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Course plan 1. Session 1 a) Course introduction b) Cross-cultural consumer behaviour Textbook: Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 (please focus on chapter 4) Session 2 Standardization vs. adaption 1 Textbook: Chapters 5, 6, 8 From the text collection: Theodore Levitt: The Globalization of Markets

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Course plan 1

Course plan 1

Session 1

  • a) Course introduction

  • b) Cross-cultural consumer behaviour

    Textbook: Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 (please focus on chapter 4)

    Session 2

  • Standardization vs. adaption 1

    Textbook: Chapters 5, 6, 8

    From the text collection:

    Theodore Levitt: The Globalization of Markets

    William B. Werther, Jr.: Toward Global Convergence

    Marieke De Mooij: Convergence and divergence in consumer behaviour: implications for global advertising

    Session 3

  • Standardization vs. adaption …continued

    See lecture 2

    Session 4

  • Cross-cultural marketing research

    Textbook: chapter 7

    From the text collection:

    Eastin and Daugherty: Past, Current, and Future Trends…..

SIS6 F06


Macintosh powerbook launch 1991

Macintosh Powerbook launch 1991

Background

Apple wanted int’l campaign (16 countries)

A’s first attempt at co-ordinated European launch

A’s country managers enjoyed much autonomy

A three years behind competitors

How it was done

- Apple organizations in DK, D, GB, F, S, USA presented ideas for print ad campaigns – checked by agency.

- The 16 country managers were shown the ideas but origins were disclosed.

-The French idea won; ”The Powerbook is for storing ideas not data.”

- Idea based on ideas scribbled on paper tablecloth, which wouldn’t work in

other countries.

- Each country made its own ads based on the French idea following written

guidelines form the agency.

- Agency called it a ”campaign done multi-locally”.

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Levitt the globalization of markets

Levitt: The Globalization of Markets

Technology is the main force of globalization.

”Which strategy is better is not a matter of opinion but of necessity.”

”Gone are accustomed differences in national or regional preference.”

"National rules of the road differ…."

"Everyone……wants products and features that everybody else wants. If the price is low enough, they will take highly standardized world product…”

(Usunier (2000), p. 140: ”This naive view of world diversity states that we are all converging towards a ’modern” lifestyle marked by standard products and consumption patterns world-wide.”)

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Levitt the globalization of markets1

Levitt: The Globalization of Markets

”Of course, large companies operating in a single nation or even a single city don’t standardize everything they make, sell, or do……..But although companies customize products for particular market segments, they know that success in a world with homogenized demand requires a search for sales opportunities in similar segments across the globe in order to achieve the economies of scale necessary to compete.”

”Such a search works because a market segment in one country is seldom unique; it has close cousins everywhere precisely because technology has homogenized the globe.”

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Levitt the globalization of markets2

Levitt: The Globalization of Markets

"Different cultural preferences, national tastes and standards, and business institutions are vestiges of the past. Some inheritances die gradually: others prosper and expand into mainstream global preferences." (Chinese food and pita bread)

"In fact the customers said they wanted certain features, but their behavior demonstrated they'd take other features provided the price and promotion were right." = "..never assume that the customer is a king who knows his own wishes."

"What we see today as escalating commercial nationalism is simply the last violent death rattle of an obsolete institution."

There are differences "But the global corporation accepts and adjusts to these differences only reluctantly…”

SIS6 F06


Forget about mass marketing

Forget about mass marketing

”In early 2000, the company’s new chairman and CEO, Doug Daft, announced a new ’think local, act local’ mind-set. This ends years of Coca-Cola’s marketing being strictly controlled form its Atlanta headquarters.”

”Coke’s mantra under Daft is to make connections with local people in a way that is relevant to them.”

””So far, we have created a world of Coke and invited people into it. Going forward, we will try to understand the world of people and provide the services and brands they need.””

(strategieseurope, February 2001)

And don’t forget:

”So when the question comes up, why can’t we just use English? I always ask this question: do you think that consumers should make the effort to understand us, or should we be making the effort to be understood by them?”

