The influence of culture on advertisement

Seminar Paper, 2002

8 Pages, Grade: 2,0 (B)


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Types of Advertising

3. Culture
3.1. Definition of Culture
3.2. Influences of Culture on Advertising
3.3. Success of Coca-Cola

4. Conclusion

5. Appendix
5.1. References
5.2. Gunning Fog Index

1. Introduction

The relevance of this topic is shown by the following true story of the Gerber Company:

Gerber once decided to sell their brand of baby food in a West African country. They exported the product and ran the same copy that had been selling jars for them by the billion since 1926. They put the famous label on the jar, with the baby wearing a big smile which, over the years, had helped them become a household name back home.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Reports soon came back from the distributor, announcing zero sales. Later, reports came back on the national news, telling or rioting in the streets, and casualties. Worried company chiefs watching television back home in the Unites States thought they glimpsed people burning copies of their poster in the background.

Much later, it transpired that in many African countries, there was a very real but hitherto undocumented assumption that what you see on the label is what’s in the jar. This came over to consumers as a coarse hint that the little boy, far from endorsing the product, was the product: people thought they were being expected to feed their black babies with white baby. Sensibilities were naturally offended by this immodest proposal, and outrage soon gave way to violence. (Anholt, 2000:51)

This story shows that culture has an enormous impact on advertisements. The fact that makes it more important than it has never been before, is globalization. As more and more companies are taking the decision to market their products abroad, they are facing cultural and linguistic dilemmas which international advertising invariably raises.

This report aims to give an insight into this complex subject.

2. Types of Advertising

Before discussing the core problem one should become aware of in which ‘advertising world’ we are living. The categories of advertisements that are distinguishable will briefly be explained first.

There are uncountable different types of media used for advertising as presently nearly every possibility is used for advertising and advertisers are becoming more and more creative in finding advertising platforms. But there are five main types, which will briefly be explained because each type has its own unique characteristics.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Print

Print is the original medium for modern advertising; it has always been the largest recipient of advertising funds, even if the impact of television has reduced this dominance. In South Africa the prospect of increasing literacy bodes well for the printed media. Print Media includes newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers as well as all kinds of advertising, e.g. via fax or even on statements of accounts!

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Television

Television has captured a large share of the advertising that would otherwise have been in print. It has a great impact as it combines sight, sound and motion and can reach large markets. No effort is required of television viewers and the medium has an aura of reliability. But it offers only limited frequency due to high screening cost as well as limited message content possibilities due to the shortness of the spots.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Radio

As it is the case with television, there is no effort required in listening to the radio and this medium also has an aura of reliability. Radio is often called the ‘theatre of mind’ because it stimulates the listener’s imagination.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Outdoor

This medium is part of the print medium and includes – among many others- supports like street signs, billboards, bus shelters, transport media, hoardings or posters. Outdoor advertising has flexibility, high repeat exposure and frequency, is good for building brand awareness, and has interesting creative possibilities. It also offers a visual way of communicating product messages to the illiterate sector of the population, particularly in rural areas.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Cinema

As Roger Sinclair (1997:154) states, “Cinema is the ‘larger than life’ medium”. Like television it combines sound, sight and motion, but the screen is much larger, and the audience is always captive. Furthermore, it is a medium that guarantees high attention of its target group it is and compelling medium, with audience receptivity and regional flexibility.


Excerpt out of 8 pages


The influence of culture on advertisement
Stellenbosch Universitiy  (International Office)
Advanced English Writing Skills
2,0 (B)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
486 KB
advertisement, Werbung, culture, Kultur
Quote paper
Franziska Pfund (Author), 2002, The influence of culture on advertisement, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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