Levels Of National Cultures

Levels of national cultures

 The first complexity in understanding culture is related to the different levels of depth of cultures. With the “onion assumption”, Hofstede (1980, 2001) explains that values drive practices (behaviors) in a positive way, i.e., when people value something, they act alike. The general consensus is that people behave based on their values and beliefs of how things should be done (e.g., Hofstede 1980; Schwartz 1999; Hofstede 2001; Schein 2004). This manifests in symbols, heroes and rituals.All three are visible to the outside world as practices of a certain culture; “their cultural meanings, however, are invisible” (Hofstede 2001: 10), referring to the core values at the heart of the culture. However, the notion that values and beliefs drive behavior has recently been questioned by House et al. (2004). They showed the opposite (Javidan et al. 2006b: 902): “People may hold views of what should be (i.e., [contextualized] values) based on what they observe in action (i.e., practices)”. One explanation is that people generally desire more of something they do not have. Another explanation could be found in the questionnaire design aimed at measuring “contextualized values”. House et al. conclude that the “onion assumption” of Hofstede is too simplistic and additional research is needed to explain such a complex relationship (Javidan et al.2006b: 901). For this study, cultural practices are considered to be more robust indicators or explanatory factors of actual behavioral differences compared to cultural values. For example, Smith et al. state that “the ‘as is’ ratings comprise the most extensive [cultural] survey to date that has focused on the description of behaviors” (2006: 49). In conclusion, taking the GLOBE study as the primary cultural study of choice, this study focuses on the cultural practices as independent variables explaining differences in the professional behavior of auditors. The cultural values will function as a set of “second-tier” independent variables of reflecting culture where relevant.

 



[1] dissertations.ub.rug.nl/FILES/faculties/…/dissertations.ub.rug.nl/FILES/faculties/… /03c3.pdf03c3.pdf

About Professor C.J.M. Beniers


Prof. C.J.M. Beniers is a well known authority in the field of modern and international communication techniques. He developed the Six-Component-Model. This model enables companies, institutions and politicians to communicate and negotiate with counterparts from all over the world successfully. His career began as international manager at Philips and later he earned his doctorate as professor in communication. He has more than 35 years experience as manager and management trainer. Thus he knows both sides – theory and praxis – very well. As scientist, Prof. Beniers conducts frequently research in the field of intercultural communication. The results of his interesting research can be found in news articles, free pod casts, audio books and his E-books such as “Bridging The Cultural Gap.” Here, modern managers learn how to prepare for business meetings with people from different cultures; they acquire the techniques and tools to handle situations in times of crises successfully, master intercultural barriers, country-specific communication patterns, looking into personal cultural values & systems. Knowing all this, men can prevent cultural misunderstandings and misinterpretations – not only in business but also in private life.

14-01-2015

Email: info@beniers-consultancy.com
Website: http://www.beniers-consultancy.com

 

Cultural Differences In Television Advertising-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VALUES AND APPEALS 1)

a. Kotler (1997)

He differentiates three different types of appeals:

1. rational appeals,

He classifies rational appeals as “appealing to the audience’s self interest”. Typically they refer to the quality, value or performance of the product.

2. emotional appeals

Emotional appeals “attempt to stir up negative or positive emotions” (ibid.), and include fear, guilt, joy. Although Kotler makes a reference to negative emotions, I would argue, that these are turned into positive appeals in commercials. For example the negative “fear” appeal is used only when the product can actually provide safety.

3. moral appeals.

Finally moral appeals “are directed to the audience’s sense of what is right and proper.”(ibid.) These may include such appeals as ecological appeals and nationalism.

The often interchanging use of appeals and values by some researchers can be explained when looking at the interaction that is necessary between the two:

· Appeals are used to appeal to the values a consumer holds;

· Values are the underlying source of appeals.

b. Wells, Burnett and Moriarty (1995)

They define values and tentatively describe the interaction as: The source for norms [defined as simple rules for behaviour] is our values.

An example of a value is personal security. Possible norms expressing this value range from the bars on the window and double-locked doors in Brooklyn, New York, to unlocked cars and homes in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Values are few in number and are not tied to specific objects or situations. (…) Advertisers often refer to core values when selecting their primary appeals. Burnett and Moriarty (1995): 167.

This extract clarifies this interaction to some extent: Knowing that people value personal safety, and that a product X can enhance the personal safety, advertising for product X may use a safety appeal. So strictly argued, the safety value (or the desire to be safe) is held by the consumer – and the appeal is what is expressed in the advertisement in order to suggest to the consumer that their desired state of personal safety can be enhanced.

