Advertising


It could be argued that advertising should be a reflection of the culture in which it is created for. In Western societies, such as the U.S., the attitude towards advertising is one that is more tolerant to new appeals, imagery, and methods that embrace unconventional thinking.

This attitude is present, in part, because of the long evolutionary history that advertising has had within the society. The "hard-sell" and "persuasion" approaches exemplify the American "way" of doing advertising (Mooij, 1998). The images that are presented in advertising often times carry cultural cues or have what marketers call, "the country-of-origin" effect. Many multi-national corporations have taken this ideology and have incorporated it into their own advertising and marketing plans. Now corporations that are based in countries other than the U.S. are applying what already works within the U.S. markets to their own products and services when they decided to turn their energies to exporting to the U.S.

Many questions can be derived by this approach. Who is your target market? What risks are there in introducing this product or service to the U.S.? To what level will there be adaptation to the already existing plan for marketing and advertising? How will the communication messages be received and for which audiences? The list could certainly go on, but what is important to note is that there are many considerations to be made when entering any market or when trying to reach a new group of people through different communication channels.

To add a new wrinkle to this communication dilemma, let us look at the possibility of trying to advertise a product to multiple markets at once, one of which being similar to that of the home market. This is the case of Corona Extra, a Mexican beer that appeals to Mexican-American and "mainstream" America alike. What are the images that are used in advertising to the U.S. market as a whole; and how does the cultural identifications and viewpoints of Hispanics, more specifically Mexican-Americans, affect their perceptions of those images?