(Simon Anholt: Another One Bites the Grass, p.48)

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Werther 1996

Werther(1996)

Youth culture + freed markets = competitive convergence

The McDonald's Generation:

"Music…has become a global language uniting successive generations from Santiago to Miami, Beijing to Moscow.."

"..the largely English-speaking media have permeated the globe, molding an increasingly uniform teenage culture."

The marginalization of grandparents as transmittors of cultural values. – Role to some degree taken over by technology.

Traditional values and aspirations of family, health, and well-being are not being discarded, but we're witnessing the injection of new, widely agreed-upon values of freedom ……….the pattern is far from universal, but it is moving towards universality.

”Such a growing uniformity of culture results from billions of points of contact among young people and media every day.”

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Werther

Werther

Freed Markets:

Free trade agreements etc. = economic growth

 Governments giving up economic controls

Competitive Convergence:

"Instead they [people] will slowly emerge to reveal a world increasingly devoid of war, famine, bigotry, and oppression - because none of these conditions are particularly favorable for free trade…"

"…as the drum grows louder, more people will march to its unifying beat.”

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Local tastes the economist 17 november 2005

Pernod

Pernod gives local operations and brands plenty of autonomy.

To cater to local demand Pernod adapts its ad campaigns to each country and employs a large number of small local ad firms.

The Pernod strategy makes it harder to cut costs through centralization and to control a brand’s image.

Pernod is better able to adapt to the big differences in the way alcohol is consumed in different countries

Diageo

Believes in centralisation and standardisation.

Hires fewer ad agencies and runs big, global campaigns.

Local tastes: The Economist, 17 November, 2005.

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Made for each other the economist 22 october 2005

Made for each other: The Economist, 22 October, 2005

”Bharatmatrimony’s boss, Janakiram Murugavel, says that language is the biggest criterion. His site is divided into 15 linguistic sections. Then comes status and caste, which divides Indians at birth into thousands of groups. About 70% of his customers want to marry within their caste. Most still use astrology. Bharatmatrimony offers an online horoscope service.”

SIS6 F06


Burger and fries la francaise the economist 17 april 2004

Burger and fries à la francaise: The Economist, 17 April, 2004

  • ”Though it seems unlikely, France is the only place in Europe that has consistently loved McDonald’s since the first outlet opened there in 1979.”

  • ”And fast food would seem foreign in a society where a one (or two) hour break for lunch is still sacrosanct.”

  • ”McDonald’s was clever in adapting food and décor to local tastes and concentrating on children…”

  • ”The ham-and-cheese ”Croque McDo” is McDonald’s version of croque monsieur, a French favourite.”

  • ”McDonald’s teamed up with French companies to offer local fare, for instance fruit yoghurts…”

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One toy fits all how industry learned to love the global kid wall street journal 29 april 2003

One-Toy-Fits-All: How Industry Learned to Love the Global Kid: Wall Street Journal 29 April, 2003

  • ”Major toy makers are rethinking one of the basic tenets of their $55 billion global industry – that children in different countries want different playthings. The implications are significant for both kids and companies.

  • Two recent developments are changing kids’ tatses:

    1: Rapid world-wide expansion of cable and satellite TV channels, which along with movies and the Internet expose millions of kids to the same popular icons.

    2: The widening international reach of retailing giants such as Wal-Mart and

    Carrefour and Toys ’R’ Us.

  • But still: ”American kids want Nascar toy cars, while European kids want Formula One models. Cheerleader-themed anything is irrelevant outside the

SIS6 F06


Course plan 1

The influence of culture on American and British advertising(Journal of Advertising Research, May/June 1996)

  • Standardization or adaption of beer advertising in the two countries?

  • Interesting because researchers often look at countries that are very different.