The appeal hence represents the underlying value.

c. Hofstede (1994):

This definition of values comes relatively close to the definition of values given by Hofstede (1994): Values are broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs over others.

To continue the above example: The advertising for product X, appealing for enhanced personal safety, displays a preference for a state of safety. And as such can be interpreted as displaying the preference for the state of enhanced personal safety (or in other words: the value of personal safety). Hence, if an advertisement displays a happy family, it can be understood to use the family appeal to represent family values.

In order to avoid any further confusion of the situation, for the remainder of this document:

We will refer to “appeals” as the values that are expressed in advertising, by using appeals, or the appeals that are displayed in advertising representing certain values. We will use values strictly when this represents a tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others by human beings in the real world.

d. Pollay (1986)

The use of appeals, and with them the possibility of a distorted representation of reality, has been a topic of discussion for a considerable time. In 1983 Pollay published a coding framework for the identification of cultural appeals (actually, he called them values) in advertising, primarily as a response to the discussion over the cultural consequences of advertising appeals and what values of society these reflect.

By reviewing a variety of advertising related literature, as well as literature and values research in other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology and the humanities, Pollay created a list of 42 appeals most commonly found in advertising. He notes, that advertising does reflect a somewhat different set of values as can be found in a society in general (Pollay, 1986), a notion which he termed the “distorted mirror”, and which has lead to a significant debate over the subject matter. Clearly, advertising will attempt to have positive appeals associated with the product, and hence lead to a distorted reflection of reality. Although Kotler (1997) includes negative appeals, such as fear or guilt, in his examples, these will normally be turned “positive” in advertising, and are included as such in the Pollay list: For example the fear of an accident is resolved by demonstrating the safety features of a car (safety appeal).

Other researchers who carried out research into advertising appeals have developed different lists of possible values, often because they only tested for certain appeals rather than a complete set of appeals. For example Mueller (1996) and Cheng & Schweitzer (1996) used limited lists developed by them to reflect their line of enquiry. However, both take their definitions from Pollay’s original work.

As such, Pollay’s framework is the most complete set of possible appeals with definitions. It is also “pre-tested” as it is derived from previously published material, and is generally considered to be complete. As such may be the most suitable instrument both for probing a complete set of appeals, if used as a whole, or a limited set of appeals, if used in parts.

Clearly, in order to be effective, advertising has to appeal to the positive values that are held in the target group, or taken at large, the target society. If advertising is “out of touch” with the target group, it may alienate the target group, as the consumer can no longer identify with the product.

It is hence essential for the advertising to reflect at least a proportion of the values held by the target group, or society at large.

As Hofstede and others have demonstrated, values can vary considerably between cultures.

Some cultures may be comfortable with a relatively high level of uncertainty – if expressed in appeals, then it can be expected that advertising in these cultures will make less use of safety appeals than advertising from a culture where the culture is less comfortable with uncertainty.

Equally, in a society that holds highly individualistic values, it can be expected that advertising in general will use more appeals to individual achievement than in a society that holds dominantly collectivist values.

As such, advertising appeals are not a mere representation of a culture’s values at large, but they represent a selective sample of positive and desired values of that culture. They are in fact a “distorted mirror”, a mirror that represents idealistic, rather than realistic, values.

1) http://www.stephweb.com/capstone/t8.shtml

Prof. C.J.M. Beniers

NL Zoetermeer

22-11-2011

About Professor C.J.M. Beniers

Prof. C.J.M. Beniers is a well known authority in the field of modern and international communication techniques. He developed the Six-Component-Model. This model enables companies, institutions and politicians to communicate and negotiate with counterparts from all over the world successfully. His career began as international manager at Philips and later he earned his doctorate as professor in communication. He has more than 35 years experience as manager and management trainer. Thus he knows both sides – theory and praxis – very well. As scientist, Prof. Beniers conducts frequently research in the field of intercultural communication. The results of his interesting research can be found in news articles, free pod casts, audio books and his E-books such as “Bridging The Cultural Gap.” Here, modern managers learn how to prepare for business meetings with people from different cultures; they acquire the techniques and tools to handle situations in times of crises successfully, master intercultural barriers, country-specific communication patterns, looking into personal cultural values & systems. Knowing all this, men can prevent cultural misunderstandings and misinterpretations – not only in business but also in private life.

