Sample Undergraduate International Marketing Communication Essay

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Standardised Advertising


To operate in the ever-expanding global market, it is essential to communicate with individuals belonging to different countries.  Many multinational firms are growing and expanding their operations to other countries, stressing improved communication. Technology has grown to an extent, which has opened up many new avenues of communication, which is much better than before, benefiting the advertising industry globally.

The question that must be asked is whether advertisements for products should be standardized in the global market or whether they should be uniquely tailored to each specific need. This report aims to advise the company, which manufactures soft furnishings, on whether to proceed with a standardized advertisement in the two different jurisdictions and cover what standardized advertising is, explaining its advantages and disadvantages.


Standardisation and Adaptive Advertising

Standardizing international-based advertising is a topic that has been debated between several advertisers and scholars. It has been argued that consumers are the same worldwide or at least similar. Therefore they may be influenced by a form of advertising, which is universal. However, opposing views that have been mentioned state that there are many differences in the culture and background of the populations residing in different countries (Wang and Yang, 2011).

For this reason, different advertisements must be created for other countries, specifically tailoring them to the targeted country and its market. In simple terms and advertising, standardization may be defined as a universal standard that the chosen product, service, or advertisement must adhere to globally. For the ad, standardization occurs where the elements of an ad are kept the same throughout different countries (Cheong, Zheng, and Kim, 2011).

The second approach to advertising is known as adaptation, which affects changing a factor of the advertisement to ensure that the ad serves a particular purpose or function (Hornikx, Van Meurs, and De Boer, 2010). As there are two different advertisement methods on a global scale, it seems that firms may have to choose one over the other to cater to the vast array of customers they cater to all over the world.

However, firms may choose between the two methods or adopt a strategy between complete standardization and adaptation. It has also been argued that companies should take advantage of such advertising as it allows a product to be sold at the same price and image all over the world simultaneously (Akaka and Alden, 2010).

Advantages of Standardized Advertising

Standardized advertising has certain advantages, which must be mentioned, which may benefit the company itself. One advantage is that there will be a global recognition of the product in a similar fashion as the advertisement will be the same across different countries.  A subsequent advantage is that the company’s organizational management will be aided due to better planning and coordination as a universal advertising campaign is easier to shape than different advertisements for different countries (Okazaki and Taylor, 2013).

Furthermore, due to standardized advertising, the company may be able to form a set image of their product in different customers’ minds, which will thoroughly help them sell their product (Zou and Volz, 2010).  The company must understand that standardization, having such advantages, is not always the best advertising method available to the company.

Adaptation Approach

This approach has the effect of treating advertisements in a country-to-country fashion, meaning that ads are catered to the country where the product is being marketed specifically.  Where the company is engaging in this form of advertising, there are certain factors they must consider. These factors are that the country’s culture has to be considered when creating an advertising campaign (Qaffas and Cristea, 2014).

It must occur to tailor the advertisement in question to the cultural differences present in different nations. Next, by engaging in this advertising form, the company may indirectly strengthen its competitive position in the market.  Another reason is to ensure that the company abides by the laws and regulations regarding an advertisement in different countries, ensuring that they do not infringe any of those laws. By engaging in this form of advertising, the company may successfully compete in the local market.

It will not appear to be foreign due to the advertising being tailored to the country’s cultural requirements in question (De Mooji and Hofstede, 2010).  What must be understood is that both approaches of standardization and adaptation are extremes that the company may use; however, to be safe, the company may adopt two different advertising strategies applicable in both the Middle East and New Zealand.

Reasons why Standardized Advertisement may not Work

It is essential to understand why standardized advertisements originating in Europe may not work in the Middle East and New Zealand because they wish to expand their operations and advertisements (Taylor, Lewin, and Strutton, 2011). Standardized advertisement from Europe, albeit cost-efficient, may not be accepted in the Middle East as the Middle East’s culture and ideals are significantly different from Europe’s.

To market their products in the Middle East will require the company to abide by laws, regulations, and cultural restrictions imposed by the Middle East. Religious factors must also be considered as most of the Muslim population present in the Middle East may be offensive or culturally incorrect. However, the same material may be accepted in European advertisements (Turnbull, Walsh, and Boulanouar, 2016).

Another crucial reason this form of advertising may not work is that it unintentionally or intentionally forces the company to neglect norms, values, and the target audience’s culture. This negligence may harm the targeted audience’s sentiments that can create a negative brand image of the corporation. Additionally, another factor to consider is that there is a lack of being unique. It means that different countries and their markets may offer additional and unique opportunities advantageous to the company.

However, due to standardization, these opportunities are not utilized as there is a confirmation to the standard practice, which needs to be achieved (Koslow and Costley, 2010). These are some of the reasons because of which standardization may not work. This applies to both the Middle East and New Zealand, the chosen jurisdictions where the company wishes to expand its advertising and operations.

Compromise Based Advertisement

This form of advertisement is advantageous and a solution to most company’s problems about an ad on a global scale.  This advertisement method is seen to be an efficient solution for businesses who wish to advertise their products in different countries as they will be achieving their standardization goal while adapting to the country’s requirements in the advertisement is to be implemented.