  • However, many people often overlook the subtle but important differences

  • The study compared the cultural variables reflected in advertising messages prepared in the US and GB:

    *If variables are similar: Standardize

    *If variables differ: Adapt

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The influence of culture on american and british advertising

The influence of culture on American and British advertising

The variables chosen by the researchers:

1.    American values

a)    Individualism/independence

b)   modernity/newness

c)    achievement

2.    British values

a)    affiliation

b)   tradition/history

c)    eccentricity

3) Rhetorical style

4) Advertising appeals

5) Occasion for product usage

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Beer study hypotheses

Beer study: Hypotheses

H1:

A significantly greater number of American commercials reflect predominantly American cultural values than British commercials, specifically individualism/independence, modernity/newness, achievement 

H2:

A significantly greater number of British commercials reflect predominantly British cultural values than US commercials, specifically: Affiliation Tradition/history, Eccentricity

H3:

A significantly greater number of US commercials use direct speech, while a significantly greater number of British commercials use indirect speech.

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Beer study hypotheses1

Beer study: Hypotheses

H4:

A significantly greater number of US commercials employ emotional and sex appeal than British commercials

H5:

A significantly greater number of British commercials employ humor appeals than US commercials 

H6:

A significantly greater number of American commercials present the circumstances under which beer is consumed as a special occasion, while a significantly greater number of British commercials present the circumstances under which beer is consumed as a regular occasion

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Beer study methodological approach

Beer study: Methodological Approach

A combination of content analysis and semiology was used

Content analysis:

Its focus is normally limited to manifest content

–      that which is apparent only at the surface level

Semiotics (studying/interpreting signs and codes)

Offers an interpretive perspective to the meaning buried deeper within the text.

The weaknesses of semiotics:

a)    heavily reliant on the ability of the individual analyst

= suffers in its consistency and reliability

b)   semiology is not easily quantifiable

= difficult to obtain general conclusions

c)    works better on some ads than others

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Beer study sampling

Beer study: Sampling

1. Only ads created for domestic brewers of both countries were used

2. Ads must have been for the brand itself, not an event or contest sponsored by the brand

3. The ads must have been current

Sample

The American sample: 24 commercial for 12 brands

The British sample: 38 commercials for 19 brands

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Beer study results

Beer study: Results (%)

USAUK

Individualism/independence present70.815.8

Modernity/newness45.80

Achievement70.810.5 

Tradition/history4.244.7 

Eccentricity4.281.6

Rhetorical style Direct speech91.72.6

Rhetorical style Indirect speech8.397.4

Dominant advertising appeal

Emotional or sex78.98.1

Humor21.191.9

Occasion for product usage

Regular14.383.8

Special or not applicable/

product not shown in use85.716.2

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Comparing the uk ireland and the u s www iol ie ressource bates

Comparing the UK, Ireland and the U.S.(www.iol.ie/ressource/bates)

UK IrelandU.S.

I'm trying to return to a more simple way of life

32%28%46%

Couples should live together before getting married

33%37%28%

The man should be the boss of the house

18%18%29%

Women should put their family before their career

54%54%58%

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Comparing the uk ireland and the u s

Comparing the UK, Ireland and the U.S.

UK IrelandU.S.

Advertising insults my intelligence

42%23%49%

I'll try almost everything once

70%63%52%

I like to look attractive to members of the opposite sex

51%49%68%

It is important to me to make a lot of money

20%42%39%

I feel I'm under a great deal of pressure most of the time

32%28%45%

SIS6 F06


Usunier chapter 6

Usunier, chapter 6

"Consumers are immersed in local marketing environments that tend progressively to converge.“ (p. 155)

There are three major components of a local marketing environment that have a more or less direct influence on how marketing strategy can be defined an implemented:

1.   The general environment: political, legal, social, cultural, and linguistic elements.

2.   "Much nearer to the actual marketing decisions": marketing institutions and infrastructures: distribution, ad agencies, professional associations, regulatory bodies and how marketing regulations are enforced.

3.   Local marketing knowledge (often blatantly overlooked) – matters: if people, as employees, consumers or viewers, do not know, misunderstand and/or do not accept marketing concepts and practices, it is possible that strategies will be hard to implement.

