Media of advertising are the channels by which a message from advertising is accessed by the customers in International Market. Media planning and selection are of top significance once the advertising goals of the organisation have been set.
Media planning and selection deals with the identification of media and factors governing the media. Media selection is possible when one knows about the reach and impact of each medium. A choice between different media is made after considering various variables like product, advertising objectives, message, market potential, distribution strategy, competition level, budget, media availability etc.
The medium of advertising in international market is selected in the context of culture of the country. Mostly the press advertisings are used for advertising the products and services in Britain. While in Italy the oral media are used for advertising.
Means or Media of Advertising:
The main methods of advertising are as under:
1. Press Advertising:
This is one of the impressive and popular media. Through this medium advertising of goods is done at less cost for greater number of people. This type of advertising is done with the view that people are educated and they are interested in reading newspapers. In a civilised country every educated person reads one or the other newspaper. An appeal or request can be made only through well written language of a newspaper and not through any other medium.
Press advertising can be divided into two parts on the basis of reading facility:
I. Newspaper Advertising:
Newspaper advertising is the most popular medium of this modem age. This advertisement is printed in the published newspapers. If the newspapers do not get income from advertising then we would not get them at such a low price. Newspapers are published daily, weekly and fortnightly. Daily newspapers remain in such circulation and they are the best source of advertisement because of the large number of readers. Therefore through the medium of advertising the readers are given the knowledge of goods at a very low cost.
Newspaper advertising is classified as well as non-classified. Classified advertisement is short because the name of a thing and its description, place of availability and other particulars are given in brief. It occupies only a small space. Such type of advertisements do not attract customers.
Those who want to get knowledge about goods read such advertisements. Therefore, same type of space is fixed in the newspapers. Advertisements regarding matrimonial service, auction etc., come in this category. Non-classified advertisement gives full detail about the goods. They cover a large space.
Advantages of Newspaper Advertising:
The following are the advantages of newspaper advertising:
The biggest advantage of newspaper advertising is that numberless people get the proper knowledge of a product because countless people read the newspaper daily. In this way different kinds of things get wide publicity among different types of people.
This advertisement is also cheap because with a small amount large number of customers come into the contact with the advertisement. Moreover the copies of a newspaper are printed in large number therefore the cost per unit is less.
(iii) Frequency of Publication:
This type of advertisement appears frequently therefore it is unique in making the product or brand very popular. A marketer inserts the advertisement again and again to remind the customers and impels them to buy his product.
(iv) Wide Area:
The area of newspaper advertising is widely spread. Through this medium an advertiser selects the popular newspaper of that area in which he wants to increase his sales. Newspapers of regional language increase the power of local appeal.
(v) Picture Advertising:
In the newspaper advertising it is easy to understand the message of the non-classified advertisement. In the newspaper the advertisement can be inserted with picture. Such visual advertisements have good impression on their customers and they try to purchase the products.
(vi) Easy Change:
The advertisement inserted in the newspaper can be changed according to the situation. It is also possible to change the advertisement daily. If we want to change the size that is also possible and the advertisement can be inserted keeping the interests of the customers.
It is very important to select a newspaper for the advertisement for international markets.
The following points should be considered while making a selection:
(a) Popularity and fame of the newspaper among the people.
(b) The number of copies published.
(c) Kind of advertisements printed and their number.
(d) The kinds of people that read the paper.
(e) Rates of advertisement and policy regarding advertisement.
(f) Outlook of the newspaper, nature of the product which is going to be advertised and the budget available for that.
Limitations of Newspaper Advertising:
The following are the limitations of newspaper advertising:
(i) Short Life:
The life of a newspaper is short. After taking one reading the reader throws it away. As a result if an advertisement fails to catch the eye of the reader, it can’t attract his attention for the second time.
(ii) Poor Printing:
News are often printed on cheap newsprint. The printing of newspapers is neither attractive nor good. Moreover the advertisement message is not published in attractive printing.
(iii) Limited Circulation:
Newspapers have limited area of circulation i.e., upto district or state level. Therefore the advertisement printed in these papers remain limited to that area.
(iv) More Advertising Cost:
Advertisements are often repeated many times in the newspapers and the rates of esteemed newspapers are very high and the advertisement becomes costly. Moreover a marketer has to correspond with the celebrated (popular) newspapers for the space of advertisement and desired space is also not available. Moreover the customers give only a cursory glance on such advertisement.
