In the modern conditions of increasing globalization and unification in many spheres of social life, culture can become a barrier on the way to standardization. Reduction of time of information transmission, the development of the Internet and its resources bring together the most remote parts of the world. The success of marketing managers depends on the adequate knowledge of the specifics of regional business behavior and communication. Multinational and interregional cooperation becomes increasingly important in the sphere of public and economic administration. Preserving the peculiarities of ethnos and the unique cultural components can become a challenge in the marketing and advertising process.

The famous German sociologist Ulrich Beck points out that people have been living in a world community where the idea of an enclosed space has become a fiction. No country or group of countries can isolate themselves from each other. The development of the theory of international, cross-cultural and multicultural management gains popularity and attention. In addition, today specialists need to talk not only about multicultural management, but also about the multicultural marketing. Marketing tools, initially focused on the consumer, imply the providing of individual elements and adaptation to culture values. Understanding and structuring of these processes allow generating approaches to more competent and detailed planning and implementation of the components of the production and selling process, including advertising.

Carrying out promotional activities at international level requires special multicultural competence from modern marketing specialists. On the one hand, global market demands standardization and unification of advertising. On the other hand, culture stipulates the necessity of individualization. This paper studies the multicultural determinants in the context of promotional activities and analyses the development of conscious behavior in a multicultural environment. The research contributes to understanding of the role of advertising in the dynamics of modern global society development.

The Intercultural Communications Challenges and Advantages

The whole world is watching the transfer of American television CNN and the British Broadcasting Company BBC. Young people all over the world listen to American music and wear jeans, invented in this country. Japanese brand manufacturers of audio and video equipment are popular in all regions of the world. Internationalization of business culture manifests itself outwardly in the fact that the official business clothes is dark business suit of European style, which has become a "uniform" for top managers all over the world. Interior headquarters of global companies in Europe and Asia look about the same.

Nevertheless, a wide range of today business cultures are divided into two parts: Western and Eastern business culture. Typical Western cultures are Euro-American and Western European business culture. The most typical East cultural system of conduct is East Asia (Japan, China and the countries of Islam). The features of these types of business cultures have historical, religious and general cultural background.

Cultural differences in Western and Eastern countries often prevent successful communication. People demonstrate values and behavioral norms in relation to specific objects or phenomena. The specificity of culture is a set of allocated objects, as well as their values and meanings, judgments about them, and also standards of conduct in their regard.

Successful management and marketing in a multinational environment require knowledge of the basic characteristics and specificity of the interaction of cultures. Cultural awareness allows assessing, predicting and controlling the behavior of partners, employees, investors and consumers in a multicultural environment.

Identify the Groups Involved

Americans recognize the individualism as individual initiative, responsibility and an engine of social progress. Personal interest is the first mandatory condition of participation in any activity. Any person is a social unit, the atom that composes the American society. In the East, particularly in Japan, individualism is often seen as arrogance in the society. Japan seems a nation where a person is not a separate unit, but the functional particle of a group.

Collectivism and group orientation both in home and business are inherent in Eastern culture. Individual is not the unit of society, as in the west. People identify themselves with a group and rarely as an individual personality.

Japanese group identity is based on shared objectives and behavior, but not on shared cultural values or group loyalty. When the Japanese occupied is out of sight of his group, his loyalty to the group is reduced, as well as a group’s one to him. Therefore, Japanese managers do not like to be appointed to the foreign and joint ventures, and even to temporary intra projects. They do not need to worry about the loyalty of the two groups at the same time. Rather, they are concerned that they will not be favorably taken back to their old group, if they are absent for a long time.

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Hofstede detected that collectivist culture contributed to the formation of identity-based community. In the commercials made for collectivist cultures, it is better to avoid the image of individuals and lonely people. An example of a successful TV commercial of coffee in the United States, depicting a happy man cooking breakfast himself, did not receive a positive response in Korea and Thailand. In collectivist cultures, such advertising implied loneliness, absence of family, friends and success. Most Western cultures are individualistic, but in the countries of Asia and Latin America, which are of collectivist cultures, live about 70-80% of the world's population.

Explanation of Arguments

Globalization of business began in the 1970s and accelerated sharply in the 1980s. In the 1950s, the world had about 120 national markets. In the early 1980s, such Japanese companies as Mazda, Honda, Sony and others placed their manufacturing and headquarters in the United States. American companies located their business branches in Japan, Western Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Multiple growths of overseas operations engage employees in foreign and joint ventures and effect the creation of multicultural environment.

In the 80th years of the twentieth century, Dutch sociologist Hofstede tried to identify the impact of multi-cultural determinants of advertising and promotional activities. He analyzed the results of a survey of about 116,000 of IBM employees in 40 countries. Hofstede identified four parameters that determined the characteristics of national cultures. The scientist detached individualism and collectivism, power distance, fear of uncertainty, feminine and masculine peculiarities of culture. Among other factors were the specified language contexts, religion, timing, values and humor.


