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Related to my previous post on gesticulation from the post ‘I love McDonald’s’, there are a lot of other interesting examples regarding this topic. As I mentioned previously, as one word can carry different meanings in different countries or cultures, gesticulations or body language differ from culture to culture.

The American ‘OK’ sign, when circle is made using one’s thumb and index finger, normally means good, yes or something positive. However it means worthless in France and it indicates money in Japan.


The other example is more of a facial expression than gesture. Expression such as protruding tongue means ‘contempt’ in Western culture but in Chinese culture it means ‘surprise’, especially when it’s done by children.


I used this example for my Literature Review and I thought I must share it with all of you!

So ‘gesticulation’ is another significant factor when communicating with people from different culture. Just as one word or an expression can carry different meanings in different countries, hundreds of global advertising examples have proven the fact that gesticulations or body language differ from culture to culture.

In the United States, life-size Ronald McDonald statues with friendly hand waves can be seen in almost all stores. However, Ronald McDonalds in Thailand have both palms of their hands placed together as a sign of respect, which is how Thai people greet each other. By making this small change, McDonald’s mascot, Ronald McDonald has become truly Thai and truly local (Mueller 2004).



And since we are in the topic of McDonald’s, I want to add these two TV commercials from Japan.  I guess they’ve decided to let Ronald McDonald retire early. I personally think these TVCs are hilarious to the max :p


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