Sometimes a single newspaper carries different advertisements regarding the same kind of things. This gives rise to bad sense of competition among the advertisers. This is not good for the manufacturers but can be positive for the customers.
(vi) Cursory Reading:
Daily newspapers are read hurriedly and in a cursory way. Unless the advertisement is attractive the readers will not pay attention to it.
(vii) Lack of Uniformity:
Newspaper advertisements lack uniformity. Advertisement, space, size and type are not uniform. The reason is that newspapers don’t have standard size, some are small and some are very large and by inserting advertisement in such newspapers the customers feel confused.
The advertisement given in these newspapers is suitable only for daily use. These advertisements reach the educated class only. Since, in India one fourth population is educated, their use is limited.
II. Magazine Advertising:
Magazine advertising is also a part of press advertising. These magazines are different from daily newspapers and they are published at regular intervals i.e., weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly etc., and they can be put into two categories.
(a) General Magazines.
(b) Specialist Magazines.
They are also called periodicals.
Many types of magazines and journals are published and they have wider area and more influence than that of the newspapers. Some popular magazines are circulated all over the world and magazines like Reader’s Digest and Life are popular throughout the world. An advertisement or appeal made through them becomes effective and forceful because people read them in the moments of rest and with a carefree mood.
Merits of Magazine Advertisement:
Following are the merits of magazine advertising:
These magazines use a good quality of paper, therefore, a coloured and charming advertisement can be given in them which fascinates the readers in a powerful way. These pictures have a magical effect and readers feel compelled to watch that advertisement.
(ii) Long Life:
Life of a magazine is longer than that of a newspaper. These magazines are published weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, annually. Therefore the advertisement inserted in the magazine has a long life. As long as the magazine is with the customer, he often turns its pages and the advertisement draws his attention again and again which inspires him to buy that commodity.
(iii) Easy Approach:
A reader generally reads the general magazine in his moment of rest and does not feel uncomfortable in reading the advertisements. People read magazines after lunch or dinner or in a journey to waste their time and by doing so the advertisement catches their attention.
(iv) Approach to Particular Person:
Different types of magazines are published keeping in view the interests of particular persons, for example the journals for medical men, accountants, scientists and businessmen are printed for this purpose. An advertisement can be made effective by selecting a journal or magazine.
(v) Low Cost:
Although the cost of magazine advertising is high, their circulation covers a large area. Longer life of the magazine presents an advertisement for a long time, therefore, the cost of advertisement becomes less.
(vi) Advantage of Goodwill:
Through magazine advertising the advertisers get the benefit from the popularity of that magazine. Magazines are printed again and again and by maintaining their high standard they maintain their own popularity so they don’t accept doubtful advertisement. It means that popularity of a magazine gives indirect advantage to the advertiser.
Demerits of Magazine Advertisement:
Following are the demerits of the magazine advertising:
The cost of magazine advertising is often more than expected that is why the wealthy, affluent and prosperous concerns get their advantage.
The circulation and publication of magazines is almost fixed in numbers and generally there is no increase or decrease in their numbers. This means that the number of readers is also limited. If an advertiser wants to increase the number of his advertisements, it is beyond his power.
(iii) Lack of Timely Approach:
This medium does not provide the quick and fast facility for an advertisement because they are fortnightly or monthly. This gives rise to a possibility that the advertisement may lose its importance due to late publication.
(iv) Advertising of Limited Goods:
Through this medium only selected goods are advertised and particularly things of luxury get preference in this kind of advertisement.
In international markets, print media is number one media in most of the countries. Newspaper availability ranges from one daily newspaper per two persons in Japan and one per four persons in the United States.
2. Direct Mail:
In Direct Mail advertising, the advertiser sends personal message in writing through post to some selected persons. As this method approaches persons directly it is also called ‘Direct Advertising’. This is also called ‘Advertising through Letter Box.’ The foremost job in such kind of advertising is the preparation of a mailing list. The list can be prepared from various sources such as list of present and past customers, list prepared by salesmen, list compiled from directories such as telephone directory, voters list, etc.
3. Outdoor Advertising and Publicity:
It is the oldest form of advertising and remains the most common medium even today. Outdoor advertisings are the advertisements which attract the customers when they are out of their home. These advertisements are displayed on roads or public places. This is used very widely and very often.
