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I think I’ve been too consumed on the Human Rights issue and kind of got side tracked from my original topic of cross-cultural advertising and global standard advertising. Better shift my focus back!

From the book:

Marieke de Mooij, 2004, Consumer Behaviour and Culture: Consequences for Global Marketing and Advertising, Illustrated, Sage Publication, United States of America

The Origin:

Since the term global-advertising was invented, many advertisers tend to generalize their consumers regardless of their cultural backgrounds, mainly because it’s more cost effective to do so. So probably the first question that needs to be answer here would be ‘how did this phenomenon happen in the first place?’

Globalization and the birth of new media (internet) are thought to be the two main causes for this standardization of consumers and consumer behaviors. Globalization often refers to the implementation and the spread of western culture, value and technology across different countries which led to the assumption of the existence of global consumer culture. The term globalization is often associated with convergence theory; that nations are becoming more and more alike in spite of their different cultural, ethical economic and political systems. However, what people tend to forget is that, with convergence comes divergence. Just because people are using the same technology, does not mean they all would use it the same way. In addition to this, internet now allows people to access information from different countries even without having to be there physically which means people are able to learn about cultures, values and beliefs that are different to what they grew up with. One expectation of internet was that it would standardize people’s value. Internet indeed helped enhance the existence of different cultures and values but it does not necessary means that internet would change people’s value, belief or their behaviour. The best example for this would be the Bandai i-service in Japan. Comic books have always been very popular among Japanese. When NTT DoCoMo came out with new mobile internet service, Bandai offered consumers with service where they can download comic books. This service soon became one of the most popular services among subscribers. This example illustrates how mobile internet (new media) did not change consumer behaviour or their preferences.

Advertisement comes in a lot of different forms. Especially in today’s society, like it or not consumers (all of us) are so bombarded by information from different channels. Due to this reason, consumers would have to start picking which information they want to consume because we do have the power to do so. This also means information providers have to be smart about how they go about spreading their messages.

One of the oldest forms of advertisement is TV Commercial. Some people say 30 second TVC is dead, but I personally don’t think so. However, if TVC don’t adapt to the new era, it might as well be dead. This is what I meant by ‘information providers have to be smart about how they go about spreading their messages.’ Adapting to new consumers and new technology is vital to the survival of mediums. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry about how globalization and advertising shows a very strong link to each other. One example I would use to support this argument will be the famous Oreo TV commercials. All three commercials came from different countries but all three have exactly the same message behind it, which is to sell Oreo, not only as a snack but also something fun that everyone can enjoy. Simple things like changing languages or using talents who are more familiar to the audiences would change people’s opinion about the ad. If you are Korean, wouldn’t you rather see commercial in Korean? Don’t you think because you can relate more you would most probably get the message? Few years back, I took a campaign class and my lecturer, Carolyn Uzelac, said “if you are working in different country and you are in charge of making an advertisement, the first thing you need to do is to understand that culture.” I totally agree with her statement. The world is becoming smaller, it’s so easy for people to travel to different countries and experience different cultures, so advertisers are using this opportunity to spread their message (weather that is to sell stuff or save the world) even more. I’m my opinion this is just a small part or starting point of how advertising is influenced by phenomenon known as globalization.


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