What is International Advertising?

International Advertising, generally speaking, is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually in more than one country performed by an identified sponsor. Marketers see advertising as part of an overall promotional strategy. Other components of the promotional mix include publicity, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion. Advertising is a cogent communication attempt to change or reinforce ones’ prior attitude that is predictable of future behavior.

It can be viewed as a communication process that takes place in multiple cultures that differ in terms of values, communication styles, and consumption patterns. It is also a business activity involving advertisers and the advertising agencies that create ads and buy media in different countries. The sum total of these activities constitutes a worldwide industry that is growing in importance. International advertising is also a major force that both reflects social values, and propagates certain values worldwide.

International advertising involves recognizing that people all over the world have different needs. Companies like Gillette, Coca-Cola, BIC, and Cadbury Schweppes have brands that are recognized across the globe. While many of the products that these businesses sell are targeted at a global audience using a consistent marketing mix, it is also necessary to understand the regional differences, hence it is important to understand the importance of international marketing. Organizations must accept that differences in values, customs, languages and currencies will mean that some products will only suit certain countries and that as well as there being global markets e.g. for BIC and Gillette razors, and for Coca-Cola drinks, there are important regional differences for example advertising in China and India need to focus on local languages.… Read the rest

Changing Scenario of Advertising Strategies

In recent years, advertisement has grown dramatically. Many people are exposed to several ads every day. Some people can think that advertisements don’t mean anything, but usually ads sell more than they offer. Sometimes, ads can sell values, norms, lifestyles, love, popularity, and happiness. Ads have an important role in society because sometimes those ads tell people who they are or who are they going to be. Advertising has a profound effect on everyone, and sometimes we don’t know that. In fact, marketers spend billions trying to reach audience. Advertising is everywhere from the clothes we use until the food we eat. Marketers use many ways to approach to audience, but some of these methods are unethical. One of these methods is called “divide and conquer”, and its purpose is to increase sales through market segmentation. Marketers use strategies based on social diversification, audience packaging, and product targeting. Even though it doesn’t seem hazardous, those types of strategies can raise ethical problems.

One of the techniques that advertisers use is social diversification. Many businesses spend large quantities of money trying to approach different audiences based on their social status. In society, consumption depends on terms of class. Market segmentation is a common tactic for many marketers. The main purpose is to separate people in various homogeneous groups. Target particular markets based on demographic groups can raise differentiation among people. Advertisers seek for information that indentifies possible consumers. They usually target people who are in a good economic situation. They have databases on hundreds of people who might be approached as possible consumers.… Read the rest

Case Study: General Electrics “Imagination At Work” Ad Campaign

Throughout its history General Electric Co. enjoyed the benefits of a consistent marketing message. From the 1930s to the 1950s the company relied on the slogan ‘‘Live better electrically,’’ which was followed by two decades of variations on the word ‘‘progress,’’ such as ‘‘Progress is our most important product.’’ In 1979 GE unveiled ‘‘We bring good things to life,’’ a cornerstone to one of the most successful corporate branding campaigns in history, backed by about $1 billion in advertising. The company also had consistent leadership in the form of John F. ‘‘Jack’’ Welch, who became chairman and CEO in 1981. The charismatic leader sought to build up GE’s status in all of the technology, service, and manufacturing areas that the company participated in. By the time Welch announced that he would retiring in 2001, GE, fast growing and profitable, had a market capitalization of $505 billion, making it second only to Microsoft. Welch’s tenure at the top, however, ended on a sour note when GE failed in its bid to acquire a major rival, Honeywell International.

Welch was succeeded by Immelt, who set out to put his own imprint on GE by, among other things, revamping the company’s marketing. According to Diane Scarponi, writing in the Seattle Times, ‘‘Immelt said shortly after he was appointed in September 2001 that he wanted to rethink the company’s image.’’ Beth Comstock, head of communications at GE, told Scarponi, ‘‘Immelt has really been pushing a technology focus, a reinvigoration of technology at GE around the world.… Read the rest

