Course plan 1

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Course plan 1


Course plan 1 Session 1 a) Course introduction b) Cross-cultural consumer behaviour Textbook: Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 (please focus on chapter 4) Session 2 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Course plan 1

Course plan 1
  • Session 1
  • a) Course introduction
  • b) Cross-cultural consumer behaviour
  • Textbook Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 (please focus
    on chapter 4)
  • Session 2
  • Standardization vs. adaption 1
  • Textbook Chapters 5, 6, 8
  • From the text collection
  • Theodore Levitt The Globalization of Markets
  • William B. Werther, Jr. Toward Global
  • Marieke De Mooij Convergence and divergence in
    consumer behaviour implications for global
  • Session 3
  • Standardization vs. adaption continued
  • See lecture 2
  • Session 4
  • Cross-cultural marketing research

SIS6 F06
Macintosh Powerbook launch 1991
  • Background
  • Apple wanted intl campaign (16 countries)
  • As first attempt at co-ordinated European
  • As country managers enjoyed much autonomy
  • A three years behind competitors
  • How it was done
  • - Apple organizations in DK, D, GB, F, S, USA
    presented ideas for print ad campaigns checked
    by agency.
  • - The 16 country managers were shown the ideas
    but origins were disclosed.
  • - The French idea won The Powerbook is for
    storing ideas not data.
  • - Idea based on ideas scribbled on paper
    tablecloth, which wouldnt work in
  • other countries.
  • - Each country made its own ads based on the
    French idea following written
  • guidelines form the agency.
  • - Agency called it a campaign done

SIS6 F06
Levitt The Globalization of Markets
  •  Technology is the main force of globalization.
  • Which strategy is better is not a matter of
    opinion but of necessity.
  • Gone are accustomed differences in national or
    regional preference.
  • "National rules of the road differ."
  • "Everyonewants products and features that
    everybody else wants. If the price is low enough,
    they will take highly standardized world
  • (Usunier (2000), p. 140 This naive view of
    world diversity states that we are all converging
    towards a modern lifestyle marked by standard
    products and consumption patterns world-wide.)

SIS6 F06
Levitt The Globalization of Markets
  • Of course, large companies operating in a single
    nation or even a single city dont standardize
    everything they make, sell, or do..But although
    companies customize products for particular
    market segments, they know that success in a
    world with homogenized demand requires a search
    for sales opportunities in similar segments
    across the globe in order to achieve the
    economies of scale necessary to compete.
  • Such a search works because a market segment in
    one country is seldom unique it has close
    cousins everywhere precisely because technology
    has homogenized the globe.

SIS6 F06
Levitt The Globalization of Markets
  • "Different cultural preferences, national tastes
    and standards, and business institutions are
    vestiges of the past. Some inheritances die
    gradually others prosper and expand into
    mainstream global preferences." (Chinese food and
    pita bread)
  • "In fact the customers said they wanted certain
    features, but their behavior demonstrated they'd
    take other features provided the price and
    promotion were right." "..never assume that the
    customer is a king who knows his own wishes."
  • "What we see today as escalating commercial
    nationalism is simply the last violent death
    rattle of an obsolete institution."
  • There are differences "But the global corporation
    accepts and adjusts to these differences only

SIS6 F06
Forget about mass marketing
  • In early 2000, the companys new chairman and
    CEO, Doug Daft, announced a new think local, act
    local mind-set. This ends years of Coca-Colas
    marketing being strictly controlled form its
    Atlanta headquarters.
  • Cokes mantra under Daft is to make connections
    with local people in a way that is relevant to
  • So far, we have created a world of Coke and
    invited people into it. Going forward, we will
    try to understand the world of people and provide
    the services and brands they need.
  • (strategieseurope, February 2001)
  • And dont forget
  • So when the question comes up, why cant we just
    use English? I always ask this question do you
    think that consumers should make the effort to
    understand us, or should we be making the effort
    to be understood by them?
  • (Simon Anholt Another One Bites the Grass, p.48)