SIS6 F06


Cultural differences and toys

Cultural differences and toys

Ouch! There are other cultural differences. American parents want the top selling kids kitchen upgraded to include a TV on the worktop like most US homes. Meanwhile, the Spanish didn't like the packaging for the toy kitchen because it showed a young boy doing the cooking and the French didn't like the pink kitsch colors and demanded more realism."

The Express, 6 December 2001

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Usunier chapter 61

Usunier, chapter 6

”When trying to understand local marketing environments, self-criticism is a necessary perspective because we understand our local environment from our own ethnocentric perspective. There is always a reference point that makes judgements implicitly comparative.”…”If local people do not properly understand or appreciate the interviewing process in market research, a value judgement would be to say that they are underdeveloped and need to be educated.”(P. 155)

Regional convergence/integration

The role of e.g. the EU?

The European consumer?

Borrowed concepts and practices (p. 159)

Interesting and relevant discussion

Usunier e.g. is French

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Usunier chapter 62

Usunier, chapter 6

”Marketing infrastructures are converging, because the standards of the marketing profession are fairly constistent worldwide. Multinational companies have heavily influenced the widespread adoption of similar practices even if to some extent tailored to local environments.”

(P. 203)

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Usunier chapter 8 interesting points

Usunier, chapter 8 – interesting points

”Consumer behaviour, a natural entry barrier related to culture, will diminish very gradually and only over a long period: there are still many very different marketing ’villages’, not a global one.” (P. 218)

”The trends towards global markets differ fairly widely depending on the industry. ” (P. 219)

”Cultural products which build on fairly universal feelings and ways of being are the ones to which standardized marketing policy can be applied.” (p. 231)

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Usunier chapter 8 interesting points1

Usunier, chapter 8 – interesting points

”In fact, international marketing programmes have experienced a trend towards greater standardization, but this needs to be differentiated, according to:

(1) the elements of the marketing mix considered;

(2) the type of market, e.g. developed or undeveloped;

(3) type of product; consumer or industrial;

(4) the control exerted over e.g. subsidiary.” (p. 230)

”Globalization is a process which occurs mainly at the competition level. Artificial entry barriers, related to duties and standards, are now being progressively replaced by natual entry barriers related to scale and experience. For international marketing, culture-related experience is all the more important since the natural entry barriers relating to consumer behaviour and marketing environments will diminish very gradually and only in the long term.”

(p. 231)

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Usunier chapter 8

Usunier, chapter 8

Cultural affinity zones:

"Geography based"

Correspond to a large extent to national cultural groups.

Cultural affinity classes:

People within a cultural affinity class…”have a tendency to share common values, behaviour and interets, and tend to present common traits as a consumer segment; their lifestyles converge world-wide irrespective of national borders. As such, we see lifestyle convergence in teenagers in Europe who spend time watching MTV.” (P. 232)

"Cultural affinity classes…….are probably an ideal means of defining an international target for standardized products."(p. 233)

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The de mooij text convergence and divergence in consumer behavior

The de Mooij text: Convergence and divergence in consumer behavior…

Some points for discussion 1:

  • ”His [Levitt} argument was based on the assumption that consumer behaviour is rational. Increasingly, however scholars find that consumers are often not rational and do not make purchase decisions that maximise utility. The assumption of rationality is increasingly regarded as unrealistic and places consumers outside a cultural context.”

  • ”Although there is evidence of converging economic and demographic systems in Europe, there is no evidence of converging value systems. On the contrary, there is evidence that consumer behaviour is diverging in Europe as reflected in the consumption, ownership and use of many products and services.”

SIS6 F06


The de mooij text convergence and divergence in consumer behavior1

The de Mooij text: Convergence and divergence in consumer behavior…

Some points for discussion 2:

  • ”The assumption that economic systems homogenisation will lead to homogenisation of consumer behaviour is supported only by anecdotal evidence.”

