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Cultural Context in Advt

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sameerpawar
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CULTURAL CONTEXT IN ADVERTISEMENTS
Effective advertising is possible only when the advertisement conveys the intended message, giving consideration to underlying cultural codes. Semiotics, the study of signs and symbols and their meaning, offers valuable tools for analyzing advertising to uncover strengths or weaknesses of ad campaigns.

In general, advertising can communicate either a solution narrative (i.e. buy our product and it will solve your problems), or an enhancement narrative (your life is already good, but if you use our product it will be that much better).

Below is the comparison of the message being conveyed in both the Western and the Chinese context: * Motorcycle: Whereas in a Western context a motorcycle represents freedom, adventure, and speed, in a Chinese context it is considered dangerous, noisy, and low status. * Open Landscape: For Westerners, the open landscape portrays independence and lifestyle enhancement. From the Chinese view, the countryside may be perceived as dirty and dusty.

The codes present in the advertisement convey a very different message when translated into the a different cultural context, and do not result in communicating the message which was actually intended.

Some examples where companies failed due to lack of understanding of cultural nuances are: * Car ‘Nova’ in Spain-This car was introduced in Spain Nova in Spanish means it wont go which the company failed to recognize before launching the product * Volkswagon Beetle in India: The ad campaign was based on an anti social context of promoting the car for dowry. This campaign failed miserably due to the lack of deep understanding of the Indian Culture. * Electrolux in USA- The Swedish vacuum cleaner brand came up with the tagline ”nothing sucks like electrolux” in USA. The company failed to realize the word sucks had a different...

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