It must be mentioned that out of the two forms of advertising, which have been described previously, this method is an effective advertising method. It may be beneficial for the company itself and the country in which it is being implemented because it will benefit from new products and be traditionally marketed to them (Moriarty et al., 2014).

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Advice to the Company

Specific recommendations or advice may be offered to the company, ensuring that they do not face any legal trouble or repercussions from their advertising campaigns in the Middle East and New Zealand.  The advice, which may be offered, is that firstly, the company should undertake a campaign for the Middle East, which follows the adaptation theory of advertising (Rubin, 2011). This is because the Middle East has strict laws and regulations that require that advertisements are carried out according to local laws and regulations and may not be willing to accept European forms of advertisement.

The company must understand this factor, as they may not be permitted to advertise in a standardized fashion in the Middle East due to these factors. They must tailor their advertisement campaign in a manner, which is local so that the local populace does not feel that the product being advertised, albeit being foreign, is following local customs in its advertisement. It will encourage buyers to purchase its company’sgs (Samori, Salleh and Khalid, 2016).

In regards to New Zealand, the company should utilize the compromise-based advertisement theory as the norms, values, and culture of New Zealand is similar to Europe. However, where the norms are not identical, the company, by utilising this strategy, may cater to cultural requirements because of using this strategy,y as has been explained previously. Although they are using standardizing, the company must ensure that any cultural differences must be catered to (Truong, McColl and Kitchen, 2010).


To conclude, it can be said that advertisement tends to assist the corporation in promoting their offerings in the targeted place in a productive manner. However, the business needs to select appropriate means for advertising. In this paper, the present scenario has been analysed, suggesting that promoting their product in the region of the Middle East adaptive theory needs to be utilised.

However, to advertise the offering in the region of New Zealand, a corporation can use a compromised-based methodology. These opted methods can enable the business to promote their products in the targeted area by considering the target audience’s norms and culture, eventually creating a positive brand perception.


Akaka, M.A. and Alden, D.L., (2010). Global brand positioning and perceptions: International advertising and global consumer culture. International Journal of Advertising, 29(1), pp.37-56.

Alessi, E.J. and Martin, J.I., 2010. Conducting an internet-based survey: Benefits, pitfalls, and lessons learned. Social Work Research, 34(2), pp.122-128.

Cheong, Y., Zheng, L. and Kim, K., (2011). Product global reach, advertising standardization, and cultural values: an analysis of 2008 Beijing Olympic T.V. commercials. Asian Journal of Communication, 21(3), pp.279-300.

De Mooij, M. and Hofstede, G., (2010). The Hofstede model: Applications to global branding and advertising strategy and research. International Journal of Advertising, 29(1), pp.85-110.

Goldfarb, A. and Tucker, C.E., (2014). Standardization and the effectiveness of online advertising. Management Science, 61(11), pp.2707-2719.

Hornikx, J., Van Meurs, F. and de Boer, A., (2010). English or a local language in advertising? The appreciation of easy and difficult English slogans in the Netherlands. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 47(2), pp.169-188.

Koslow, S. and Costley, C., (2010). How consumer heterogeneity muddles the international advertising debate. International Journal of Advertising, 29(2), pp.221-244.

Moriarty, S., Mitchell, N.D., Wells, W.D., Crawford, R., Brennan, L. and Spence-Stone, R., (2014). Advertising: Principles and practice. Pearson Australia.

Okazaki, S. and Taylor, C.R., (2013). Social media and international advertising: theoretical challenges and future directions. International marketing review, 30(1), pp.56-71.

Qaffas, A.A. and Cristea, A.I., (2014), September. How to create an E-Advertising adaptation strategy: the AEADS approach. In International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Web Technologies (pp. 171-178). United States. Springer, Cham.

Rubin, J., (2011). Institutions, the rise of commerce and the persistence of laws: Interest restrictions in Islam and Christianity. The Economic Journal, 121(557), pp.1310-1339.

Samori, Z., Salleh, N.Z.M. and Khalid, M.M., (2016). Current trends on Halal tourism: Cases on selected Asian countries. Tourism Management Perspectives, 19, pp.131-136.

Taylor, D.G., Lewin, J.E. and Strutton, D., (2011). Friends, fans, and followers: do ads work on social networks?: how gender and age shape receptivity. Journal of advertising research, 51(1), pp. 258-275.

Truong, Y., McColl, R. and Kitchen, P., (2010). PractitionPractitioners’ns of advertising strategies for digital media. International Journal of Advertising, 29(5), pp.709-725.

Turnbull, S., Howe-Walsh, L. and Boulanouar, A., (2016). The advertising standardisation debate revisited: Implications of Islamic ethics on standardisation/localisation of advertising in Middle East Islamic States. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 7(1), pp.2-14.

Wang, X. and Yang, Z., (2011). Standardization or adaptation in international advertising strategies: The roles of brand personality and country-of-origin image. Asian Journal of Business Research Volume, 1(2).

Zou, S. and Volz, Y.Z., (2010). An integrated theory of global advertising: an application of the GMS theory. International Journal of Advertising, 29(1), pp.57-84.

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