International advertising of global corporations aims at providing commercial message to targeted audience across various countries (Marshall, 2014). Target audience widely vary across countries in terms of the way they interpret such messages, stimuli, humor, emotional appeal and respond to them. In many instances advertisement for international countries are centralized according to budgets and decisions by use of limited agencies world over. International advertisement is viewed as a communicating procedure that is conducted across cultures by use of values, consumptions, and communications and so on. Thus, the process of international advertisement can be termed as a business activity that includes advertisers and agencies that creates ads and purchases media in various countries. International advertisement is also a reflection comprising of social values world over. As international advertisement is used as a communicating tool, it is best that it encompasses communications that company’s brand of origin. In this globalized world there still exist preconceived notions regarding some countries against the other (Walters, 2008). Japan had initially banned sales of all American goods in their country due to the everlasting impact of Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombing incident. Many countries look down on Chinese products to be made from cheap quality raw materials and bonded or severe labor conditions. Hence, international advertisements need to focus more on the content of information rather than depicting country’s brand of origin. The scope of this report is to analyze the statement by using various pertinent instances from global companies (Leonidou, 2011).
International advertisements have numerous aims as catering to a wide target audience functioning as a communication process, being a business practice for multinational corporations, to act as a social force for the company. In order to encompass these aims advertisement of international nature uses various tools and techniques, but they sometimes contain content from company’s home country and sometimes do not (Dens, 2010).
International marketing and advertisement are directed at targeting a wide range of audience their feature is more complex in nature as they function as communication channels. Communicating across multiple contexts where language, culture, literacy and other factors differ. Therefore the message needs to be lucid that can be easily understood. Different culture interprets messages, symbols, and words differently hence their response to advertisement varies due to lack in income for purchasing the select product. Media often limits communication and act as barrier to be able to transfer messages to intended audience (Taylor, 2010).
Communicating the message adequately is the central role of international advertisements and any communicational barriers needs to be overcome. Varying cultures and varying degree of regards for other culture depicting the brand country of origin might deter such communication process altogether. Cultural dimensions is made of various personal values, attitudes, beliefs while communication might be translated attitude towards another culture might deter the process of such communication itself.
Personal values, belief and attitudes of individuals are developed through a course of one’s life from various inputs that one receives from family, friends, community and so on (Katsikeas, 2006). Values encompass principles, qualities or standards that a group of individuals have. Values are generally things that are held in high regard or high worth. It may be type of behavior, idea or sense of judgment. Values may be in type of manners, pride, clothing, music, media, behavior, family life and so on and so forth. Thus, advertisement generally aims to target value segment of individuals in communicating messages.
The message communicated to target audience internationally needs to be appropriate for consumption and it also needs to be encoded such that others culture can interpret them (Fastoso, 2007). When message is transmitted and sent through media channels in the process cultural barriers might hamper transmission of such messages from getting interpreted. Once message in advertisement contains contents from company’s home country then it is more likely to be misunderstood across cultures. As Hofstede’s dimensions holds various cultural values for different cultures.
Encoding of verbal messages in international market has to be undertaken, in such translations however problems related to colloquial phrases might be misinterpreted. This causes again a barrier in communicating messages (Wang, 2011). A major failure to translate international advertisement was in American Dairy Association message “Got Milk?” in Mexico, when translated in Spanish language for Mexican viewers it read as, “Are you Lactating?”. Thus, here the advertisement did not adequately cater to values as it contained brand depiction from American origin, hence it is more likely to be rejected. There might be visual symbols involved in advertisements which again can lead to misrepresentations and misinterpretations. Due to difference in color perception an advertisement can be easily be misunderstood. As in tropical countries green has a negative connotation attached to it and red is used for wedding and other happy purposes (Ford, 2011). China and India uses Red color for their weddings and any happy ceremonies. Humor or sex appeals also need to be taken care to communicated as their expressions and effectiveness widely differs. An ideal example for this communication is British sense of humor which does not get translated to even English speaking countries. Thus, if a company from Britain uses their sense of humor in advertisement, the essence for such might not be interpretable in other countries where majorly English is spoken. Here again as values differ, the communication cannot get through thus, country of origin brand reflection will fail to make its impact for the intended message.
Selecting an appropriate media for communication for intended audience that helps creating effective advertisements. TV advertisement is majorly accepted across various countries as the most influential mode (Putte, 2009). In many countries print media will not create effective advertisement due to lack of literacy rates amongst countries. Media of advertisement for effectiveness varies and it has been seen that in South America radio advertisement has greater reach compared to other mediums. While selecting any sort of medium for transmitting messages proper translation has to be intended. Music forms a set of values, if a company overcomes its brand origin and creates add that can cater to South America it is more likely to get success.
Cultural context has an eminent role in advertisement hence on effectiveness of communication. High context cultures as that of Asia, Japan and China context of information has an important role as well as information itself. As against low context cultures where information contained matters as in Western countries as USA. In low context culture information regarding the product or service has an integral aspect that satisfies need for content hence companies while advertising to these countries can easily include their home country’s brand of origin (Wells, 2011).
Belief comprises of experiences that affect quality of decision making and selecting a product. As in case of Japan banning American goods is set on set of beliefs, thus if Ford Motors wants to achieve high sales in Japan it should not tag its brand name to America as that will create a negative response.
Attitude comprises of beliefs, feelings and behaviors regarding a particular group, ideas or objects. A popular belief amongst western countries is that China makes low quality items have often deterred sales of Chinese goods in these markets. Another attitude is German car makers are the best engineers in the world have led to Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen advertising popularity of German models and car makers. Hence, countries can use their brand name to positively reflect on their country of origin in their advertisement strategy (Englis, 2013). But it should be avoided as it can create a negative impact on the product and brand promotion as well. The focus of advertisement should be primarily on content of information rather than brand of origin country.
International advertisement holds immense importance in the age of globalization. Companies need to make various forms of advertisement to attract target audience towards them. Sometimes companies include brand of origin in their advertisement, which impacts the quality of success for such advertisements. Contemporary organizations however focus more on content of advertisements rather than on advertisements themselves. The central idea of advertisement is to communicate effectively information regarding the product that persuades customers to take decisions in favor of the company which is why communication and information content is important parameter of successful advertisements.