MARK217: Cross-cultural Marketing

KFC logo
As the world market becomes increasingly competitive (Popovici 2011), it is now imperative that companies market their products to other cultures as well as within their original homeland. There has been a shift in focus from local to global marketing efforts as corporations attempt to become multinational (Schiffman et al 2014). Consumers are becoming more and more assimilated with the rise of globalization, however there is still an inherent need to tailor products and marketing to specific cultures. This requires extensive research and a holistic understanding of what factors influence consumer buying behaviour in other countries.

Marketers need to take into account the numerous cultural characteristics of a country and in most cases, customize products and marketing to suit that particular country’s consumers tastes and needs. These cultural characteristics include language, customs, values and religion. The country of origin can also have a direct effect on the consumer’s willingness to buy the product (Algie 2014). To do this successfully, marketers should conduct a cross-cultural analysis to identify how consumers differ and the implication this will have on their strategic marketing plan (Schiffman et al 2014).

As you would expect, a number of corporation’s failure to understand cultural differences have results in some embarrassing marketing mistakes. Companies need to take into account product modifications (to meet local customs and tastes), customized promotion as well as tailor pricing and distribution techniques “to meet local and economic conditions and customs” (Schiffman et al 2014). There are abundant cases of companies failure to take into account these important cultural factors, particularly when translating company slogans across different cultures. Below are some examples:

-The Dairy Association’s successful ‘Got Milk?’ campaign encouraged the company to expand to Mexico, however the slogan translated to ‘Are you lactating?’ (Qualman 2011)

-KFC’s slogan ‘Finger-lickin’ good’ translated to ‘Eat your finger off’ in Chinese (Fromowitz 2011)

-Pepsi’s slogan ‘Pepsi brings you back to life’ translated in Chinese to ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’ (Qualman 2011)

-Scandinavian vacuum cleaner designer Electrolux, used the tag-line ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’ in the US campaign (Qualman, 2011)

-A Schweppes tonic water campaign translated the product name into ‘Schweppes toilet water’ (Fromowitz 2013)

To see more like these, go to:,Cultural+blunders+Brands+gone+wrong.aspx

These examples reiterate the importance of research when marketing to other cultures, particularly when translating slogans which may not work across different cultures. Although standardized promotion can be more cost-effective, unless countries are extremely cultural similar (for example America and Australia), it is better to customize products and marketing to avoid embarrassing mistakes.


Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 12: Cross Cultural Consumer Behaviour: An International Perspective’, MARK217, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 29 May 2014

Fromowitz, M 2013, ‘Cultural Blunders: Brand gone wrong’, Campaign Asia-Pacific (online), 7 October, viewed 3 June 2014,,Cultural+blunders+Brands+gone+wrong.aspx

Popovici, S 2011, ‘What do we know about cross-cultural marketing?’, Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Series. Series V, vol. 4, iss. 2, pp. 57-64

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Qualman, E 2011, ’13 Marketing Translation Mistakes to Learn from’, ClickZ (online), 30 March, viewed 3 June 2014,


BCM310: Diasporic Media and asylum seekers


Diaspora is a Greek term initially used in “scholarship, journalism, and popular discourse, used broadly and at times indiscriminately to denote a number of different kinds of movement and situations of mobility among human populations” (Burgett & Hendler 2007). In simpler terms, diaspora refers to “the broad range of dislocations experienced by several groups of people” (Khorana 2014). An example of this which is prevalent in Australian media is asylum seekers.

As previously discussed, the media plays a crucial role when it comes to informing public thought and perception regarding political, cultural and social issues. This means that the way in which different peoples, in this case, asylum seekers, are framed in the media has a direct effect on moulding public opinion. It has been noted that asylum seekers are only in the first stages of misrepresentation where the content produced around them is for the most part, limited, negative and full of misinformation and prejudices (Branston & Stafford quoted in Khorana 2014). This is decidedly true and is seen in the portrayal of asylum seekers through both images and terminology in news media. Common phrases include “boat people”, “illegals” and “queue jumpers” whilst images primarily are made up of large male groups often positioned near a boat. Asylum seekers are frequently depicted as a dehumanized ‘other’ that is out to ‘threaten’ the nation’s security. This is problematic as it has numerous legal ramifications and can contribute to the increase of race hate and hate crimes towards asylum seekers.

