Cross-Cultural Advertising Particularities

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The first thing to keep in mind when preparing an advertisement for different cultural audiences is to adapt the language and the message. The differences between the native and the foreign culture can be subtle, but if you know the local culture, you will be able to better target the right audience. For example, in the western world, white represents purity while in the Asian world, it means death. As a result, the right language and message for a particular cultural group are essential for a successful advertising campaign.

Another key is language

Another key to effective cross-cultural advertising is language. A company should never use a word or a slogan that will offend a particular group. There are many examples of this in the world of advertising. One example is when Ford tried to introduce the Pinto model in Brazil, and it failed. The word Pinto means tiny male genitals, so Ford soon realized their error. However, it is essential to analyze the language of a country to ensure that it works in that country.

Values must be remembered

When preparing your advertisement for cross-cultural audiences, you need to keep in mind cultural norms and values. The differences between the different cultures are vast and make it necessary to take these into account when developing your campaign. For example, some groups reject humor based on religion while others welcome it. Other people may not like political or social references. The differences between the two cultures also affect how you create your advertisements. It is important to consider how consumers view their culture and use the media to communicate with them.

There are countless examples

The next key to cross-cultural advertising is language. Too many companies fail to check the cultural implication of their company names or slogans. There are numerous examples of this in the advertising world. The Ford Pinto in Brazil was a failure, because it sounded like tiny male genitals. The company realized their error after the initial sales of the Pinto failed. In order to be effective at cross-cultural advertising, you must carefully analyze the language to ensure that it is culturally appropriate.

Cultural understanding important

One of the most important factors for effective cross-cultural advertising is language. In fact, many companies don’t bother to check the cultural implications of their company names or slogans. The result is a global advertising campaign that does not work in a particular culture. In addition to language, cultural understanding is also vital for a successful localized campaign. Similarly, a message in one culture may not work in another.


Language is an important factor in cross-cultural advertising. In many cases, companies fail to consider the linguistic implications of their brand names. Choosing a name that evokes negative connotations is a mistake that can affect the success of an ad. If the word Pinto isn’t translated into the local language, the advertisement will have no chance of attracting Brazilian consumers. It will not translate well in English and vice-versa.