The impact on the cultural determinants of advertising and promotional activities can be in the content of the advertising message, and in the form of presentation. The textual and non-verbal means should be culturally relevant and accepted. If the significance, value and quality of a product coincide with the structure of consumer preferences, it transmits the connection with the established lifestyle, norms and rituals. For example, American manufacturer of fast foods in the advertising campaign conducted in Japan used the slogan, indicating that the proposed cooking the cake was as simple as cooking rice. The advertising message failed, because in Japan cooking rice was an element of the culinary arts and not a simple or trivial act.

The producers of advertising should consider both text and graphical performance. For example, American pharmaceutical companies failed in the advertising campaign in the Arab countries, when they placed the image from left to right. The ad creators did not take into account that in the Arabic language space traditionally perceived from right to left.

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The communication style contributes to the reliable and accurate transmission of messages in multicultural conditions.The style can be direct or indirect, lengthy or compressed, personal or role-oriented, instrumental or effective. America and Germany are the countries with the most strongly expressed direct communication style. The opposite, indirect style, is typical in Japan and China. The product harmonically achieves the consumer’s mind when advertising message tunes with an appropriate style of a particular culture. Extensive communication style messages associated with the characteristic of individual cultures and language metaphor is common in the Middle East. Concise style is typical for Japan and oriental cultures.

Recommend Solution to the Challenge

Nowadays, the international business environment is under control of global companies, "corporate citizens of the world". Leadership in the international markets allows access to the best raw, labor and intellectual capital. The use of these resources requires adapting to the local most competitive styles and methods of business conduct. Modern international companies have become the creators of the global business culture and ethics synthesizing the most competitive features of regional and universal business cultures.

In a globalized business environment, national and regional cultures evolve towards a global business rules and principles. Audiences, employees, consumers in many countries gradually acquire similarities. The activities of marketing specialists tend to unification in the context of globalization of markets for goods, labor and capital.

An important aspect in production of advertising for a multicultural audience is the right balance of information and emotional components. An informative ad messages that transmit and distribute information about a particular product are more amenable to standardization and more available for use in a multicultural audience. Posts about the qualities of the product or its application ways imply a small range of differences in the ways and methods of dissemination of this information.

Less universal and more vulnerable is an emotional advertising. Such forms of submission as photo and video should consider cultural and national characteristics. Daily life problems often become the main plot of advertising, and the products help solve pressing problems. In this case, marketing strategies usually focus on the challenges and ways of life prevailing in a particular country or culture. The use of such advertising on the international and intercultural level is difficult, due primarily to the different styles and various issues of life. People in commercials reveal multicultural determinants.

Why the Recommendation will Succeed?

Advertising with humorous content can have different connotations in individualistic and collective cultures. The purpose is to attract the attention of consumers, availability and ease of perception of the information in connection with the formation of a positive emotional attitude. The use of humor in advertising, designed for the multicultural audience is complex and hard to predict. Jokes, puns, irony, exaggeration help to achieve humorous effect. However, the efficiency of such advertising can be only in conjunction of conditions, including the humor taste and morality to specific target audiences.

Global, national and regional cultures differ significantly in their concept of humor. Results of one study of the content in the UK and the USA ad showed an increase in the share of humor in advertising and British dominance in the American pragmatic orientation. Livermore noted that people of other cultures perceive American humor as banal and British humor as sarcastic. East Asian is plain and infant. German advertising is often boring and dull for representatives of other cultures. In recent years, advertising containing humor and focuses on understatement and irony increased in Germany.

Knowledge of basic cultural differences of partners, causes and factors of their behavior softens culture shock, prevents conflicts and contributes to the success of business communications in a multicultural environment.

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How Do We Make the Message Resonate with Everyone in the Audience

International marketing managers should develop multicultural tolerance in advertising and ability to present the product or information smoothly non-offending in cultural aspect. Methods of advertising in a multicultural environment should take into account the specificity of values, attitudes and behavior of the target audience. Successful communication with the public requires consideration of foreign cultural motivation of potential customers and the assistance of native consultants.

Multicultural discourse in advertising is a socially conditioned transmission system of perception, identification and differentiation of information, as well as the implementation of communicative interactions of producers and consumers in a multicultural society.

Adhering to a broad interpretation of the term multiculturalism, adequate advertising is an essential part of a multicultural society. One of the vectors of globalization is the creation of the socio-economic system including new variants of advertising in which the specific features of national behavior is leveled and assimilated in a "trans-ad space". That is why it becomes apparent that manufacturers advertising multicultural competence require the creation of commercials. The influence of culture on advertising and promotional activities is in the content of the message, its emotional component and the structure of consumer preferences.

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