International Celebrity Endorsement in the case of l'Oréal

Essay, 2007

16 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Contents

International Celebrity Endorsement in the case of l’Oréal

1. Cultural issues l’Oréal might encounter in the standardisation of its products
Price and Place

2. Advantages and Disadvantages of Celebrities
Standardisation versus Adaptation for promotion
Global versus Local for branding

3. General guidelines for the selection of a suitable celebrity
Introduction of a fitting celebrity for l’Oréal

Internet Sources:

International Celebrity Endorsement in the case of l’Oréal

L’Oréal is the largest global cosmetics company of the world selling its products all over the world. The company reaches more people across a wider range of cultures than any other cosmetic company does (Annual Report 2005).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

L´ORÈAL considers whether it should endorse its skin care products in the international markets and strengthen its international brands by using a celebrity. They further need advice regarding a standardised or adapted “product offering” and promotion campaign.

This report will first give an overview

of major cultural issues which l’Oréal might encounter in the international market place when implementing a standardised international marketing strategy. It will be then further investigated if these cultural issues will impinge on the suitability of celebrities to promote l’Oréal clients brands while addressing the aspects of local and global branding and promotion.

At the very end, guidelines will be identified as to how to find the most fitting celebrity and a possible endorser for its products will be introduced.

1. Cultural issues l’Oréal might encounter in the standardisation of its products

The organisation’s secret is to communicate the fascination of different cultures through its wide range of products (Edmonson 1999) and thus it needs to take into consideration that success in international marketing begins with cultural sensitivity (Ghauri and Cateora 2005).

The more sensitive a marketer is to different cultures the more it will improve communication and its success to reach its target group. The culture of its different target markets needs to be highlighted if the organisation wants to conduct an international marketing program.

Terpstra and Sarathy (2000) developed a framework of eight cultural elements a company should apply when thinking about multinational marketing strategies. Those elements encompass language, religion, values and attitudes, aesthetics, education, law and politics, technology and material culture as well as social organisations.

The degree of education varies across countries which indicates that the labelling of products needs to be taken seriously if the rate of illiteracy in that market is high (Doole and Lowe 2004). Therefore the use of symbols in advertising and product design will be more favoured in order to transfer the meaning and value of a product.

Social organisation refers to the way a society views itself. This is very much related to the status of different people, for example the role of women in countries like Saudi-Arabia. For an organisation intending to offer its products to women in such countries it can be quite difficult if women have a minor social status there.

More important are aesthetics like the appealing of the product to the target group which may differ in different cultures. An important aspect is the perception of colours.

Cultures associate different meanings with colours and have clear preferences (Madden et al. 2000). Consequently the adaptation of products is implicitly necessary to those heterogeneous markets. Nevertheless a standardised marketing strategy regarding the same colour of e.g. the packaging or logo of the product is possible if the meanings of colours are similar worldwide.

Red coloured products can be sold in the USA and China as this colour is perceived as unique in terms of its meaning.

Purple is associated with expensive in China compared to the USA where purple means inexpensive. So it might be favourable to use light-coloured products in China to endorse sales of the product.

The illustration below gives an overview of the perceptions of colours in China (PRC) and the USA.

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Source: Madden et al. 2000

Aesthetics as symbols indicate that customers respond to images, myths as well as metaphors. If one is not familiar with the meaning of symbols in other cultures it can lead to an inaccurate cultural interpretation and therefore to an incorrect marketing strategy (Mc Graw-Hill 2005).

Another component is the importance of values and attitudes.

An important value could be youthfulness which indicates that the consumer puts much emphasis on young appearance.

With regard to Japan, the world’s third largest cosmetic market offering a lot of opportunities for the cosmetic industry (Gallon 2005), it might be important to offer skin care products that aim at local needs.

A clear trend emerging there is the need for anti-ageing products. Ageing is the strongest characteristic of the Japanese society and they entirely favour youthfulness.

Subsequently the adaptation of cosmetics to this market is necessary and thus cosmetics should have ingredients that have anti-ageing effects.

Japan also fairly values a white skin in contrast to the USA or Germany where a tanned skin is more favourable. So the increasing interest in whitening products in Japan necessarily leads to an adaptation of cosmetics.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Also the product packaging regarding size and design often needs to be adapted to the local needs and therefore needs to attract immediate attention by the consumer (Mc Graw-Hill 2005). Asian customers might reject a product even if there are only small imperfections.

As each culture has its own definition and vision of beauty l’Oréal draws on the diversity of its cosmetics by offering products that best suit the customer’s needs (Annual Report 2005).

The religion which in countries like Saudi-Arabia is the major cultural force can have a significant influence on international marketing strategy.

Religion encompasses taboos, rituals, norms and beliefs. In Islamic countries there are things called Haraam that are totally forbidden like the appearance of too much naked skin of a woman in advertising. In contrast, the use of “sexy” details in advertising in the USA might be preferred by the consumers.

In Asian countries superstition is widespread. Therefore, in China’s society, the use of the number four, shi, in product offerings can lead to a rejection of products as the number four means death (Ghauri and Cateora 2005).

Language is another very important aspect (Doole and Lowe 2000). English is accepted as the most important business language but not all people speak it as their first language.

If an organisation follows a standardised marketing strategy it could lead to confusion if the product name is in English in every market.

A new skin care product labelled in English could have a completely different meaning in China leading to something offensive or just ridiculous as Chinese pronounce words differently (Ghauri and Cateora 2005).

This means that a translation of the product name and the slogan may result in a more favourable reflection or awareness of the product.


Excerpt out of 16 pages


International Celebrity Endorsement in the case of l'Oréal
Northumbria University
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ISBN (eBook)
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International, Celebrity, Endorsement, Oréal
Quote paper
Sabrina Hoffstädte (Author), 2007, International Celebrity Endorsement in the case of l'Oréal, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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