This also brings forth the notion of the right to representation. The right to contribute to the media by producing content that is a fair and accurate representation, is crucial if we wish to see a diversified media discourse. As the media has such a broad control over public thought processes, it is imperative that it demonstrates a number of different viewpoints and stories. 


Burgett, B & Hendler, G 2007, Keywords for American Cultural Studies, New York University Press, NY, USA, p. 81

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Diasporic Media’, BCM310, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 19 May 2014

BCM310: Globalisation and Bollywood film

Globalisation refers to two main processes that are inherently connected to one another. The first – “the ways in which technologies can overcome global distances, so that people live in a world that seems borderless” and the second – “the ways that one particular economic system – ‘the free market’ or global capitalism – now permeates most of the globe” (Khorana 2014). This means that developments in technology and transport are allowing for people to establish connections across borders, this can mean the assimilation of cultures and a heightened loss of cultural difference.

Globalisation means that people are able to make positive connections with other countries, sharing ideas and media. However, this can also be problematic as cultures are increasingly similar. This is connected to the notion of cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism refers to the idea that one culture is dominant and is spread to other smaller cultures. This is many cases refers to the Americanization of cultures. Prolific examples of this Americanization are evident in many Eastern countries culture (Khorana 2014). Perhaps one of the most interesting examples is in Bollywood film. Bollywood films are notorious for mimicking the characteristics which are commonly credited to Hollywood cinema (Illawarra Mercury 2003). An example of this can be seen in the two film clips below which compare Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby to Anant Mahadevan’s The Xpose. The film mimics the style, plot and set design of The Great Gatsby with a little added Indian flavour. But is this a bad thing? It could be argued that Bollywood films are just an out-right rip off of Hollywood’s and if this copycat culture was broken, it could be a positive thing for the future of Indian cinema (Nelson 2010).

This Americanization of cultures, Bollywood films being just one example, is contributing to a disproportionate amount of American culture being disseminated compared to other countries. This can have a negative impact as it can lead to the assimilation of cultures all over the world and a loss of unique cultural differences.


Illawarra Mercury 2003, ‘Bollywood out to rip off Hollywood Entertainment’, Illawarra Mercury, 6 June, viewed 17 May 2014,

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Globalisation and the Media’, BCM310, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 12 May 2014

Nelson, D 2010, ‘Hollywood cracks down on Bollywood ‘rip offs”, Telegraph online, 7 October, viewed 17 May 2014,

BCM310: Race and the Media- After 9/11

Everything we know about other races and cultures, unless we have experienced them first hand, comes from the media. This means that how different ethnicities are constructed and represented in media has persuasive power in shaping our perception and understanding of that culture. Our entire world is mediated. This is particularly important, as cultures are not only routinely misrepresented but are often not represented at all. In most cases, the political representatives in power dictate a certain perspective which is depicted by the mainstream media, which, in turn, becomes that culture’s dominant discourse. This is problematic, as foreign cultures in Western media, specifically Middle Eastern cultures, are more often than not portrayed in a negative light. The media also tends to stereotype Eastern cultures by painting a simplistic, negative picture of their culture and characteristics.

After 9/11, negative media portrayals of Arabs and Muslims on US television were abundant. This directly aligned with Bush’s political regime – the ‘war on terror’ and the ‘axis of evil’. However, what is surprising is that in addition to this negative portrayal, there was also an increase in the number of sympathetic depictions of Arabs and Muslims at this time (Alsultany 2013). In television and movies, Arabs and Muslims were frequently represented as terrorists or demonized as the evil ‘other’. This was then counteracted with an arguably positive portrayal of the same race later in the same text. This was a deliberate attempt to position America as “an enlightened country” that had “entered a postrace era” (Alsultany 2013, p. 162). However, negative representations are not necessarily best neutralised by someone else’s idea of a ‘positive’ representation (Khorana 2014). Despite being considered for the most part, positive, the portrayals were simplistic and contributed to the justification of discriminatory policies (Alsultany 2013).

It is important that when we access media that depicts other races, that we look at it critically and do not take it at face value. By examining the example of the representation of Arabs and Muslims in American media after 9/11, we can see that these depictions are far from accurate and that stereotypes are not easily subverted with simplistic ‘positive’ representations. Perhaps most importantly, it is crucial that we understand that media is often created and disseminated with specific political agenda’s in mind and that these representations are often far from accurate.


