Essay on Cultural Identity Through Local Advertisement

Submitted By SoraAin
Words: 1962
Pages: 8

Every single day, people are exposed to many kinds of advertisements that promote a number of health products, education, foods, households, and so on. These advertisements in fact keep changing for years to years although they promote the same product. This phenomenon happens as companies need to renew their ideas in persuading people to buy their products because consumer preferences change as time flies. Companies that try to persuade consumers to buy the products see advertisements as a big thing and important tool to enhance their sales. The power of advertisements in fact outweighs the need of companies to hire salesman or saleswoman in order to approach the consumer. Since the purpose of advertising the products is to boost sales, companies would have to look at specific target in order to create an effective advertisement that suits the culture of the group it is targeting. Because of this fact, it is notable that advertisements for one company for example Dove, varies in conjunction to where they will be broadcasted. Dove advertisements broadcasted in the United States of America are absolutely different to Dove advertisements broadcasted in Malaysia. The cross-cultural differences of these two countries, the United States of America and Malaysia, then influence how a particular advertisement is constructed. It is much simpler to compare these differences when we look at the two countries as western and non-western countries. However the question here is, how do local advertisements significantly reflect the culture of its people? Are local advertisements really portraying the real situation of a culture or are they merely what companies thought of what a particular culture is? This paper will demonstrate to what extent do the advertisements are true to the real-life situation and that local advertisements indeed have critical role in portraying the identity of the people to the outside world. To evaluate the topic, the following paragraphs will discuss more deep about the relationship of local advertisements with time management, moral values and religious sensitivity of American culture and Malaysian culture respectively.
The history of advertising lies thousands of years in the past. According to O’Barr in his article “A Brief History of Advertising in America”, advertising has evolved from
“face-to-face selling messages to the stilted, repetitive, printed advertisements of early newspaper to the dynamism of mass communication by radio and television to the re-personalization of messages via cable, Internet, and direct mail” (2008).
As we can see, advertising techniques develop in accordance to the development of technology. When Europeans started to involve with the industrial revolution, advertising at the same time began to enter the marketing world. At that time, printed advertising was a very powerful tool to approach people regardless for the purpose of making businesses, selling products, spreading religious ideas, or informing people about new things. Nowadays however, printed advertising is no longer a main medium in marketing but the Internet has an important role in introducing new products and at the same time is in charge of all mediums of communication. The easy and costless features of the Internet make entrepreneurs and companies favor it more than any other medium. The importance of the Internet in marketing then improves the need of efficient advertisements in order to win customers. Prior to being exposed to multiple types of advertisements in my second writing class, I have no idea how local advertisements can give the outsiders and foreigners hints of what the culture of a particular country looks like. Nonetheless as an international student from Malaysia, I strongly rely on Malaysian local advertisements to describe Malaysia itself when people ask me how my country looks like. To my relief, local advertisements really help me in explaining social norms of Malaysians. At other points,