Actually, this form of advertising is a complementary to press advertisement. It is adopted with the object to remind the consumers of the product again and again and at all the times and places. This method is very useful for the products which need a wide appeal.
Merits of Outdoor Advertising:
1. Outdoor advertising is highly flexible and is a low cost medium.
2. Outdoor advertising attracts quick attention of the people and requires very less time and effort on the part of the readers.
3. A complete picture of the product can be shown through outdoor advertising.
4. Outdoor advertising is very convenient because almost all the products, specially consumer products, can be easily and effectively advertised through this media.
5. This advertising attracts the attention of all the persons educated as well as uneducated.
6. This advertising has very long life.
7. This advertising is quite successful in drawing the attention of maximum number of persons.
8. Attractive colours, designs and pictures can be used in such advertisements.
9. This advertising offers a high degree of elasticity because the number of posters, boards etc., may be selected according to the need and requirements of advertiser.
10. These advertising can suit the advertising budget of every businessman.
11. This kind of advertising can easily and effectively meet the local advertising requirements of a product.
Demerits of Outdoor Advertising:
1. Outdoor advertising has limited scope as advertisements are displayed at particular place.
2. In outdoor advertising, posters and wall paintings damage the beauty of city.
3. Outdoor advertising is very expensive due to the limited scope.
4. Outdoor advertising needs to be served with other advertisements like press advertisement.
5. Due to public advertisement, there is lack of personal touch with customer.
6. Outdoor advertisement cannot carry long messages as posters, hoardings etc. are read by the people at a glance.
7. Outdoor advertisements sometimes cause accidents on busy roads.
Forms of Outdoor Advertising:
Posters mean the papers or cardboards which are pasted on walls of buildings, bridges and other public places. These posters are prepared in very attractive manner and are pasted on the walls of common places. It is also very common to write slogans and other messages about the products in bold letters on the walls to attract the people even from a long distance.
Film exhibitors use this medium for advertising and the posters are pasted in such a manner that they are projected to the people at public places. The cost is less and it is flexible. It has a short life, because in cities, posters pasted in the morning may disappear in the evening by pasting of new papers on them.
Advertising hoardings or boards are the boards, generally made of tin, of big size, painted in beautiful colours and pictures carrying the advertising message in brief. Generally hoardings appear more attractive than posters. These boards are placed on main crossings, bus stands, railway station, cinema halls, educational institutions etc. Hoardings are also erected on top of bridges and important buildings. These boards attract the attention of maximum number of persons passing by those places.
iii. Electric Display:
This is the latest and most attractive form of outdoor advertising. Under this form, the name, design etc., of the product are written in electronic lights or neon tubes. Electrical displays are fixed at heavy traffic consumer centres. These displays attract the attention of persons particularly in the night. The beauty and attractiveness of electric display depend upon the skill of electrical engineers.
iv. Bus, Tram and Train Advertising:
These are the advertisements as posters, small in size, written beautifully and placed inside trains, buses, tram cars, vans etc. The travelling people in these vehicles, repeatedly notice it and keep it in their memory. Under this method, advertisement may be on back side or sides of buses, trucks etc. by painting or fixing boards. Vehicles give mobility to the message.
v. Sandwich Board Advertising:
Under this method of advertising, some hired persons are decorated in the manner that they may advertise for the product wherever they go. These persons are moved from one place to another in procession. They play musical instruments also to attract the attention of public. This sort of advertising has short life, but is effective. Cinema, Theatres and Circus usually adopt this method of advertising. Nowadays road show is also organised by two wheeler companies.
vi. Counter and Window Display:
This is a very common form of outdoor advertising. Under this form, counters and windows are decorated in the manner that the attention of general public may be drawn. These counters and windows are fixed at some important places also, such as Cinema Hall, Bus Stand and Railway Station etc. A good arranged system of window displays naturally increases the sales. It gives a memorising attitude to the public, even if one is not entering the shop at the sight of the display.
4. Entertainment Advertising:
Some producers resort to entertainment advertising as a medium for advertising their products. This medium not only advertises the products, but entertains the consumers too. This advertisement is also effective as it attracts the buyers and stimulates them to buy the products.