Alsultany, E 2013, ‘Arabs and Muslims in the Media after 9/11: Representation Strategies for a “Postrace” Era’, American Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1, pp.161-168

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Race, Ethnicity and the Media’, BCM310, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 5 May 2014

MARK217: Attitude Change- Old Spice

This week’s topic looked at the concept of ‘consumer attitudes’ and the numerous theories and models which work to form an understanding of how they are developed and possible strategies to change them. So, what are attitudes? Attitudes are:“a learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favourable or unfavourable way with respect to a given object” (Algie 2014). The word ‘object’ in this definition refers to “product, product category, brand, service possession, product use, causes or issues, people, advertisement, internet site, price, medium or retailer” (Schiffman et al 2014, p. 246). Attitudes are learned through direct experience, word-of-mouth and exposure to mass media advertisements via indirect or direct marketing (Algie 2014). Additionally, attitudes are generally consistent with the behaviour they reflect however certain situations may cause consumers to act in ways that are inconsistent with their attitudes (Algie, 2014). In a business context, it is important for companies to be aware of the consumer attitudes that exist regarding their brand and products.

A memorable example of a company that has acknowledged the need to change consumer attitudes regarding its products and has successfully done so through marketing is Old Spice. Old Spice is a men’s deodorant brand, owned by Proctor and Gamble (P&G) since 1990 but that has been on the market since 1938 (O’Neill 2010). In 2002, the company introduced a new product category to its brand, body wash. However, Old Spice began to be edged out of the market when faced with successful competition, namely the deodorant and body wash brand ‘Axe’ (MediaMeasurement 2011) and new entrant to the market, Nivea (Effie Awards 2011). Due to the age of the brand, it was found that younger male consumers believed the product was out-dated and was associated with older generations (O’Neill, 2010). In 2010, Old Spice launched a campaign that aimed to change these attitudes and face increased competition.  The campaign was in the form of numerous advertisements ‘the man your man could smell like’. These advertisements aimed to target both men and women (as research found up to 60% of men’s body wash is purchased by women) and to position Old Spice as a “manly” product as opposed to its “lady-scented” competitors (Effie Awards 2011). Below is the most well-known advertisement:

The campaign was first launched on Facebook and YouTube during the 2010 Super Bowl to compete with Nivea who were also planning to gain media attention at this time. The video soon went viral and in early June, consumers were asked to continue the conversation by submitting questions via Twitter and Facebook to be answered personally by the Old Spice Guy (P&G no date).

This campaign successfully transformed existing attitudes towards Old Spice branded products. It saw an increase in the sales of the product, brand awareness and worked to reinvent the brand in the eyes of its consumers (MediaMeasurement 2011).

Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 8: Consumer Attitudes’, MARK217, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 1 May 2014

Effie Awards 2011, ‘2011 Gold Effie Winner:“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”’, Effie Awards, NY

MediaMeasurement 2011, ‘Old Spice demonstrates just what it takes to launch a successful social media campaign’, MediaMeasurement, viewed 6 May,

O’Neill, M 2010, ‘How Old Spice Swaggerized Their Brand and Men Everywhere’, SocialTimes, 22 July, viewed 6 May,

P&G no date, ‘Latest Innovations: Old Spice’, P&G, viewed 6 May,

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

BCM310: Women and Advertising

The media plays a huge role when it comes to shaping our learning. Our entire understanding of gender and equality has been moulded by not only our experiences, but through what we have seen in the media. This is why the issue of the representation of women in the media is so important. Advertising’s primary function is to create propaganda for commodities, to do this, it sells a “system of values consistent with the imperatives of consumer capitalism” (Cortese 2004, p. 12). It advocates unrealistic ideals of beauty and stereotypes women in order to sell products. This can have a detrimental impact on women’s notion of their own self-worth and identity as well as deepening the objectification women experience in an everyday context.

Women are constantly hyper-sexualised and treated as objects in today’s advertising media. The company, Lynx, is notorious for producing advertisements that are extremely sexist and objectify women time and time again. In addition to this, the advertisement below (which was eventually banned) (Poulter 2011), perpetuates the stereotype that a woman’s place is in the kitchen or performing some other domestic task. The campaign featured a model, Lucy Pinder, and asked viewers to “Play with Lucy” and “Put premature perspiration to the test” through its website, which further objectifies women (Sweney 2011). The advertisement aims to suggest that by using Lynx deodorant, men will become more attractive to women. 



