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Culture and Microcultures. Ethnic Advertising. What is Culture?. A society’s distinctive and learned mode of living, interacting, and responding to environmental stimuli This mode is transmitted and shared between its members

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Culture and microcultures l.jpg

Culture and Microcultures

Ethnic Advertising

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What is Culture?

  • A society’s distinctive and learned mode of living, interacting, and responding to environmental stimuli

  • This mode is transmitted and shared between its members

  • The sum total of learned beliefs, values and customs that serve to direct the consumer behavior of members of a particular society

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How Is Culture Learned?

  • Culture is learned through socialization in three ways:

  • Formal learning: adults and siblings teaching children “how to behave”

  • Informal learning: children imitating the behavior of selected others, such as family, friends, TV characters, etc.

  • Technical learning: teachers instructing children in an educational environment

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Enculturation and Acculturation

  • Enculturation: learning the norms, values and behaviors of one’s own culture

  • Acculturation: learning the norms, values and behaviors of a new or foreign culture

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  • “The tendency to make cross-cultural evaluations based on one’s own beliefs and values”

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What is the American Culture?

  • We are a diverse country with a variety of subcultures, each of which may have its own beliefs and values

  • America is a dynamic society that has undergone almost constant change in response to new technology

  • Many American values appear to be contradictory

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1. Achievement and Success

  • Has historical roots in the traditional religious belief in the Protestant work ethic

  • Although historically associated with men, it is today important for women as well

  • Influences consumption by serving as a justification for acquisition of goods and services

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2. Activity

  • Americans attach an extraordinary amount of importance to being active or involved; keeping busy is accepted as a healthy and even necessary part of our lifestyle

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3. Efficiency and Practicality

  • We admire anything that saves time and effort

  • We are receptive to any new product that makes tasks easier and solves problems

  • A related core value is the importance of time

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4. Progress

  • Americans respond favorably to the concept of progress

  • In a consumption-oriented society, this often means the acceptance of new products designed to fulfill unsatisfied needs

  • We respond favorably to promises that products are new, longer-lasting, speedier, quicker, increased strength, etc.

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5. Material comfort

  • For most Americans, material comfort signifies the attainment of the good life

  • Material comfort is a relative view

    • i.e., consumers tend to define their own satisfaction with the amount of material goods they own in terms of a comparison to what others have

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6. Individualism

  • We place a strong value on self-reliance, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-fulfillment

  • We don’t like to rely on others

  • Products, such as clothing or automobiles, that promise to set us apart from others are appealing

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7. Humanitarianism

  • Americans are generous when it comes to those in need

  • We contribute time and money to charitable causes

  • We invest in “socially responsible” companies and mutual funds

  • Cause Marketing

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8. Youthfulness

  • We place an almost sacred value on youthfulness (as opposed to youth)

  • We are preoccupied with looking and acting young

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  • “A distinct cultural group that exists as an identifiable segment within a larger, more complex society”

  • Thus the cultural profile of a society or nation is a composite of:

    • The central or core cultural themes that are shared by most of the population; and

    • The unique beliefs, values and customs of members of specific subcultures

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Major subcultural categories

  • Nationality (birthplace of ancestors)

  • Religion

  • Geographic region

  • Race

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Occupation

  • Social class

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Religious Subcultures

  • Certain products are symbolically and ritualistically associated with the celebration of religious holidays

  • Dietary laws have significant meaning in certain religious subcultures

  • Other less predictable behaviors (e.g., travel) seem to vary depending on religion

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  • Jews more likely than general population to have:

    • Traveled outside the US—more than 3:1

    • Taken a cruise—5:1

    • Belong to frequent flyer program—more than 7:1

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Major microcultures in the U.S.

  • African Americans

  • Hispanic Americans

  • Asian Americans

  • Native Americans

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African American Consumers

  • 34.5 million people

  • 13% of U.S. population

  • Younger than the white population

  • Purchasing power of $469 billion

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  • Efforts to market to blacks is relatively recent

    • Began in 1960’s

    • Began in earnest in 1980’s

    • By 1992 half of Fortune 1000 companies had ethnic-marketing campaigns

  • $1 billion in advertising is spent targeting the market

  • Often treated as a monolithic group, but there are significant differences based on age, economic status and region

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Consumer behavior characteristics

  • Tend to prefer popular or leading brands

  • Are brand loyal

  • Unlikely to purchase generic or private-label products

  • Are more likely to pay more to get “the best”

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Reaching the Audience

  • “Black people are not dark-skinned white people—there are cultural values which cause us to be subtly different from the majority population”

  • Marketers have followed one of two distinct marketing strategies:

  • All advertising in general mass media in the belief that African Americans have the same media habits as whites

  • Running advertising in selected media directed exclusively to African Americans

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  • Products of broad appeal (e.g., aspirin) mass media may effectively reach all relevant consumers

  • For other products (e.g., personal grooming products) mass media may not communicate effectively with the African American market

  • The majority of African Americans believe that most advertising is designed for white people

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  • Many marketers supplement their general advertising with ads specifically directed to African Americans

  • Major advertisers have increasingly used the services of African American advertising agencies

