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100 word response. Chicago style citing. Texbook: Jandt, F. (2004). Intercultural Communication:A Global Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc. “Nike’s Communication with Black Audiences,” Armstrong, Jandt pages 264-278

 

Marketing outside of your own culture can be difficult so its essential to make sure you design a product that reaches all cultures and at least is appealing to the majority of consumers. The influence of culture on communication strategies aimed at ethnic groups has long been realized by markets and advertising professionals (pp264 jandt). Nikes communication with Black Audiences was really helpful to read to when understanding the importance of this issue. An increase in the size and resources of the black consumer market has prompted many organizations to increase their understanding of the challenges of devising marketing communications to appeal to black consumers. Since advertising is one vehicle marketers use to convey information about their products, its key to use certain images, words, cues etc to gravitate to the consumer. I learned in this article that advertising around these ideas builds consumers an promotes sales. Effective communication is largely dependent on shared values! Each individual has cultural software that imparts on their thoughts and behaviors and there’ a way to influence people with this upon purchasing.

 

References

Jandt, F. (2004). Intercultural Communication:A Global Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

 

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100 word response. Chicago style citing. Articles uploaded for use if needed.

Lego Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/lego-racism-star-wars_n_2541369.html?utm_hp_ref=business

 

Ad in Thailand: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/ikea-transgender-ad-thailand-offends-group-video_n_2540884.html

 

 

The case study article really brought to light for me the ways in which we can communicate the same thing and the same ideas, but do it in a way that is more culturally meaningful to our target group. I was particular struck by Harkness-Regli’s assertion that “professional communicator’s invention is not content focused as much as it is adaptation focused. (as cited in Melton, 2009, p.234) The meaning I took away was that in developing communication materials multi-culturally, it is not so much about putting out a certain product, but about changing your communication style to fit each group. It really got me to thinking about the cultural communication styles of the groups I will be working to sell to. For example, when I am selling furniture to my Brazilian demographic, I will need to keep in mind which forms of media speak most to them. Do I want to use a more visually exciting ad campaign, or do I want to focus on upbeat language, or informative language? I’m not sure, but I will need to figure it out.

 

The stories about the companies whose ad campaigns have sparked debate about their values and possible bias’s really got me thinking as well. When we are speaking to another culture, it might be very easy to let our own prejudice leak through, even if we are not aware it exists. The Lego palace and figurines weren’t meant to be offensive, but they were. So we need to take a step back from our communications and make sure we aren’t saying more than we mean. With the Ikea controversy, we saw examples of two extremes in intercultural marketing that went too far. The ad in Thailand was meant to speak to a cultural norm, but because it was not handled in a culturally relevant way, it was offensive. Some jokes can only be told by an insider. On the other hand, IKEA compromised their own values to create woman-free advertising just so it would appeal to their foreign market. If you go too far from your own cultural values, you are likely to come off as pandering. The key, I think, is that we must carefully examine any material that we are presenting to a culture outside of our own to make sure that we are not going so far to be culturally relevant that we are making a mockery of their culture and ourselves.

 

Melton, Jr., J.H. (September, 2009). Going global: A case study of rhetorical invention, packaging, delivery and feedback collection. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communications. 52(3). 229-242.

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