This kind of advertising uses a type of ‘humour’ to reach its target market. However, this can have multiple, serious repercussions in an everyday context for women and society as a whole. It can lead to men having unrealistic ideas of what beauty is and to the acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment (Miss Representation 2011). In addition to this, it is contributing to an increasingly submissive attitude from women when faced with the type of media (Zimmerman & Dahlberg 2008), as it happens so frequently it is becoming ‘normal’.



Cortese, AJ 2004, Provocateur: Images of Women and Minorities in Advertising, 2nd edn, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc, USA

Miss Representation 2011, DVD, Girls’ Club Entertainment, United States, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Poulter, S 2011, ”Degrading’ Lynx adverts featuring glamour model Lucy Pinder banned by watchdog”, MailOnline, 24 November, viewed 3 May 2014,

Sweney, M 2011, ‘Lynx’s Lucy Pinder Ads Banned by ASA’, Guardian, 23 November, viewed 3 May 2014,

Zimmerman, A & Dahlberg, J 2008, ‘The Sexual Objectification of Women in Advertising: A Contemporary Cultural Perspective’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol, 48, iss. 1, pp. 71-79

MARK217 Week 6: Consumer Learning and Classical Conditioning

This week’s topic looked at the notion of learning and the numerous theories that inform today’s marketing communications. So first of all, what is ‘learning’? It seems like such a broad concept that it is hard to put into words. It “refers to any change in the content or organisation of long-term memory” and results “from information processing that causes changes in memory” (Algie, 2014). There are two major behavioural learning theories that are relevant to marketing. These are classical conditioning and instrumental conditioning.

Classical conditioning was first described by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov as a general theory of how learning occurs (Schiffman et al, 2014). Conditioning learning occurs when a stimulus that does not usually evoke a response is paired with another stimulus that creates a known response, eventually, works to produce the same response on its own (Schiffman et al, 2014). Okay, that was an incredible confusing definition. However, if we look at the example presented in the lecture of how Pavlov came up with this theory, it makes a little more sense. Below is a model that outlines that experiment Pavlov conducted to study classical conditioning.


In this experiment, Pavlov sounded a bell (conditioned stimulus) and directly followed this by applying meat paste (unconditioned stimulus) onto the dog’s tongues which caused them to salivate (unconditioned response). Classical conditioning relies largely on repetition, so after repeating this act a multitude of times, the unconditioned response became the conditioned response and the dogs salivated when the bell was rung without the addition of the meat paste (Schiffman et al, 2014, Loudon & Della Bitta, 1993).
There are a number of marketing applications of classical conditioning. They include repetition, stimulus discrimination and the one I will be focussing on today which is stimulus generalization (Schiffman et al, 2014). Stimulus generalisation relies on not only associations consumers make through repetition but also on our ability to generalise. Pavlov found that the dogs would not only salivate to the sound of a bell but also to similar sounds like jangling of keys (Schiffman et al, 2014).

In a contemporary context, one of the most common examples of stimulus generalization is copy-cat brands whose packaging and products imitate category leaders. It has been found that private label imitation of national brands can result in consumer confusion at the point of purchase (Till & Priluck, 2000). The consumer may pick up the imitation brand by accident, particularly when the viewing time is brief (Till & Priluck, 2000). Consumers also intentionally buy copy-cat products as they can be extremely similar in terms of the actual product and packaging however can be a fraction of the cost. We can see hundreds of examples of this when looking at Aldi products. Below are a few examples:






These products rely solely on consumer’s positive associations with existing national products. But is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery? In this case, probably not.

Algie, J 2014, ‘Week 6: Learning’, MARK217, lecture, University of Wollongong, viewed 10 April 2014

Loudon, DL & Della Bitta, AJ 1993, Consumer Behaviour, 4th edn, McGraw-Hill Inc, Singapore

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Till, BD & Priluck, RL 2000, ‘Stimulus Generalization in Classical Conditioning: An Initial Investigation and Extension’, Psychology and Marketing, vol. 17, iss. 1, pp. 55-72

The Future of Journalism – brighter?

“Is the disruption caused by digital technology to journalism making the world worse of better? And my answer is – Yes.” – Tom Rosenstiel (2014)

This week we were asked to watched two videos, both of which discussed the changing nature of news media and more broadly, the future of journalism. These discussions led me to reflect on week 5’s blog topic, participatory journalism and further assess the role the audience is now playing in content production and how this will further influence the future of journalism.