Case Study: American Express “Do More” Advertising Campaign

American Express had built its reputation as a prestigious charge card. In 1976 the company began its famed ‘‘Do You Know Me?’’ campaign in which celebrities ranging from dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov to puppeteer Jim Henson appeared in ads that pictured them and an AmEx Green Card bearing their names. In 1987 the ‘‘Portraits’’ campaign followed a similar formula. By aligning the brand with stars, AmEx cultivated the notion that carrying one of its cards was more akin to joining an elite country club than making a financial transaction. As later ads sniffed, ‘‘membership has its privileges.’’ In the 1980s, however, AmEx’s careful positioning began to backfire. According to Brandweek, while AmEx ‘‘clung to its old, elite ways,’’ the credit card industry went through monumental changes. With so many cards vying for consumers’ attention, Visa and MasterCard (specifically, the member banks that comprised the Visa and MasterCard consortia) began to cross-market with various businesses so they could offer incentives to consumers. For instance, by teaming up with airlines, Visa and MasterCard could entice consumers to charge purchases with the promise of frequent-flier miles. Moreover, companies such as AT&T and GM allied themselves with the Visa and MasterCard brands and began to peddle cards that tied in to phone service or car purchases. But while the entire industry became hyper-segmented, AmEx continued to sell itself on its reputation alone and lost market share as a result. Also damaging was Visa’s 1987 launch of an attack campaign that stressed Visa’s global acceptance by featuring countless businesses that declined to take American Express.… Read the rest

Case Study: Social Anxiety Disorder Campaign by SmithKline Beecham

In 1987 Eli Lilly and Company won U.S. approval to sell Prozac, the first among a class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that treated clinical depression by elevating levels of serotonin—a chemical believed crucial to regulating mood—in the brain. Prozac’s effectiveness and lack of side effects compared to existing medications for depression revolutionized not only the way mental illness was treated by psychiatrists but also the way it was perceived by the public. By 1992, when Pfizer and SmithKline Beecham introduced their own SSRIs, Zoloft and Paxil, respectively, depression had lost much of its stigma in the United States. In the following years SSRIs became one of the best-selling prescription drug categories.

For its first several years on the market, Paxil remained in third place among SSRIs, and SmithKline Beecham set its sights on new markets for the drug. In the mid-1990s Paxil won FDA approval for the treatment of anxiety-related conditions like panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Though these markets led to substantial growth for the brand, it was the FDA’s approval of Paxil in 1999 as a treatment for a little-known condition called social anxiety disorder that gave the drug its first significant advantage over competitors. Social anxiety disorder, or debilitating shyness, was a condition that, according to SmithKline Beecham, affected as many as 10 million Americans, and Paxil was the only FDA-approved treatment. SmithKline Beecham was aided in its attempt to reach this untapped market by an easing of FDA regulations in 1997 that governed the advertising of prescription drugs.… Read the rest

Case Study: Citibank “Live Richly” Ad Campaign

Founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, this urban merchant’s bank continued to expand and diversify its services over the next century. The bank changed its name to Citibank, N.A. (National Association), in 1976, following its parent holding company’s change to Citicorp. In 1998 Citicorp and the Travelers Group completed a $76 billion merger to form Citigroup, Inc. Citicorp was at the time the second-largest commercial bank, and Travelers Group was a leading international insurance/investment banking firm. The Citicorp-Travelers merger thus represented a new era of horizontal expansion. Citigroup then began an acquisition spree that included acquiring in 2002 Golden State Bancorp (the parent company of First Nationwide Mortgage and California Federal Bank), a move that added 352 branches and approximately 1.5 million new customers to Citigroup. By then the company was well on its way to having 3,000 bank branches and consumer-finance offices in the United States and Canada, plus an additional 1,500 locations worldwide.

The terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001, initiated changes in American opinions regarding finances. While Americans were left reordering their priorities to allow more time at home with family, Citibank was creating a ‘‘new standard’’ in consumer retail banking. ‘‘In a down economy people want to hear that money isn’t important,’’ said Al Ries, chairman of Ries & Ries, a marketing consultancy in Atlanta, Georgia. Though the market research for the ‘‘Live Richly’’ campaign had been completed prior to 9/11, Citibank, with its simple and reassuring ads, benefited from consumers fears of corporate layoffs and the stock-market instabilities of a down economy.… Read the rest