Can Advertising Be Standardized or Not?

Topics: Advertising, Developed country, Developing country Pages: 10 (3077 words) Published: March 19, 2013
University of Reading
Business School
Department of Management


Can Advertising Be Standardized or Not?


Student: Tran Phuong Nhung
Student Number: 16024551
Submitted: Friday 7th December 2007, 17:00


“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”(anonymous)

Advertising is considered as the most tangible component of marketing communication as well as an important and powerful tool that can affect the overall company efficiency. The budget spending on advertising is increasing significantly. Total world advertising expenditure nearly doubled in the period of 1987-1995, that is from 136,423 million USD in 1987 to 247,498 million USD in 1995. (Paliwoda and Thomas, 1998, p.326) In the graph below, it is can be seen that the world advertising budget in 2007 is 446 billion USD, which doubles the spending in 1995, as indicated above. (Source: Pick, M. (2007). The 2007 Future of Media Report. How Will Internet TV Change and Evolve? URL: ) [pic]

Advertising, at the center of the debates related to international marketing strategy, has received significant criticisms as well as researches. Among them is the discussion about two main approaches, i.e. standardization versus adaptation. The debates emerging from these two approaches are intense to reach a common agreement in the end. While there are lots of evidences and studies supporting the adaptation method, the recent years has witnessed success of global advertising campaigns on a certain products of the multinational corporations (MNCs) like Procter & Gamble, Unilever or Coca-Cola. Although studies on balance of these two approaches can be founded in a number of books and journals, there are not many related to the application of these two on countries that have different economic background. Therefore, this essay will aim at gaining a better understanding about whether advertising can be standardized between developing and developed countries or not.

In order to answer the question in the clearest way, this essay would be structured into three main parts. The first part will give the overview on advertising and its importance. Then, the second part will deal with the general arguments evolving around the two standardization and adaptation approaches, which are supported by many scholars’ researches and studies. Factors affecting the decision on standardization/adaptation will be discussed in the third part to make an attempt of justifying the reasons of not having the same advertising strategy in developed and developing countries. Finally, the limitation of the essay and conclusion will be stated.

Advertising and its role

Recently, the world has witnessed the dramatic globalization of business activities thank to the revolution of information and communication technology (ICT), the removal of trade policies and barriers, and the increasing of regional integrations. This also means the more pressure will be put on every company’s performance, and there will be harder competition among companies. Thus, international marketing strategy gains increasingly attention in order to compete effectively and efficiently in the new era. Promotion is the final stage of marketing mix, in other words, the last P in the four key Ps of marketing- Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Promotion can be divided into two main parts: Above the line promotion- advertising and Below the line promotion- sales promotion, sponsorship, public relations, direct mail, etc.

Advertising can be widely and basically defined as “paid for communication, addressed to the public (or some of it) with the purpose of influencing the opinion or behaviour of those to whom...

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