SIS6 F06
Werther (1996)
  • Youth culture freed markets competitive
  • The McDonald's Generation
  • "Musichas become a global language uniting
    successive generations from Santiago to Miami,
    Beijing to Moscow.."
  • "..the largely English-speaking media have
    permeated the globe, molding an increasingly
    uniform teenage culture."
  • The marginalization of grandparents as
    transmittors of cultural values. Role to some
    degree taken over by technology.
  • Traditional values and aspirations of family,
    health, and well-being are not being discarded,
    but we're witnessing the injection of new, widely
    agreed-upon values of freedom .the pattern is
    far from universal, but it is moving towards
  • Such a growing uniformity of culture results
    from billions of points of contact among young
    people and media every day.

SIS6 F06
  • Freed Markets
  • Free trade agreements etc. economic growth
  •  Governments giving up economic controls
  • Competitive Convergence
  • "Instead they people will slowly emerge to
    reveal a world increasingly devoid of war,
    famine, bigotry, and oppression - because none of
    these conditions are particularly favorable for
    free trade"
  • "as the drum grows louder, more people will
    march to its unifying beat.

SIS6 F06
Local tastes The Economist, 17 November, 2005.
  • Pernod
  • Pernod gives local operations and brands plenty
    of autonomy.
  • To cater to local demand Pernod adapts its ad
    campaigns to each country and employs a large
    number of small local ad firms.
  • The Pernod strategy makes it harder to cut costs
    through centralization and to control a brands
  • Pernod is better able to adapt to the big
    differences in the way alcohol is consumed in
    different countries
  • Diageo
  • Believes in centralisation and standardisation.
  • Hires fewer ad agencies and runs big, global

SIS6 F06
Made for each other The Economist, 22 October,
  • Bharatmatrimonys boss, Janakiram Murugavel,
    says that language is the biggest criterion. His
    site is divided into 15 linguistic sections. Then
    comes status and caste, which divides Indians at
    birth into thousands of groups. About 70 of his
    customers want to marry within their caste. Most
    still use astrology. Bharatmatrimony offers an
    online horoscope service.

SIS6 F06
Burger and fries à la francaise The Economist,
17 April, 2004
  • Though it seems unlikely, France is the only
    place in Europe that has consistently loved
    McDonalds since the first outlet opened there in
  • And fast food would seem foreign in a society
    where a one (or two) hour break for lunch is
    still sacrosanct.
  • McDonalds was clever in adapting food and décor
    to local tastes and concentrating on children
  • The ham-and-cheese Croque McDo is McDonalds
    version of croque monsieur, a French favourite.
  • McDonalds teamed up with French companies to
    offer local fare, for instance fruit yoghurts

SIS6 F06
One-Toy-Fits-All How Industry Learned to Love
the Global Kid Wall Street Journal 29 April,
  • Major toy makers are rethinking one of the basic
    tenets of their 55 billion global industry
    that children in different countries want
    different playthings. The implications are
    significant for both kids and companies.
  • Two recent developments are changing kids
  • 1 Rapid world-wide expansion of cable and
    satellite TV channels, which along with movies
    and the Internet expose millions of kids to the
    same popular icons.
  • 2 The widening international reach of retailing
    giants such as Wal-Mart and
  • Carrefour and Toys R Us.
  • But still American kids want Nascar toy cars,
    while European kids want Formula One models.
    Cheerleader-themed anything is irrelevant outside

SIS6 F06
The influence of culture on American and British
advertising (Journal of Advertising Research,
May/June 1996)
  • Standardization or adaption of beer advertising
    in the two countries?
  • Interesting because researchers often look at
    countries that are very different.
  • However, many people often overlook the subtle
    but important differences
  • The study compared the cultural variables
    reflected in advertising messages prepared in the
    US and GB
  • If variables are similar Standardize
  • If variables differ Adapt