  • ”As people become more affluent, their diverge.”

  • ”Global advertising, however, does not appeal to universal values because there are no universal values.”

  • ”The model developed by Hofstede explains most of the variation of consumption and consumer behaviour across countries and enables marketing executives to quantify the effects of culture.” ?????

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Values

Values

Values are the basis for segmentation and positioning decisions.

 All people everywhere possess the same values to different degrees (Rokeach)

Two levels of values (Rokeach):

1. Terminal (end-states): e.g. freedom, equality, self-respect

2. Instrumental (motivators to reach end-states): ambitious, cheerful, forgiving.

 Some values may change over the long term 

Age and point in time of people's lives can cause value differences

(de Mooij)

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Values1

Values

”Values offer an opportunity to differentiate brands by going beyond a focus on attributes and benefits, or the deliverance of higher-level consequences to consumers.”

Modern advertising strategy development includes:

  • Selecting values or end-states to emphasize in advertising.

  • Determining how advertising will connect the product to key end-states

  • Developing advertisements connecting the product to the end value.

    (de Mooij)

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Rokeach values

Rokeach - values

Intrumental values (motivators)Terminal values (end states)

AmbitiousA comfortable life

BroadmindedAn exciting life

CapableA sense of accomplishment

CheerfulA world at peace

CleanA world of beauty

CourageousEquality

ForgivingFamily security

HelpfulFreedom

HonestHappiness

ImaginativeInner harmony

IndependentMature love

IntellectualNational security

LogicalPleasure

LovingSalvation

ObedientSelf-respect

PoliteSocial recognition

ResponsibleTrue friendship

Self-controlledWisdom

SIS6 F06


Value structure maps a vsm links the product s attributes and benefits to values

Value structure maps –A VSM links the product’s attributes and benefits to values

Toothpaste – an example

Valuessecurityself-confidence

Consequences/ prevents clean, white teeth

benefits cavities

Attributessugarlessstrong

SIS6 F06


Value structure maps corona extra germany de mooij

Value structure maps– Corona Extra, Germany (de Mooij)

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Value structure maps corona extra spain de mooij

Value structure maps– Corona Extra, Spain (de Mooij)

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Cross cultural value research problems de mooij

Cross-cultural value researchproblems(de Mooij)

Research reflects values/culture of the researcher

Differences in rankings of priorities of values

Terminal values of one culture may be instrumental in other cultures

Certain values of one culture may not exist in another culture

Until recently mainly been based on U.S. tools

SIS6 F06


Values lifestyles and psychographics the softer side of science

Values, lifestyles and psychographics"the softer side of science"

Values are beliefs that a specific mode of conduct or end-state is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence.

Lifestyle is an exhibited set of shared values of tastes

Or

Lifestyle is the manner in which people conduct their lives, including their activities, interests and opinions.

Psychographics: the concept of dividing markets into segments on the basis of consumer lifestyles, attitudes and interests.

(Kahle & Chiagouris: Values, Lifestyles and Psychographics)

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Emotional appeals

Emotional appeals

”Emotional appeals relate to the customers’ social and/or psycological needs for purchasing a product or service. Many of consumers’ motives for their purchase decisions are emotional, and their feelings about a brand can be more important than knowledge of its features or atributes.”

Personal states or feelingsSocial-based feelings

SafetySecurityRecognition

Love AffectionStatus

HappinessJoyRespect

NostalgiaSentimentInvolvement

ExcitementArousalEmbarrassment

Sorrow/griefPrideAffiliation/belonging

AchievementSelf-esteemRejection

ActualizationPleasureAcceptance

AmbitionComfortApproval

(Belch & Belch, Advertising and Promotion)

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Some major motives for consumption

Some major motives for consumption

Power/masculinity/virility

Security

Eroticism

Moral purity-cleanliness

Social acceptance

Individuality

Status

Femininity

Reward

Master over environment

Try to imagine different cultures and products affiliated with the different motives.

