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Introduction: Levitt (1983) suggested that in order to be competitive in the world market, firms should shift their emphasis from products customized for local markets to globally standardized products that are advanced, functional, reliable, and low priced. This advertising strategy will reap maximum economies of scale in design and production. As a result there would eventually be limited global brands in product and service categories. This study demonstrates that some standardisation may be used in international advertising campaign. The debate between standard versus modified advertising for culture varied markets among marketers should focus on the benefits applicable on the practice of standardisation. Standardization versus Adaptation: The standardisation in advertising campaigns overseas require for some form of adaptation to avoid legal restrictions and offending people because of lack of understanding of the domestic advertising designed for the home market. The global markets is consist of hundred of nation with its own customs, life styles, economics, and buying habits. Marketer should consider these differences into account while advertising. It has been positioned as one of the most difficult to marketing mix elements to standardize. The standardization in advertising campaigns may possible depends on the legal, technological, social and cultural environment. If environment is similar nature then standardized advertising is recommendable. But in case of dissimilar markets, modified advertising should be favoured. (Mueller 1996, p. 146) The cultural environment is the highest barrier against standardized advertising e.g. differing in religion, needs, traditions, consumption habits, etc. (De Mooij, 2003, p.22).For the efficient communication through advertising, strategy of media and messages are necessary to change and to modify it to demands of local markets and regions. Kentucky Fried Chicken is an example of a company that learned a cultural lesson quickly and turned itself into a large success. When Kentucky Fried Chicken initially entered the Japanese market, it was unsuccessful. It had employed a Westernized business model that was not yielding expected profits. Instead of being stubborn and sticking to its marketing plan, KFC did research into the Japanese culture and found reasons why the plan was unsuccessful. The first problem was the size of the food: research discovered that Japanese people like smaller sized pieces of food, not the large portions that they were currently being offered. The second problem was the choice of restaurant locations. Though KFC tends to set its restaurants apart from busy cities and stick to suburbs, the Japanese prefer restaurants to be in crowded city areas and not on independent sites (Horn & Davison, 1992, p. 9).
Attention to this cultural preference increased the popularity of KFC in Japan. Standardised versus modified advertising for culturally varied markets: The controversy surrounding standardization and adaptation in international marketing has existed for more than three decades and is still unresolved. The question facing international advertiser is whether to standardize or specialize their advertising messages for target audience in countries around the world. Harris and Attour (2003) argued that standardization of product has the advantaged economies of scale in production and purchasing, faster learning experience and reduced design and modification cost. He suggested that standardization of product can reduce inventory handling and cost of spare parts and maintenance. According to Kotabe (2002), European and Japanese firms which have standardised market products have higher levels innovations as compared to those using product adaptations. Samiee and Roth (1992) propose that firms should implement this strategy also consider market segments that divide across geographical region. In accordance with general agreement which seems contradict with Levitt's suggestions of modern marketing. According to Douglas and Wind (1987) ,that suggested limitation on the standardization strategy . they argued that customer around the world , needs are not homogenous depending on their interest ,customers do not want to sacrifice product features and quality for low price and economies of scale may not be important in some industries. Differences in cultural values, products were successful in one country and not in another. So product should be adapted to local culture.
Whereas there are examples of truly global advertising programs they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. The original concept of the global consumer would have only worked if lived in a completely homogeneous society that had no variation whatsoever. Global Brand and Image recognition: As competition increases and markets expand, greater emphasis is being placed on global brands and image recognition. The impact of this would seem to be that, when buying motives and company objectives are the same for various countries, the communication orientation can be the same. When they vary from nation to nation, the communication effort will have to reflect these variations. Few products are truly global in the sense that they appeal to all cultures, within all countries around the globe (Byfield and Caller, 1997). Product category is one of the most important factors in international advertising, and has been especially relevant in the standardisation vs. localisation debate (Taylor et al 2002, p.44). Firms should have to be careful in advertising their brands to other countries. It is not possible to translate well into other languages and cultures because some time the brand name in local market mean different and in international market decode totally opposite. A global brand has the benefits of economies of scale in production, recognition, and packaging but the brand remains the same. The advertiser should consider the condition of local market and advertising campaign accordingly.