SIS6 F06
The influence of culture on American and British
  • The variables chosen by the researchers
  • 1.    American values
  • a)    Individualism/independence
  • b)   modernity/newness
  • c)    achievement
  • 2.    British values
  • a)    affiliation
  • b)   tradition/history
  • c)    eccentricity
  • 3) Rhetorical style
  • 4) Advertising appeals
  • 5) Occasion for product usage

SIS6 F06
Beer study Hypotheses
  • H1
  • A significantly greater number of American
    commercials reflect predominantly American
    cultural values than British commercials,
    specifically individualism/independence,
    modernity/newness, achievement 
  • H2
  • A significantly greater number of British
    commercials reflect predominantly British
    cultural values than US commercials,
    specifically Affiliation Tradition/history,
  • H3
  • A significantly greater number of US commercials
    use direct speech, while a significantly greater
    number of British commercials use indirect

SIS6 F06
Beer study Hypotheses
  • H4
  • A significantly greater number of US commercials
    employ emotional and sex appeal than British
  • H5
  • A significantly greater number of British
    commercials employ humor appeals than US
  • H6
  • A significantly greater number of American
    commercials present the circumstances under which
    beer is consumed as a special occasion, while a
    significantly greater number of British
    commercials present the circumstances under which
    beer is consumed as a regular occasion

SIS6 F06
Beer study Methodological Approach
  • A combination of content analysis and semiology
    was used
  • Content analysis
  • Its focus is normally limited to manifest content
  •       that which is apparent only at the surface
  • Semiotics (studying/interpreting signs and codes)
  • Offers an interpretive perspective to the meaning
    buried deeper within the text.
  • The weaknesses of semiotics
  • a)    heavily reliant on the ability of the
    individual analyst
  • suffers in its consistency and reliability
  • b)   semiology is not easily quantifiable
  • difficult to obtain general conclusions
  • c)    works better on some ads than others

SIS6 F06
Beer study Sampling
  • 1. Only ads created for domestic brewers of both
    countries were used
  • 2. Ads must have been for the brand itself, not
    an event or contest sponsored by the brand
  • 3. The ads must have been current
  • Sample
  • The American sample 24 commercial for 12 brands
  • The British sample 38 commercials for 19 brands

SIS6 F06
Beer study Results ()
  • USA UK
  • Individualism/independence present 70.8 15.8
  • Modernity/newness 45.8 0
  • Achievement 70.8 10.5 
  • Tradition/history 4.2 44.7 
  • Eccentricity 4.2 81.6
  • Rhetorical style Direct speech 91.7 2.6
  • Rhetorical style Indirect speech 8.3 97.4
  • Dominant advertising appeal
  • Emotional or sex 78.9 8.1
  • Humor 21.1 91.9
  • Occasion for product usage
  • Regular 14.3 83.8
  • Special or not applicable/
  • product not shown in use 85.7 16.2

SIS6 F06
Comparing the UK, Ireland and the
  • UK Ireland U.S.
  • I'm trying to return to a more simple way of
  • 32 28 46
  • Couples should live together before getting
  • 33 37 28
  • The man should be the boss of the house
  • 18 18 29
  • Women should put their family before their career
  • 54 54 58

SIS6 F06
Comparing the UK, Ireland and the U.S.
  • UK Ireland U.S.
  • Advertising insults my intelligence
  • 42 23 49
  • I'll try almost everything once
  • 70 63 52
  • I like to look attractive to members of the
    opposite sex
  • 51 49 68
  • It is important to me to make a lot of money
  • 20 42 39
  • I feel I'm under a great deal of pressure most of
    the time
  • 32 28 45

SIS6 F06
Usunier, chapter 6
  • "Consumers are immersed in local marketing
    environments that tend progressively to
    converge. (p. 155)
  • There are three major components of a local
    marketing environment that have a more or less
    direct influence on how marketing strategy can be
    defined an implemented
  • 1.   The general environment political, legal,
    social, cultural, and linguistic elements.
  • 2.   "Much nearer to the actual marketing
    decisions" marketing institutions and
    infrastructures distribution, ad agencies,
    professional associations, regulatory bodies and
    how marketing regulations are enforced.
  • 3.   Local marketing knowledge (often blatantly
    overlooked) matters if people, as employees,
    consumers or viewers, do not know, misunderstand
    and/or do not accept marketing concepts and
    practices, it is possible that strategies will be
    hard to implement.