Types of Entertainment Advertising:
Radio is the quickest medium of advertising when compared to newspapers or magazines. It is a popular medium of advertising for a commercial firm. Radio makes its appeal to the ear. Commercial radio broadcasting has become popular and is widely used in all countries. In India upto 1967 there was no commercial advertising by All India Radio. Radio Ceylon was popular for advertisements. But since 1967 All India Radio is broadcasting advertisements.
Now radio advertising is gaining greater popularity. Advertisements are broadcast from the transmitting stations of the commercial service of All India Radio and FM Radio and picked-up by the receiving sets owned by the public. Radio advertisements are normally broadcast alongwith popular programmes of music. Even the sponsored programmes of music, interviews and plays can be broadcast over the radio.
Radio advertising has the following merits:
(i) Its coverage and appeal are wide. Radio advertising covers numerous listeners of different tastes with an effective appeal.
(ii) It is the best means for illiterate people who cannot read the newspapers and magazines.
(iii) Spoken words are more effective than written words,
(iv) Repeat message is quite common,
(v) Radio advertising is flexible and timely.
(vii) Radio provides selectivity to some extent because advertising can be included in different programmes meant for different types of people,
(viii) Radio advertising is very much suitable for the promotion of mass-scale consumer goods.
The demerits of radio advertising are as under:
(i) Detailed message cannot be announced over the radio. People may not remember the message.
(ii) It is non-visual. Thus, the usual impact of illustrating the product is not possible.
(iii) It is quite costly.
(iv) Sometimes, the message is not understood properly by the listeners,
(v) In many cases, listeners may feel irritated with commercial advertising and they may switch off their radio sets,
(vi) The effectiveness of advertising cannot be measured.
Television uses both video and audio signals. Thus it makes appeal through both the eyes and the ears.
Television is the fast growing medium of advertising because of huge expansion of electronic media and cable network. Products can be demonstrated as well as explained as in film advertisements. Advertising may take the form of short commercials and sponsored programmes.
Advantages of Television:
Television has all the advantages of radio as well as films, namely, sound and explanation, plus the additional advantage of sight. It can appeal through ear as well as eyes. Product can be demonstrated with explanation. Television reaches the audience almost like personal face-to-face contact. To that extent it is just like personal salesmanship.
Full opportunity exists for product demonstration and the amplification of selling points with audio presentation. It is really a wonderful means of mass communication for creating market. Television combines all the elements of communication. For example, illustration, music, spoken words and written words. It represents typical combination of salesmanship and advertising.
Disadvantages of Television:
Like advantages, T.V. has all the disadvantages of radio and film. T.V. message must be seen and understood immediately. Hence, T.V. does not allow complicated messages. The remote control device for changing channels to skip over the commercials reduces the size of the audience.
iii. Cinema and Cinema Slide:
Cinema is a powerful medium of advertisement. Slides are prepared and the advertisement is written with different colours and given to the cinema owner. He shows that advertisement before the start of the film or during intervals. This is shown through the projector and it looks like an advertisement board. The advertiser makes his own film and exhibits in cinema houses.
This kind of advertisement leaves a permanent effect on the listeners and the sale of goods automatically goes up. Besides, the large number of people meet and listen at one place, the publicity of goods becomes effective and easy. This serves as an alternative medium for newspapers and magazines advertising.
Cinema advertising has its own defects. It has its reach to the local customers. Recycling of monotonous advertisement fades the excitement of the customer. At the time of an advertisement the hustle and bustle of cine-goers is also disturbing. Therefore, such films should be produced very carefully. Such films should be produced in such an attractive and interesting way that they are educational as well as entertaining and moreover they should be appealing to the audiences.
iv. Fashion Show:
Fashion show is another medium of advertising. This method is more popular in the cities. The manufacturers of readymade garments and producers of luxury goods and cosmetics organise various types of fashion shows to increase the sale of their product.
5. Promotional Advertising:
It is also the very important form of advertising. It is made for more and more sale. The objective of this advertising is to contact the consumer at every purchase point. The aim of this advertising is also to increase the sale.
(i) Window Display:
In this method products are in the window or show case in such a way that the customers can see them easily. Its main aim is to attract the consumers. This arouses their curiosity to look at the goods. In modern times, this is a popular medium of advertising and is used by all the businessmen.
For the success of this advertising medium it is necessary that the show case is placed at the right place. The goods kept in it should be changed from time to time. Moreover, there should be proper arrangement of light and goods should carry price slip.