For example Gillette, this sells 800 products in more than 200 countries. It has consistent world wide image as sports oriented product company, but its products have no such consistent image. Its razor, blades toiletries and cosmetics are known by many names in different countries. (Ghuari et al 2006, p390) Advertiser should consider the issue of the brand name and packaging in different culture and language consider that there is nothing the offensive. In the global branding the branding problem in one country could be influence worldwide for the brand. International Advertisng as communication Process: In international markets, the communication involves different steps. The advertiser finds the appropriate messages of the target market. Second, the advertiser encoded message to be clearly understandable to different culture. Advertisers don't create messages by a sudden flash of aspiration. They formulate message to achieve specific objective and the develop strategies to achieve that. The planning process is the means of advertiser to use to accomplish there two activities. (Wells et al 2003, p.30) word and pictures work together to shape a creative concept for the objective e.g. in many countries green colour is symbol of danger but in other hand in some countries red colour is symbol of happiness. Same way the appeals of humour also considerable focusing on expression and effectiveness depending on the different culture. For example the British jokes are not translated effectively to other English speaking countries. Source: Ghuari et al 2007, P.407 Advertiser need to select the appropriate media to attract the attention of target market and the message should be interpreted effectively e.g. the advertisement by TV will reach to the audience in some countries in the same way the print media is not very effective for the certain countries because of low level of literacy. In some culture radio advertising is more effective than other media e.g. in local culture of south America, popular music is the key aspects of culture. A skilled marketing communicator must be sensitive to the environment and alert to new facts about the market. It is also essential for success in international communications programmes is to focus on the communication process and steps involved.
Challenges for international Advertising: International advertisers face unique legal, language, media and production limitations in every market that must be considered when designing an international advertising programme. In international markets the process of advertising is more complex because of campaigns across multiple contexts e.g. literacy, language, other culture factors. Moreover media differ in their effectiveness for example a message not get through to the target audience because of inability to understand and interpret the meaning of message or symbols used. So low literacy in many countries seriously effect on the understanding of advertisement and also multiple languages within country cause the problem for the advertisers. According to study of Ghauri and Cateora (2006), in any case, variety in media availability, coverage and effectiveness will have to be taken into consideration in the marketing communicator's plans. If common appeals are used they may have to be presented by a radio broadcast in one country, by a cinema in another, and by television in still a third. In some countries use of certain media is prohibited such as Malaysia they don't allow the use of foreign models in advertising. The language plays a main role in international advertising. Many words pronunciation is different in other countries e.g. in Africa there is not ‘z' sound in a local language, so the word prize is commonly written as ‘price' by African.
So in advertisement the word prize competition becomes price competition. So the advertising is communication process which must be free of misunderstanding, the message should be absorbed quickly as people passes from there. According to study of Ghauri and Cateora (2006), in many countries the comparative advertising laws vary in Europe. Regulations vary on the basis of religion, nationalism, and changing economic conditions. In Saudi Arabia, the code regulating advertising stipulates that "it is forbidden to show all or part of a woman's body except for the features of the face, and to make any allusion whatsoever in advertising to the relationship between man and woman". In Germany, it is illegal to use any comparative terminology, and competitor can sue for this. A commercial in Arabic for men's perfume "Drakkar Noir" showed a woman's hand stroking man's hand holding the perfume but in USA the same hand hold the wrist of a man. So such differences are necessary to consider otherwise it will be unacceptable commercials. In France it is unacceptable to have a commercial showing cheese and a glass of beer. Such a commercial would be in accordance with habits of Germans whereas in France the acceptable combination would be cheese and wine. Even where the campaign is differentiated it is often devised in one country and one kind of culture and used in a different country and culture. The suitability of images and symbols might cause problems to be locally accepted. In some countries appropriate media is not available and people might not be using the same product as in other countries. The possibility of using the wrong symbols, images, music, language, ideas cause negative effect on the strong religious societies e.g. Islamic society, middle east, etc where commercials which represent sexually clearly expressed situations or shows women in inappropriate or immoral situations is likely to be destructive cultural values.
In some countries e.g. France the advertisement with imposition of us culture value and English based advertisement has strong negative reaction. The significance is that one or all steps in the international advertising process, cultural factors, or the marketer's self reference criteria, can affect the ultimate success of the advertising communication. Failure of International/Global Advertising Campaign: For reasons of economy many firms attempt an international or even global advertising campaign. But this does not always work. It can be deducted that global products need global advertising. It is often the case. Sometimes global advertising of a global brand mishaps and company must turn to multinational adaptation. For example, Parker Pen Company sold pens under the same name on all markets and with support of global advertising. However because of downfall of sale in the mid eighties it had to return to multinational advertising strategy i.e. to meet demands of individual markets. So in Germany printed commercials showed a hand with Parker pen writing, "This is how you write with precision". In Great Britain, Where this brand is a leader, exotic scenes prevailed in commercials (tender stroking of golden point with a nutshell). Commercials in USA point out the status and image. There were two interesting commercials "you walk into a boardroom and everyone's naked" and "there is a time when it has to be a Parker". A different content in commercials was conditioned by the image of a product and different motive of consumers on different markets (Ghauri et al 2006, p.392). So even if a company sells the same products worldwide it is not realistic to expect that they will demand uniformed commercials. Conclusion: In designing an international advertising strategy, the international marketer can effectively use this model as a guide to help ensure all potential constraints and problems are considered so that the final communication received and the action taken correspond with the intent of the source of the message. The presence of numerous cultural, economical, political and other differences between the markets of certain countries demands that the managers adopt the advertising strategies and/or messages to the demands of local markets. Some countries will be promoted more effectively by implementation of standard advertising messages, while for the others, however, the local (modified) advertising messages will be needed.