I found the TedX lecture, by Tom Rosenstiel particularly engaging. He raised interesting ideas that I had not previously thought about. He discussed the idea that audiences are entering a ‘new enlightenment’ when it comes to news media as consumers now have the power to decide when and how they access it. In the past, traditional news outlets or ‘gatekeepers’ decided what we heard and how we heard it, now the audience has the command to control their learning and decide what news is important. In accordance with this, news media must now be designed to keep up with how we live our lives rather than the other way around. This is decidedly true with today’s fast paced, screen obsessed culture.

Another idea Rosenstiel mentioned was the notion that the audience have become ‘teachers in journalism’. This is inextricably linked to participatory journalism as it looks at the idea that consumers are creating and contributing to news content like never before. Rosenstiel also noted the importance of understanding the audience in order to thrive in journalism. Journalism must ask the audience what they think, rather than dictating what they should think.

Despite this shift to a more interactive role of the consumer when it comes to creating content, the journalism we once knew is certainly not doomed. Social media and the continuing rise of new technologies means that journalists now have a means to gain more knowledge and content from consumers in order to create better, more timely news. Although the number of paid journalists has seen a massive decrease in recent years, this does not mean the end of traditional journalism. Journalists and consumers should be encouraged to work together in order to produce news of a higher standard, news that is hopefully, more detailed and diverse.

Rosenstiel, T 2013, The Future of Journalism, TED X online video, YouTube, viewed 19 April 2014>

New York Times, 2014, NYT’s David Carr on the Future of Journalism, online video, YouTube, viewed 19 April 2014,>

BCM310: Creative cities and public spaces- Hadley + Maxwell

Public media spaces and creative cities play an increasingly pivotal role in the way in which we understand and in turn, form an opinion on, a variety of issues, both on a public and personal level. Inextricably linked to this, is the notion of aesthetic journalism. Aesthetic journalism “involves artistic practices in the form of investigation of social, cultural or political circumstances” (Cramerotti 2011). In a contemporary context, we see examples of this everywhere. They come in the form of festivals, exhibitions, installations and more generally through ideas and media (O’Donnell, 2014). Aesthetic journalism works to produce an experience that combines both art and journalism, creating a unique perspective that is open to interpretation, fostering conversation in the public sphere. It also raises questions regarding the future of journalism and how artistic practices are coming to inform it.

The Biennale of Sydney, this year titled You Imagine What You Desire, constructs an immersive artistic experience which deals with a variety of meaningful issues. An artwork by Hadley + Maxwell, called Manners, Habits, and Other Received Ideas is currently being exhibited at Carriageworks. The artwork is comprised of three sculptures, each an assemblage of different parts of existing historical monuments and sculptures which can be found around Sydney. The sculptures were created by pressing Cinefoil (a matte black foil, most commonly used in theatrical lighting) into an existing sculpture, making a virtually identical imprint (Biennale of Sydney 2014).




The work deals primarily with the notion of public memory, encompassing facets of different sculptural monuments which act as “material remnants” that “trace our cultural history” (Turnbull 2014). The facets have been separated from their original narrative and put together to create a new sculpture, reinventing history (Beinnale of Sydney 2014). The work examines the role the public sculpture plays in everyday life where they often go unacknowledged. Aesthetic journalism, such as this, provokes a response from the viewer and asks us to question our everyday surroundings and how this may have been shaped by history. Unlike traditional, passive journalism, immersive artworks require viewers to walk around, look at the sculptures and form a personal interpretation of their meaning. Perhaps most importantly, aesthetic journalism requires society to think critically, creating a more holistic perspective of political and social issues.


Biennale of Sydney 2014, ‘Artists: Hadley + Maxwell’, Biennale of Sydney, viewed 9 April 2014,

Cramerotti, A 2011, ‘What is Aesthetic Journalism’, Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform without Informing, Intellect, London

O’Donnell, M 2014, ‘Media Space: Cities, Festivals and Installations’, lecture, BCM310, University of Wollongong, 7 April 2014

Turnbull, D 2014, ‘Sydney Biennale artists Hadley + Maxwell are ‘busting’ open the Powerhouse Museum Collection’, Inside the Collection- Powerhouse Museum, 12 March, viewed 9 April 2014,