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Hispanic American Consumers

  • 29 million

  • Almost 11% of the population

  • Growing 6.5 times faster than the general market

  • By 2005 will be the largest minority in the US

  • Buying power of $500 billion in 2001

  • Median age is about 10 years younger than whites

  • Larger, extended families (more children)

  • Are not a monolithic group—separate subcultural markets based on countries of origin

  • Heavily concentrated in a few states

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Consumer behavior characteristics

  • Prefer name brands

  • Brand loyal

  • Shop at smaller stores

  • Eat at home more often

  • Less likely to be impulse purchasers

  • Prefer fresh to frozen or prepared items

  • Tend to be more fashion conscious

  • However, do appear to be acculturating

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  • Less than half speak fluent English

  • 83% speak Spanish in their homes (where they receive their advertising messages)

  • Make purchases from firms that

    • Are sensitive to the language

    • involved in the community

  • Many businesses adopted major Spanish-language campaigns

  • Others sponsored major promotional campaigns around Latino holidays

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Reaching the audience

  • Spanish language television is very popular, even for Hispanics whose first language is English

  • Some marketers have created messages targeted directly to Hispanics

  • Some have even created specifically for this market

    • products (e.g., hair products)

    • services (e.g., phone services)

    • food (e.g., plantain chips)

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Asian American consumers

  • 10 million

  • Represent 17 nations of origin

  • Fastest-growing minority (gain of roughly 50% last decade)

  • Predominantly urban

  • Family oriented

  • Strongly driven to achieve middle class lifestyle

  • Median income exceeds that of white households

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Consumer behavior characteristics

  • Value quality and are willing to pay for it

  • Tend to be brand loyal

  • More likely to consider shopping as a leisure activity than the general population

  • Are more likely to own consumer electronics

  • Tend to travel to and call their country of origin

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Reaching the audience

  • Use of Asian American models in advertising is effective

  • Many don’t speak English well

  • There are no major Asian cable TV networks

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Native American consumers

  • Least affluent of all ethnic groups

    • Median income is $10,000 lower than average

    • Unemployment rate is 35%

  • Marketers do not target them due to

    • Geographic isolation

    • small numbers

  • One exception is alcohol advertising

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1. Images of Minorities in Advertising

  • Prior to the civil rights movement, few images of blacks in advertising

  • Exception: “Aunt Jemima” caricature

    • Subservient, dark, heavy, asexual, inarticulate

    • Stereotyped black women as belonging only in the kitchen

  • Complaints about use of the stereotype heard as late as mid-80’s

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  • As late as 1990, only 3% of people featured in national advertising were black

  • GQ, Vogue and Esquire featured the fewest black models

  • Sports Illustrated featured the most black models

  • Blacks appearing in ads tended to be athletes, entertainers, laborers or children

  • Less than 20% of ads with blacks used women in the ads

  • Ethnic minority models are often selected based on how they conform to standards of white beauty

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  • Blacks were used in 17% of 904 commercials studied

  • But only 31% of ads with blacks put them in major roles

  • Blacks and Latinos tend to appear in groups in ads (6.9 persons on average)

  • Most likely to cast in ads for

    • Beer or malt liquor

    • Cigarettes

    • Hair care products

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  • Latinos even more under-represented than blacks

  • Virtually unused in ads prior to 1980

  • In late 1980’s

    • 5.8% of television commercials

    • Speaking roles in 1.5% of network television ads

  • Tend to appear in background roles as part of a group

  • Generally not seen in mainstream roles

  • One exception appears to be the stereotyped Latina sex object

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2. “Children, Race and Advertising”

  • Children who watch positive multiracial interactions on shows such as Sesame Street show more positive attitudes towards people of color and other cultures

  • Kids who watch shows that routinely stereotype people of color have less favorable attitudes towards those who may be different

  • Advertising has the same ability as television programming to impact children’s perceptions

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  • Often cast white kids as leaders and go-getters

  • Minority children play passive or ignorant roles

  • White kids outnumber children of color

  • Minorities generally appear in group shots

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  • Some of the worst stereotypes were disappearing:

    • “Lively Latins”

    • Mexican bandits

    • Pigtailed Chinese

    • Subservient blacks

  • Some remain:

    • Asians are computer geeks

    • African American boys play ball

    • African American girls dance

    • All African American kids rap

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  • “What images are created when toys that encourage creativity, learning and thinking are associated with white children, while rap and sports are regularly associated with ethnic minorities?”

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3. “No Urban/Spanish” Dictates and “Minority Discounts”

  • 1999 FCC asked to investigate practices in advertising industry that created barriers to competition in broadcasting

  • Studied data from 3,745 radio stations

  • Confirmed existence of these practices:

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  • “No Urban/Spanish dictates”

    • Practice of not advertising on radio stations that target programming to ethnic/racial minorities

  • “Minority discounts”

    • Paying minority-formatted radio stations less than what is paid to general market stations with comparable audience size

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  • Study further found that in some cases the media buying process is guided by

    • Ethnic/racial stereotyping

    • Underestimations of disposable income

    • Desire to control product image

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  • Study concluded that the practice

  • Adversely affects minority-owned radio stations

  • Defeats the interest of all Americans in having a broad and diverse range of informational and entertainment programming

  • Should be outlawed

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