SIS6 F06
Cultural differences and toys
  • Ouch! There are other cultural differences.
    American parents want the top selling kids
    kitchen upgraded to include a TV on the worktop
    like most US homes. Meanwhile, the Spanish didn't
    like the packaging for the toy kitchen because it
    showed a young boy doing the cooking and the
    French didn't like the pink kitsch colors and
    demanded more realism."
  • The Express, 6 December 2001

SIS6 F06
Usunier, chapter 6
  • When trying to understand local marketing
    environments, self-criticism is a necessary
    perspective because we understand our local
    environment from our own ethnocentric
    perspective. There is always a reference point
    that makes judgements implicitly
    comparative.If local people do not properly
    understand or appreciate the interviewing process
    in market research, a value judgement would be to
    say that they are underdeveloped and need to be
    educated. (P. 155)
  • Regional convergence/integration
  • The role of e.g. the EU?
  • The European consumer?
  • Borrowed concepts and practices (p. 159)
  • Interesting and relevant discussion
  • Usunier e.g. is French

SIS6 F06
Usunier, chapter 6
  • Marketing infrastructures are converging,
    because the standards of the marketing profession
    are fairly constistent worldwide. Multinational
    companies have heavily influenced the widespread
    adoption of similar practices even if to some
    extent tailored to local environments.
  • (P. 203)

SIS6 F06
Usunier, chapter 8 interesting points
  • Consumer behaviour, a natural entry barrier
    related to culture, will diminish very gradually
    and only over a long period there are still many
    very different marketing villages, not a global
    one. (P. 218)
  • The trends towards global markets differ fairly
    widely depending on the industry. (P. 219)
  • Cultural products which build on fairly
    universal feelings and ways of being are the ones
    to which standardized marketing policy can be
    applied. (p. 231)

SIS6 F06
Usunier, chapter 8 interesting points
  • In fact, international marketing programmes have
    experienced a trend towards greater
    standardization, but this needs to be
    differentiated, according to
  • (1) the elements of the marketing mix considered
  • (2) the type of market, e.g. developed or
  • (3) type of product consumer or industrial
  • (4) the control exerted over e.g. subsidiary.
    (p. 230)
  • Globalization is a process which occurs mainly
    at the competition level. Artificial entry
    barriers, related to duties and standards, are
    now being progressively replaced by natual entry
    barriers related to scale and experience. For
    international marketing, culture-related
    experience is all the more important since the
    natural entry barriers relating to consumer
    behaviour and marketing environments will
    diminish very gradually and only in the long
  • (p. 231)

SIS6 F06
Usunier, chapter 8
  • Cultural affinity zones
  • "Geography based"
  • Correspond to a large extent to national cultural
  • Cultural affinity classes
  • People within a cultural affinity classhave a
    tendency to share common values, behaviour and
    interets, and tend to present common traits as a
    consumer segment their lifestyles converge
    world-wide irrespective of national borders. As
    such, we see lifestyle convergence in teenagers
    in Europe who spend time watching MTV. (P. 232)
  • "Cultural affinity classes.are probably an
    ideal means of defining an international target
    for standardized products." (p. 233)

SIS6 F06
The de Mooij text Convergence and divergence in
consumer behavior
  • Some points for discussion 1
  • His Levitt argument was based on the
    assumption that consumer behaviour is rational.
    Increasingly, however scholars find that
    consumers are often not rational and do not make
    purchase decisions that maximise utility. The
    assumption of rationality is increasingly
    regarded as unrealistic and places consumers
    outside a cultural context.
  • Although there is evidence of converging
    economic and demographic systems in Europe, there
    is no evidence of converging value systems. On
    the contrary, there is evidence that consumer
    behaviour is diverging in Europe as reflected in
    the consumption, ownership and use of many
    products and services.