(Adapted from Solomon: Consumer Behavior)

SIS6 F06


De mooij s value paradoxes

de Mooij’s ”Value Paradoxes”

"Paradoxial values are found within cultures and between cultures. Every culture has its opposing values."

"Value paradoxes are part of people's systems; they reflect the desirable versus the desired in life. On the one hand, one should not sin; on the other hand most of us do sin now and again. We don't want to be fat, we should eat healthy food, yet we do eat chocolate or drink beer and we do get fat.”

”Because the important value paradoxes vary by culture, value-adding advertising cannot be exported from one culture to another.”

(de Mooij, Global Marketing and Advertising, p. 2)

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De mooij s value paradoxes1

de Mooij’s ”Value Paradoxes”

VPs must be understood or you delude yourself and think that the world is becoming one global culture with similar values.

VPs reflect the desirable versus the desired in life

USA: freedom/belonging

Germany: freedom/order

Holland: freedom/affiliation

France: freedom/dependence

De Mooij: understanding and using the VPs of individual cultures = effective marketing communications

SIS6 F06


Some of the problems in global marketing

Some of the ”problems” in global marketing

The "Think global, act local" paradox

(You are always product of your own culture)

The technology paradox

(Technology hasn’t led towards similar needs for similar products)

The media paradox

(Technology hasn’t meant increased viewer freedom)

The culture-free versus culture-bound paradox

(There are no culture-free products)

Local markets are people, global markets are products

(Many global advertisers are not market oriented, they are product oriented)

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Some of the problems in global marketing1

Some of the ”problems” in global marketing

The paradoxes in marketing

(Marketing practice and theory often based on U.S. values and thinking)

Focus on the individual

(Traditionally focus has been on the individual)

Effective advertising needs a shared culture

(If buying motives for standardized products vary by country, how can a standardized campaign be equally effective in all countries?)

The research paradox

(Value and lifestyle research is culture-bound, but studies and techniques are often exported”)

How advertising works

(de Mooij)

SIS6 F06


Remember sis 4 we briefly touched upon postmodern marketing

Remember SIS-4? We briefly touched upon postmodern marketing

”As Firat, [describing the postmodern existence], rightly observes, ’In an overwhelmingly marketized existence, individuals experience practically all aspects of their lives as consumers’. Whereas consumption was not always highly regarded in modern consumption, the postmodernist consumer pursues, with little afterthought, the construction of their self-image.”

”Because the postmodern consumer experience is not one of committing to a single way of being, a single form of existence, the same consumers are willing to sample the different, fragmented artifacts. The consumer is ready to have Italian for lunch and Chinese for dinner, to wear Levi’s 501 blue jeans for the outdoor party in the afternoon and to try the Gucci suit at night – changing not only diets and clothes but also the personas and selves that are to be (re)presented at each function.”

(Firat in Usunier & Lee, p. 136)

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Remember sis 4 we briefly touched upon postmodern marketing1

Remember SIS-4? We briefly touched upon postmodern marketing

”Consumption is no longer just about a simple purchase or the satisfaction of basic needs and wants, but a culturally determined behavioral pattern which forces us to choose and change the elements of our lifestyle.”

”…and it is first of all through our way of consuming that we define ourselves as individuals.”

(Frandsen, Johansen & Nielsen, 1997, p. 7)

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Remember sis 4 we briefly touched upon postmodern marketing2

Remember SIS-4? We briefly touched upon postmodern marketing

Post-modern marketing:

  • De-differentiation – e.g. the blurring of ”fine culture” and ”mass-culture” (e.g. advertisng.) And, marketing not only used commercially.

  • Fragmentation – e.g. we all play different roles, e.g. during the day.

  • Today consumers play important roles in shaping their own lifestyles so marketers have to take part in the process where the consumers try to choose lifestyles. For marketers it is no longer enough just to ”learn”, they have to get ”involved”.

