We have been reading articles all semester on Advertising and Society class. I think this one in particular relates to discussions about social media and the issue of advertising in the future on social media sites:

I never would have thought of different countries as having masculine and feminine cultures pertaining to advertisements. I know there societies that identify as more patriarchal and some that identify as more matriarchal, but Marieke de Mooij talks about feminine and masculine cultures as defining advertising in her article “Culture and Communication”. Masculine cultures, such as the Unites States and the UK tend to have presenters that have big personalities or are celebrities in their advertisements. Commercials are more in your face and aggressive than in feminine cultures. Scandinavia and the Netherlands, which are feminine cultures, have the personalities of their presenters downplayed. The presenters are more of an accessory for the product while in the US and UK the product is an accessory for the celebrity.

De Mooij also outline the four elements of advertising that vary from one culture to the next:

Appeal: the motives and values                                                                     Communication Style: the explicit, implicit, direct, and indirect                                 Basic advertising form: a testimonial, a drama, or entertainment                      Execution: how the people of that culture are addressed

All four characteristics are very self-explanatory but also supply insight on how advertisers can make the move and have been moving their advertisements to online communities.

Emotions also play a major role in advertising. Depending on the emotional stimuli, the desired emotional response can be attained and the selling of more products can be accomplished. Interestingly, US advertisers tend to have emotions included in the argument while European countries emphasize the emotional bond between the consumer and the brand.

Creative Commons, courtesy of google images

Creative Commons, courtesy of google images

The reason I have outline de Mooij’s argument from her article above is because I think it can be related to social networking and the future of advertising on social media sites. De Mooij even mentions social networking in her chapter on Culture and the Media but it is a very modest description. Very little credit was given to the potential of advertising on social media in her argument. I attribute this to the fact that the article was written three years ago and I am sure it was hard to imagine that social media would expand so exponentially and become a key factor in today’s culture. With such a great diversity of cultures and demographics online using social media, advertisements can be tailored to appeal to individual interests and cultures to make advertising more effective and direct. Social media makes it so easy to reach massive amounts of people who are already in the mind frame and emotional state of roaming the internet, looking for entertainment. Different countries use social media in unique ways and this can have their advertisements reflect this. Feminine and masculine cultures can use the same methods they would normally use on TV or print ads and apply it to the online sphere.

I think the future of social media is right alongside the future of advertising. They will go hand in hand. Advertisements incorportae social media and social media pushes users to advertisements and products. Consumerism and social media are now dependent on one another and I do not see how that will change anytime soon.

Culture and Communication; Culture and the Media – de Mooij, M. (2010): Global Marketing and Advertising — Understanding Cultural Paradoxes, Sage, Thousand Oaks. (pp 163-215)


One thought on “de Mooij and Advertising

  1. “With such a great diversity of cultures and demographics online using social media, advertisements can be tailored to appeal to individual interests and cultures to make advertising more effective and direct.”
    This is such a great point! I think Social Media could definitely be a means for Advertisers to target and overcome cross-cultural barriers caused by region specific advertising strategies. For instance, in my Advertising class, we look at Czech ads that are very popular and generate revenue for their brands and laureates for their creators. Most of the time, these ads are met with disapproval, confusion, or disgust by our class. In Czech culture, they are very comfortable with nudity and have a very different sense of humor than we do in the States.
    One ad I found that exemplifies this was one I was exposed to during the first week after my arrival in Prague, before having it explained to me in class. I was getting to know the city when I came across this ad; http://g.denik.cz/13/b8/triolareklama_denik-380.jpg (WARNING: NSFW(Except In Prague?))
    I remember how offended and uncomfortable it made me feel, especially considering it was located in a very public and family oriented location. The purpose of the ad was completely lost on me. My best guess was that it was advertising an upscale Gentleman’s (aka strip) club or a plastic surgery clinic. It was only about a month later in class that I found out this ad was for a chain of lingerie stores named ‘Triola’, which is clearly printed on the bottom of ad. I had never heard of the brand, so their logo meant nothing to me. Printed below the photo in Czech is the phrase “Taking Care of Czech National Treasures Since 1919.” Because of the cultural barrier I was facing, all but the picture was rendered useless to me in trying to figure out what it all meant.
    This ad could have possibly served a better purpose and gotten a larger supporting audience if the campaign was run on a social media platform like Facebook. I know that Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic, but in a busy, tourist-filled city centre like Prague, it might have been in the company’s best interest to have a more universally appealing billboard. On Facebook, this ad could have appeared as a newsfeed story or as a smart ad to those with their location set in the Czech Republic, or with their language set to Czech. Personally, I was kind of offended by this ad, and the many we have seen in advertising class, and have found myself borderline judging Czech people for their regards towards the female body in the media. Maybe regional targeting through social media could help them fix this cultural barrier!

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