SIS6 F06
The de Mooij text Convergence and divergence in
consumer behavior
  • Some points for discussion 2
  • The assumption that economic systems
    homogenisation will lead to homogenisation of
    consumer behaviour is supported only by anecdotal
  • As people become more affluent, their diverge.
  • Global advertising, however, does not appeal to
    universal values because there are no universal
  • The model developed by Hofstede explains most of
    the variation of consumption and consumer
    behaviour across countries and enables marketing
    executives to quantify the effects of culture.

SIS6 F06
  •    Values are the basis for segmentation and
    positioning decisions.
  •  All people everywhere possess the same values to
    different degrees (Rokeach)
  • Two levels of values (Rokeach)
  • 1. Terminal (end-states) e.g. freedom, equality,
  • 2. Instrumental (motivators to reach end-states)
    ambitious, cheerful, forgiving.
  •  Some values may change over the long term 
  • Age and point in time of people's lives can cause
    value differences
  • (de Mooij)

SIS6 F06
  • Values offer an opportunity to differentiate
    brands by going beyond a focus on attributes and
    benefits, or the deliverance of higher-level
    consequences to consumers.
  • Modern advertising strategy development includes
  • Selecting values or end-states to emphasize in
  • Determining how advertising will connect the
    product to key end-states
  • Developing advertisements connecting the product
    to the end value.
  • (de Mooij)

SIS6 F06
Rokeach - values
  • Intrumental values (motivators) Terminal values
    (end states)
  • Ambitious A comfortable life
  • Broadminded An exciting life
  • Capable A sense of accomplishment
  • Cheerful A world at peace
  • Clean A world of beauty
  • Courageous Equality
  • Forgiving Family security
  • Helpful Freedom
  • Honest Happiness
  • Imaginative Inner harmony
  • Independent Mature love
  • Intellectual National security
  • Logical Pleasure
  • Loving Salvation
  • Obedient Self-respect
  • Polite Social recognition
  • Responsible True friendship

SIS6 F06
Value structure maps A VSM links the products
attributes and benefits to values
  • Toothpaste an example
  • Values security self-confidence
  • Consequences/ prevents clean, white teeth
  • benefits cavities
  • Attributes sugarless strong

SIS6 F06
Value structure maps Corona Extra, Germany (de
SIS6 F06
Value structure maps Corona Extra, Spain (de
SIS6 F06
Cross-cultural value research problems(de Mooij)
  • Research reflects values/culture of the
  • Differences in rankings of priorities of values
  • Terminal values of one culture may be
    instrumental in other cultures
  • Certain values of one culture may not exist in
    another culture
  • Until recently mainly been based on U.S. tools

SIS6 F06
Values, lifestyles and psychographics"the softer
side of science"
  • Values are beliefs that a specific mode of
    conduct or end-state is personally or socially
    preferable to an opposite or converse mode of
    conduct or end-state of existence.
  • Lifestyle is an exhibited set of shared values of
  • Or
  • Lifestyle is the manner in which people conduct
    their lives, including their activities,
    interests and opinions.
  • Psychographics the concept of dividing markets
    into segments on the basis of consumer
    lifestyles, attitudes and interests.
  • (Kahle Chiagouris Values, Lifestyles and

SIS6 F06
Emotional appeals
  • Emotional appeals relate to the customers
    social and/or psycological needs for purchasing a
    product or service. Many of consumers motives
    for their purchase decisions are emotional, and
    their feelings about a brand can be more
    important than knowledge of its features or
  • Personal states or feelings Social-based
  • Safety Security Recognition
  • Love Affection Status
  • Happiness Joy Respect
  • Nostalgia Sentiment Involvement
  • Excitement Arousal Embarrassment
  • Sorrow/grief Pride Affiliation/belonging
  • Achievement Self-esteem Rejection
  • Actualization Pleasure Acceptance
  • Ambition Comfort Approval
  • (Belch Belch, Advertising and Promotion)