(ii) Counter Display:
To increase the sale of goods counter decoration is also essential. The counters are kept in and out of the shop. Their purpose is to inform them and attract the customers.
(iii) Interior Display:
Interior display is arranged inside the showroom. That is why it is called interior display which is counter to window display. It is usually made in the sales hall of the showroom. The examples of interior displays in big showrooms are glass cupboard, sun glass showcases, open shelves and open spaces stairways etc.
However, in the case of small shops, interior displays, are usually on or near the counter. In the case of interior displays, some points must be kept in mind by the marketer such as the principles of cleanliness, orderliness and systematic arrangement of goods.
(iv) Drama and Music Programme:
In the rural areas, advertising can be done effectively through drama and music programme. Commercial companies make their programmes and visit the villages and entertain the villagers. In the beginning in the interval and in the end of these programmes information about the product is repeated.
Loudspeaker is also a medium of advertising goods and services. Many traders wander from place to place after fixing loudspeaker on their cycle, rickshaw or motor.
(vi) Fairs and Exhibitions:
Fairs and Exhibitions are also medium of international advertising. Fairs and exhibitions are organised on local, regional, state, national or even at international levels. For example International Trade Fair, New Delhi. Businessmen and manufacturers take part in these fairs and exhibitions and display their goods. Since these fairs and exhibitions are visited by a large number of persons, businessmen and manufacturers get good opportunity for advertising their goods.
In other words, exhibition is a congregation of showrooms of different manufacturers under one roof. Exhibition is a huge gathering of businessmen and manufacturers from different parts for the purposes of display, demonstration and booking orders. Trade fair is also huge fair where the displays and demonstrations are combined with entertainment.
6. Specialty Advertising:
Producer adopts special methods to advertise their products. For example, distributing free samples, coupons, demonstrations and special prizes etc. In this way, they lure the consumers to buy their product and these advertisements remind them of their product.
They are as under:
(i) Distribution of Free Samples:
Under this method the producer distributes free samples of the product to the consumer. They are also given to introduce a new product and expand the market. It increases the sales volume when the product is a new one to the customers. It is an effective device when the product is purchased often, i.e., soaps, detergents, tea or coffee etc. It is a method of demand creation. Sampling gives a chance to the consumers to compare the products with other substitutes.
It is the instruction to educate the consumers in the manner of using the product. It is a promotional tool to attract the attention of the consumers. When products are complex and of a technical nature, demonstration is necessary, e.g., computers, field machinery, electrical pumping set etc.
(iii) Special Prizes:
Under this method, every purchaser of the product is given a prize coupon during a certain period. All the coupons distributed during this period are put into a box and a lottery is drawn therefrom. The winners are given some attractive prizes. Thus, this scheme also compels the consumers to purchase and use the product.
A coupon is a certificate that reduces price. When a buyer gives a coupon to the dealer, he gets the product at a lower price (Regular price is Rs 100; with a coupon it is Rs 80).
Advertising Strategies Adopted in International Marketing:
Advertising in foreign markets is not, in principle, different from that in domestic market. Various advertising strategies should be prepared for advertisement.
Certain points to be considered while preparing advertising strategies for foreign markets are:
1. Standardisation or Adaptation of Advertisement:
The marketing managers related with the export business consider mainly two points.
(i) Whether to standardize or unify strategy of international market?
(ii) Whether to advertise to satisfy the necessity of specific international market or adopt diversified advertising strategy. Advertising in foreign market is not the same as it is in the domestic market but it requires proper adaptation of the advertising strategy suited to various elements such as culture, religion and tradition etc. peculiar to the foreign market.
The main reasons for adopting the standardised advertising are:
(i) Within certain geographical area (not necessarily the political national boundaries) the customs, cultures, traditions and demand structure are increasingly becoming standardised or uniform due to extensive information flow and increased international travel. In such cases, it is very logical and economic too to follow a unified advertising policy. For example, ladies of London, Paris, Berlin, Rome etc., wear exactly the same type of shoes, often manufactured by same maker or designed by the same designer.
(ii) Gardon Miracle has held the view that since the requirements for effective communication are fixed and cannot vary with time, place, or form of communication, the same approach to communication can be used in every foreign market. In other words, the same approach to the preparation of messages and selection of media can be used in different countries.
(iii) Other arguments in favour of standardised advertising strategy is that the consumer differences are diminishing sharply due to increased travelling from country to country and, therefore, common advertising can be used in different countries with slight modifications to suit the local requirements.