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Firat christensen marketing communications in a postmodern world

Firat & Christensen: Marketing Communications in a Postmodern World

”Rather than converging towards a single mode of being or living that is deemed to be the best, as envisioned by the project of modernity, postmodernity allows for the recognition that various communities will have preferences for different ways of being and living, and that these preferences most likely will be shaped by a multiplicity of goals and values.”

&

”The postmodern sensibility, in other words, does not envision the posibility of consensus on any foundational or fundamental essentials representing ’a universal.’ Instead, a multiplicity of perspectives, truths, and life experiences are sought and expected.”

(Kimmel, Allan J. (ed.): Marketing Communication, Oxford University Press 2005)

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Firat christensen marketing communications in a postmodern world1

Firat & Christensen: Marketing Communications in a Postmodern World

Some of the conditions of postmodern culture:

Hyperreality: …the becoming real of that which was or is hype or simulation; that is, when a substantive and powerful segment in society believe certain conditions that are forcefully represented to be the case, these conditions then become their reality. E.g. when a group of young people believe that wearing athletic shoes of a certain brand will bring them popularity, it indeed becomes the case.”

Fragmentation: …the condition that life is disconnected or disjointed. Home life, work life, recreation time, tv time, time with pets etc. are all separate experiences and lack a center of unity.

Decentering of the subject: …is the condition in modern life that the subject (the human agent), who was considered to be the center of all reason, has lost his/her agency, and has to share the capability to act upon things with objects (of desire), or is often acted upon by objects. An obvious example is the influence of objects such as television or the automobile on human beings.

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Firat christensen marketing communications in a postmodern world2

Firat & Christensen: Marketing Communications in a Postmodern World

Some of the conditions of postmodern culture:

Paradoxical juxtaposition of opposites: …is the condition that many so-called ’proper’ ensembles are no longer exercised. This is a condition that is especially recognized in architecture, where architectural elements from different systems considered to be incompatible are combined, but is also found in everyday clothing and liftstyles, for example, in the combined use of punk hairdos with high-fashion clothing.

Tolerance for difference and multiplicity: There is a tacit understanding among peoples of the world who realize the futility of seeking a consensus among all different perspectives, values, and worldviews, and instead accept an openness toward a multicultural existence.

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Firat christensen marketing communications in a postmodern world3

Firat & Christensen: Marketing Communications in a Postmodern World

”Together these conditions represent a blurring of distinctions that were fundamental to the constitution of modernity; the distinctions between reality and fantasy, mind and body, subject and object, material and symbolic, production and consumption, order and chaos. Through these distinctions, modernity attempted to construct a normative order for the realization of the modern project.”

”In the postmodern sensibility, these bipolar or oppositional dichotomies that determine what is proper and improper, what is a privileged norm or unworthy, are diffused, offering instead multiplicity and complexity. Under these conditions, to expect a single meaning or interpretation to be derived from one’s communication is neither possible nor fruitful.”

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Firat christensen marketing communications in a postmodern world4

Firat & Christensen: Marketing Communications in a Postmodern World

”Modern communication”

For example:

What was communicated was the result of the communicator’s decision, whereas the audience merely was exposed to the message and expected to decode it.

The emphasis is on communication management, predictability and control.

In the modern context communication is not considered an active.

Communication is merely a carrier of messages between producers and consumers

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Firat christensen marketing communications in a postmodern world5

Firat & Christensen: Marketing Communications in a Postmodern World

”Postmodern communciation”

For example:

Now the assumption is that in whatever the author wrote, there are unspoken or hidden agendas, historical baggage, and political imperatives that the author may or may not be aware of. Therefore, from each reader’s point of view, era, and culture there can and should be different, critical readings, which effectively reconstitute what is written.

From a marketing communication perspective, one of the most important implications of postmodernity is the loss of control, consistency, and predictability that the modern perspective took for granted.

Contemporary marketers need to realize that they no longer are the masters of meaning, that their products and messages are creations with a life of their own, and that their intended receivers are not passive targets but creative partners in the production of experiences and identities.

SIS6 F06


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