SIS6 F06
Some major motives for consumption
  • Power/masculinity/virility
  • Security
  • Eroticism
  • Moral purity-cleanliness
  • Social acceptance
  • Individuality
  • Status
  • Femininity
  • Reward
  • Master over environment
  • Try to imagine different cultures and products
    affiliated with the different motives.
  • (Adapted from Solomon Consumer Behavior)

SIS6 F06
de Mooijs Value Paradoxes
  "Paradoxial values are found within cultures
and between cultures. Every culture has its
opposing values."   "Value paradoxes are part of
people's systems they reflect the desirable
versus the desired in life. On the one hand, one
should not sin on the other hand most of us do
sin now and again. We don't want to be fat, we
should eat healthy food, yet we do eat chocolate
or drink beer and we do get fat. Because the
important value paradoxes vary by culture,
value-adding advertising cannot be exported from
one culture to another.    (de Mooij, Global
Marketing and Advertising, p. 2)
SIS6 F06
de Mooijs Value Paradoxes
VPs must be understood or you delude yourself
and think that the world is becoming one global
culture with similar values. VPs reflect the
desirable versus the desired in life   USA
freedom/belonging Germany freedom/order Holland
freedom/affiliation France freedom/dependence De
Mooij understanding and using the VPs of
individual cultures effective marketing
SIS6 F06
Some of the problems in global marketing
  • The "Think global, act local" paradox
  • (You are always product of your own culture)
  • The technology paradox
  • (Technology hasnt led towards similar needs for
    similar products)
  • The media paradox
  • (Technology hasnt meant increased viewer
  • The culture-free versus culture-bound paradox
  • (There are no culture-free products)
  • Local markets are people, global markets are
  • (Many global advertisers are not market oriented,
    they are product oriented)

SIS6 F06
Some of the problems in global marketing
  • The paradoxes in marketing
  • (Marketing practice and theory often based on
    U.S. values and thinking)
  • Focus on the individual
  • (Traditionally focus has been on the individual)
  • Effective advertising needs a shared culture
  • (If buying motives for standardized products vary
    by country, how can a standardized campaign be
    equally effective in all countries?)
  • The research paradox
  • (Value and lifestyle research is culture-bound,
    but studies and techniques are often exported)
  • How advertising works
  • (de Mooij)

SIS6 F06
Remember SIS-4? We briefly touched upon
postmodern marketing
  • As Firat, describing the postmodern existence,
    rightly observes, In an overwhelmingly
    marketized existence, individuals experience
    practically all aspects of their lives as
    consumers. Whereas consumption was not always
    highly regarded in modern consumption, the
    postmodernist consumer pursues, with little
    afterthought, the construction of their
  • Because the postmodern consumer experience is
    not one of committing to a single way of being, a
    single form of existence, the same consumers are
    willing to sample the different, fragmented
    artifacts. The consumer is ready to have Italian
    for lunch and Chinese for dinner, to wear Levis
    501 blue jeans for the outdoor party in the
    afternoon and to try the Gucci suit at night
    changing not only diets and clothes but also the
    personas and selves that are to be (re)presented
    at each function.
  • (Firat in Usunier Lee, p. 136)

SIS6 F06
Remember SIS-4? We briefly touched upon
postmodern marketing
  • Consumption is no longer just about a simple
    purchase or the satisfaction of basic needs and
    wants, but a culturally determined behavioral
    pattern which forces us to choose and change the
    elements of our lifestyle.
  • and it is first of all through our way of
    consuming that we define ourselves as
  • (Frandsen, Johansen Nielsen, 1997, p. 7)

SIS6 F06
Remember SIS-4? We briefly touched upon
postmodern marketing
  • Post-modern marketing
  • De-differentiation e.g. the blurring of fine
    culture and mass-culture (e.g. advertisng.)
    And, marketing not only used commercially.
  • Fragmentation e.g. we all play different roles,
    e.g. during the day.
  • Today consumers play important roles in shaping
    their own lifestyles so marketers have to take
    part in the process where the consumers try to
    choose lifestyles. For marketers it is no longer
    enough just to learn, they have to get

