance. The reactions might also differ if the targeted public is from an individualistic or a collectivist society. The principal purpose of this research is to study how does the culture influence people’s perceptions of foreign advertisements? More specifically, how and to which extent does the Moroccan culture influence people’s perception of local and foreign advertisement? Culture has certainly a great importance, plays an effective role on people’s behavior and influences particularly their perceptions towards advertisements and since there is a large diversity of cultures around the world, the idea of making a universal advertisement is unrealistic. Past studies have shown that culture changes people’s perceptions and influences their willingness to consume. What is used in advertisements, whatever their type was, is only what is believed to have an impact on people’s behavior. Research have demonstrated that appeals and values used in advertisements across cultures change (Dahl, 2004). As cited in Dahl (2004), research by Caillat and Mueller or Albers-Millers and Gelb have underlined the fact that appeals used in advertising are related to cultural dimensions. In fact, what might have an effect in a specific cultural context might have the opposite effect in another context. Since advertisements are meant to promote a particular product through some values, it is logical that they change depending on the values they need to use. Dahl (2004) has gathered most studies done between 1985 and 2004 in the field of cross cultural advertising and the first logical conclusion he came up with was that all of them agree on one specific point. Whatever countries studied, all the research have found significant differences in terms of strategies used and values promoted in advertisements. Whether the countries were close in a cultural point of view and shared some values or were very different, the results were that differences exist and are clearly noticeable in terms of advertisements. Societies are not the same, their values change and thus, the advertisements change as well. Individualistic and...
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