Contact:

Prof. C.J.M. Beniers
Amaliaplaats 2
2713 BJ Zoetermeer
The Netherlands

Telefone: +31 (0) 79 – 3 19  03 81
Mobile:  +31 (0) 6 2 061 8494

Email: info@beniers-consultancy.com

Website: www.beniers-consultancy.com

 

 

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Cultural Differences In Television Advertising-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultural Differences in television advertising (2)

 VALUES, APPEALS, CONTENT AND STYLE 1)

In researching advertising across borders a number of terms are used to describe WHAT is said in a commercial or HOW things are said in a commercial. All of this type of research focuses primarily on the message of advertising, taking both the visual and the audible component into account. Most researchers have paid little interest in execution or objectives, which may influence the advertising message. Both execution and objectives are taken a priori as being equal across countries. This limitation should be clearly pointed out, as it may account for some of the differences observed.

I have divided four main areas of research, with all overlapping or influencing each other to some extent:

· Appeals (values) research, looking primarily at all or some of the advertising appeals used in commercials.

· Information cues research, trying to identify the amount and type of information that is presented, usually about a product, in a commercial.

· Communication strategy research

· Creative strategy research, looking at the actual advertising, communication or creative strategy, or parts thereof, used in a commercial.

Frequently researchers have combined certain areas. For example, Mueller (1996) in her study about beer advertising in the UK and the US looked for selected appeals as well as some communication styles in commercials.

The terms “appeals” and “values” are used loosely in the literature to describe the traditional notion of “advertising appeals”. In their textbook “Advertising – Principles and Practice”, Wells, Burnett and Moriarty (1995) give the following description of appeals:

Persuasion in advertising rests on the psychological appeal to the consumer. An appeal is something that makes the product particularly attractive or interesting to the consumer. Common appeals are security, esteem, fear, sex, and sensory pleasure. Appeals generally pinpoint the anticipated response of the prospect to the product and message. Advertisers also use the word appeal to describe a general creative emphasis. For example, if the price is emphasised in the ad, then the appeal is value, economy, or savings. Wells, Burnett and Moriarty (1995): 278.

1. As this definition suggests, appeals make the product attractive to the consumer, and are hence emphasised in advertising for the product.

2. However, they do not necessarily represent product attributes, nor do they have to be realistically connected to the product at all.

3. De facto they are often used to set a desired atmosphere or as a means to “connect” with the target group.

4. As such, they are “built” into the commercial and designed to represent the supposed values of the desired target group.

For example, a product that has housewives as a target group may show, as an appeal, pictures of a happy family – which is thought to represent a value of the target group, or at least a desired state. Also, for example beer in itself has little sex appeal – however this appeal is frequently used in beer advertising (Dahl, 2000). The combination of “sex appeal”, displayed in the advertising connected to the consumption of that particular brand of beer, may however make the product attractive to the potential consumer, as it may represent a widely held value in the target group. Connected to the product, this may make the product more appealing to the target group.

Clearly, not everybody will have the same values, and the appeals that are used do not necessarily actually appeal to all consumers – even within the target group.

However, they usually are chosen to represent values thought to be held by the target group as a whole.

The advertiser aims to link the set of appeals used in the commercial with the product in the mind of the consumer, in order to enhance and position the product, the product image and perception. They are used strategically to influence consumer perception of the product (such as drinking beer = success with women) and hence to increase consumer readiness to purchase – or product appeal. Understood as such, they can be regarded as an active part in positioning the product in the market place and enhance the product’s image, by associating desirable aspects to the product.

1) http://www.stephweb.com/capstone/t8.shtml

Prof. C.J.M. Beniers

NL Zoetermeer

25-10-2012

About Professor C.J.M. Beniers

Prof. C.J.M. Beniers is a well known authority in the field of modern and international communication techniques. He developed the Six-Component-Model. This model enables companies, institutions and politicians to communicate and negotiate with counterparts from all over the world successfully. His career began as international manager at Philips and later he earned his doctorate as professor in communication. He has more than 35 years experience as manager and management trainer. Thus he knows both sides – theory and praxis – very well. As scientist, Prof. Beniers conducts frequently research in the field of intercultural communication. The results of his interesting research can be found in news articles, free pod casts, audio books and his E-books such as “Bridging The Cultural Gap.” Here, modern managers learn how to prepare for business meetings with people from different cultures; they acquire the techniques and tools to handle situations in times of crises successfully, master intercultural barriers, country-specific communication patterns, looking into personal cultural values & systems. Knowing all this, men can prevent cultural misunderstandings and misinterpretations – not only in business but also in private life.

Contact:


Prof. C.J.M. Beniers

Amaliaplaats 2

2713 BJ Zoetermeer
The Netherlands

Telefone: +31 (0) 79 – 3 19  03 81

Mobile:  +31 (0) 6 36180834

Email: info@beniers-consultancy.com

Website: www.beniers-consultancy.com

 

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