(iv) One of the supporters of the unified advertising strategy feels that the consumer motivation, i.e., better living for himself and his family is the same in all parts of the world. He suggests that the successful advertising campaign in one foreign market, using similar theme that would appeal to the basic human needs can be used in other countries also with the same success with negligible chance of its failure.
(v) The expenditure on advertising can be saved if this strategy is adopted.
(vi) When the customers immigrate from one country to another even at that time the standardised advertising becomes useful. The advertising telecast through television are shown in various countries. In these circumstances, it is advantageous to adopt standardised advertisements. According to the local customs and attitude of public, some changes are necessary in it.
(vii) The developments in the area of communication has further extended the support for the standardised advertising approach. Increased use of television, increased foreign travel and the growth of national brand names used by multinationals have given impetus to the trend towards unified advertising approach. For example, Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonald, IBM have standardised their brand names for the purpose of advertising.
Although many arguments have been advanced in favour of the unified advertising strategy, some multinationals support this strategy on account of savings in costs that they get by using this approach in different markets of the world. Most of the supporting arguments have centred around issues like uniformity of messages and media in different markets and the real issue, viz., nature of procedures and criteria for determining advertising strategy has been side-tracked. This view gives support to the other approach of diversified advertising strategy.
The standardised advertising strategy has been criticised on the basis of diversity in culture, language and social norms of people in different foreign countries. This along with the other socio-economic factors like literacy rate and different distribution channel structure act as an impediment to the standardisation of advertising on an international scale.
Moreover, an international marketer must also keep in mind the following factors that favour the diversified advertising strategy:
(i) The cultural background of the consumer in the foreign market may be quite different and the standardised advertising strategy may not serve the purpose because the message the sender intends to send may not be understood in the same sense. Lack of cultural understanding may force the advertiser to withdraw his advertising campaign. People perceive and interpret advertising message in the light of their cultural background.
(ii) The choice of wrong media in the target markets (or in other words, using same media in foreign markets as is being used in domestic market) may fail the campaign because the message may not get through to target audience. This may happen when the sponsor is ignorant of the media for target audience in the foreign market and the time to reach them. Thus, if preferred media of advertising differ in two markets, the standardised advertising strategy cannot be supported.
(iii) Lastly, the advertising may not induce the target customer to act in a manner desired by the advertiser. This may exist because of lack of knowledge about foreign cultural factors which influence the consumers’ attitude formation and behaviour. The cultural motivators may be different in different markets and the advertiser must know them and then adapt his message incorporating these motivators.
The question of standardised versus localised strategy of advertising arose after the publication of an article ‘Globalization of Markets’ by Ed Levitt of Harvard Business Review in 1983. According to Levitt the world is becoming increasingly homogeneous. Global companies should sell standardised products across the world with standardised advertising campaigns.
Later on, in contrast to the views of Levitt, some scholars suggest use of localised international advertising. It is commonly accepted that certain product categories, such as food and beverages, have very high degree of culture difference, and such culture differences make global standardisation more difficult than in other categories.
In the light of the above discussion it can be concluded that different arguments have been forwarded regarding both the strategies but the right approach lies somewhere in between these two strategies. A new approach, however, has been identified, named as ‘pattern standardisation’ strategy which is a mix of the two.
‘The Pattern Standardisation’ approach is a strategy designed from the outset to be susceptible to extensive modification to suit local conditions, while maintaining sufficient common elements to minimise the drain on resources and management time. For the purpose of implementing this strategy, various methods may be used. One common method is to appoint a common international advertising agency, handling internal and international advertising task.
This approach has the merit of getting the views of the local nationals working in the agency in different countries on the advertising campaign designed in the home market of the international firm. These local employees of the international advertising agency can point out the minus points in designing the advertising copy with respect to their own country.
Another method is to appoint separate advertising agencies in each country in which they operate and furnish them with a theme, trademark and for campaign developed by the company’s home office or its domestic agency. This is done to ensure some uniformity in advertising while recognising local differences.
Now the question arises as to which advertising strategy should be adopted.
The advertiser is the sole authority, but he must always keep in mind, the following two important criteria:
(i) Type or Nature of Product:
The nature of product may be the most important factor in determining the advertising strategy. For products that are low priced and non-durable and fulfil the same basic needs everywhere, the universal advertising strategy would be better. Examples of such common approach to advertising in foreign markets are ‘Pepsi’ and detergent manufacturers who have used the theme of ‘whitest of whitests’ all around in the world markets.