SIS6 F06
Firat Christensen Marketing Communications in
a Postmodern World
Rather than converging towards a single mode of
being or living that is deemed to be the best, as
envisioned by the project of modernity,
postmodernity allows for the recognition that
various communities will have preferences for
different ways of being and living, and that
these preferences most likely will be shaped by a
multiplicity of goals and values. The
postmodern sensibility, in other words, does not
envision the posibility of consensus on any
foundational or fundamental essentials
representing a universal. Instead, a
multiplicity of perspectives, truths, and life
experiences are sought and expected. (Kimmel,
Allan J. (ed.) Marketing Communication, Oxford
University Press 2005)
SIS6 F06
Firat Christensen Marketing Communications in
a Postmodern World
Some of the conditions of postmodern
culture Hyperreality the becoming real of
that which was or is hype or simulation that is,
when a substantive and powerful segment in
society believe certain conditions that are
forcefully represented to be the case, these
conditions then become their reality. E.g. when a
group of young people believe that wearing
athletic shoes of a certain brand will bring them
popularity, it indeed becomes the
case. Fragmentation the condition that life
is disconnected or disjointed. Home life, work
life, recreation time, tv time, time with pets
etc. are all separate experiences and lack a
center of unity. Decentering of the subject is
the condition in modern life that the subject
(the human agent), who was considered to be the
center of all reason, has lost his/her agency,
and has to share the capability to act upon
things with objects (of desire), or is often
acted upon by objects. An obvious example is the
influence of objects such as television or the
automobile on human beings.
SIS6 F06
Firat Christensen Marketing Communications in
a Postmodern World
Some of the conditions of postmodern
culture Paradoxical juxtaposition of opposites
is the condition that many so-called proper
ensembles are no longer exercised. This is a
condition that is especially recognized in
architecture, where architectural elements from
different systems considered to be incompatible
are combined, but is also found in everyday
clothing and liftstyles, for example, in the
combined use of punk hairdos with high-fashion
clothing. Tolerance for difference and
multiplicity There is a tacit understanding
among peoples of the world who realize the
futility of seeking a consensus among all
different perspectives, values, and worldviews,
and instead accept an openness toward a
multicultural existence.
SIS6 F06
Firat Christensen Marketing Communications in
a Postmodern World
Together these conditions represent a blurring
of distinctions that were fundamental to the
constitution of modernity the distinctions
between reality and fantasy, mind and body,
subject and object, material and symbolic,
production and consumption, order and chaos.
Through these distinctions, modernity attempted
to construct a normative order for the
realization of the modern project. In the
postmodern sensibility, these bipolar or
oppositional dichotomies that determine what is
proper and improper, what is a privileged norm or
unworthy, are diffused, offering instead
multiplicity and complexity. Under these
conditions, to expect a single meaning or
interpretation to be derived from ones
communication is neither possible nor fruitful.
SIS6 F06
Firat Christensen Marketing Communications in
a Postmodern World
Modern communication For example What was
communicated was the result of the communicators
decision, whereas the audience merely was
exposed to the message and expected to decode it.
The emphasis is on communication management,
predictability and control. In the modern
context communication is not considered an
active. Communication is merely a carrier of
messages between producers and consumers
SIS6 F06
Firat Christensen Marketing Communications in
a Postmodern World
Postmodern communciation For example Now
the assumption is that in whatever the author
wrote, there are unspoken or hidden agendas,
historical baggage, and political imperatives
that the author may or may not be aware of.
Therefore, from each readers point of view, era,
and culture there can and should be different,
critical readings, which effectively reconstitute
what is written. From a marketing
communication perspective, one of the most
important implications of postmodernity is the
loss of control, consistency, and predictability
that the modern perspective took for
granted. Contemporary marketers need to realize
that they no longer are the masters of meaning,
that their products and messages are creations
with a life of their own, and that their
intended receivers are not passive targets but
creative partners in the production of
experiences and identities.
SIS6 F06
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