Similarly, products which are used universally almost for similar purposes such as blades, electric irons, tyres, pens, cigarettes etc. may be sold primarily on the basis of physical characteristics regardless of market differences. The universal appeal in such cases is useful. However, there are products, mainly durable goods, which are not blessed with a large potential market as they do not satisfy the same basic needs. In such cases ‘pattern standardisation approach’ is most suited.
(ii) Homogeneity or Heterogeneity of Markets:
If markets are homogeneous or in other words where characteristics such as income, education and occupation are alike, the consumer characteristics such as needs, attitudes and customs may also be alike or where customers’ motivation matrix and buying habits in different geographical areas are more or less similar, standardised advertising strategy may be suggested. Contrarily, where markets are heterogeneous, i.e., there is no similarity in customers’ individual characteristics in two markets, the diversified strategy may be feasible.
2. Creative Strategy:
Creativity is the main concept for an international advertising campaign.
In formulating creative contents of foreign advertising, the following main factors need to be considered:
(i) Language Factors:
Language is one of the factors for effective advertising. The problem involves not merely the different countries or even different languages in the same country, it also involves linguistic problems, literacy rate, prevalence of idioms and dialects etc. Illiteracy, for example, severely limits the number of people in a country who can be reached through print media like newspapers, magazines, etc.
Many countries are multilingual such as India, Canada, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, with different communication media for people speaking different languages. Language translation can also create problems to effective advertisement.
A dictionary translation is not the same in each country. For example, two popular American advertising slogans ‘Body by Fisher’ and ‘Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat’ when literally translated into French would respectively read- ‘Corpse by Fisher’ and ‘Let Hertz make you a chauffeur’. Similarly e.g., is used in England for the example, while in France it is used for ‘The original’. These translations not only lose their intended meaning but also become misleading.
(ii) Legal Factors:
In many countries advertising is closely regulated, requiring modifications of the creative approach from country to country. Law pertaining to advertising may restrict the amount spent on advertising, the use of particular media, advertising of certain kinds of products, the use of certain types of copy and visuals, comparative advertising, misleading and unfair advertising, use of foreign-made commercials and the like.
Apart from legislative measures, advertising practices are also subjected to voluntary code in many countries. In some countries large advertising agencies and media have their own standards for advertisements. Some broad-based, self-regulatory codes on worldwide advertising practices also exist in many transnational corporations. To guide the worldwide advertising practice, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has formulated the ‘International Code of Advertising Practice.’
(iii) Culture Factor:
Culture is pervasive in all marketing activities, including advertising. The fundamental problem of foreign marketing is not merely physical distance but distance in terms of market characteristics and foreign consumers’ habits, attitudes and modes of thoughts. Cultural factors largely mould and shape people’s value-system, perception, faith and beliefs etc.
People perceive and interpret advertising message in the light of their cultural background. For example, in India the No Moon Day is said to be bad for any good work. Even the educated people also believe this. So there is a danger in working without considering these cultural beliefs. Besides this the wearing of black clothes at holy functions is also considered unlucky.
According to Hindu mythology, Diwali festival and New Year holidays are good to start any business. In the western countries the name of Jesus Christ cannot be used to advertise some type of products such as shoe polish. In the same way in India the photos of Hindu gods and goddesses cannot be used to advertise such products.
(iv) Production of Advertising and Cost Factor:
It is not easy to advertise in the foreign countries, as facilities for and cost of advertising differ from country to country. Due to this some difficulties arise for the company making advertisement, for advertising message writer and for the artist or painter.
These difficult circumstances are as follows:
(a) It is difficult to use one advertising print in different magazines or newspapers due to difference in size, page size of newspaper, width of column etc.
(b) There is already a problem of variation in the language in foreign countries but besides this the headline of advertising is also to be changed every time.
(c) Abnormal human faces and with variety are difficult to find in the foreign countries. So, it becomes difficult to select the faces for advertisements.
(d) Many undeveloped countries face the shortage of quality paper.
(e) Well-trained and proficient commercial artists are scarce in many countries. As they are less in number they charge high fees.
(J) Trained copy writers for the advertising of the product are also very scarce.