Sunday, May 11, 2008

International Advertising Blog Summary: Industry Trends

A primary trend I have discovered through execution of this blog involves companies taking their business abroad in order to help the declining sales of their domestic brands. For instance, Starbuck’s, due to its recent struggle with attracting new customers in US stores, decided to use this strategy of building its brand internationally to counter its weakening domestic sales. Similarly, Triar Co., the parent company of Arby’s, bought out Wendy’s International in hopes of saving its failing business. Triar sought to recreate the International fast food chain’s brand image through a new international advertising campaign that would increase sales abroad. Both Starbuck’s and Triar were able to capitalize on the development of international advertising strategies that provided greater opportunities in foreign markets. This trend stems from the belief that it is more valuable to place a brand in a new market and test its success abroad rather than to reposition an existing brand within an already established market in hopes of gaining market share as a result of the new brand image.

Other companies choose to expand in international markets to boost their sales in general. The Wall Street Journal took its business to Great Britain to jump at the opportunity of benefiting from the London market. London readers represent a great potential market for the newspaper, as well as presenting an additional opportunity for the already established market to receive their news several hours earlier online. GlaxoSmithKline, a leading pharmaceutical company, has also been capitalizing on this idea of expanding internationally to increase market share potential. Glaxo, like the Wall Street Journal, focused advertising efforts on foreign markets, particularly new emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East.

Existing within the desire to expand business to international countries, companies seek to penetrate one foreign market in particular: China. The Chinese market has become extremely attractive to international businesses, resulting in a multitude of advertising efforts focusing directly on this new emerging top market. Many American advertising efforts have migrated towards the Chinese market since it is the largest, and therefore the most appealing for prospective businesses. From Kraft to Reebok, companies are discovering the advantages of marketing towards this massive and diverse group of consumers. Kraft realized that its Oreo cookie, while remaining popular in the United States, was becoming more successful in the Chinese market, due to the slight variations made in the formulation of the cookie itself. Reebok realized that more direct advertisements, with less symbolic aspects, generated the most success when working with the Chinese markets.

With the growing trend of targeting the Chinese market, companies have increasingly been performing market research in order to define the proper market on which to concentrate. With the size of the China being so great, the individual target markets throughout the country are very diverse, and not all brands can benefit to the same degree when advertising to this vast market as a whole. While businesses have realized the need to invent separate advertising campaigns for varying Chinese markets within the country, these companies have also realized the need for culturally tailored advertisements, differing from the strategies used to target western cultures. The trend has been to create more direct advertisements that focus on the brand name and the visual of the product. Western cultures appreciate advertisements with symbolic meaning and underlying themes, an advertising strategy that does not prove successful among Eastern cultures. Overall, whether practicing global marketing tactics or developing specifically tailored campaigns for the varying Chinese markets, companies are seeking to increase brand exposure through product diffusion within the largest and most successful international market.

Another trend existing among international advetisers is to target brands specifically towards a female audience. Reebok, with the launching of their new global campaign, targeted a new line of sneakers directly at the female market. Also taking up this strategy, a Russian vodka producer, Damskaya, positions its alcoholic beverage directly towards women, hoping to gain the business of the neglected female market. This trend represents a change in the way cultures are defining and accepting gender roles, internationally. Campaigns with such as a focus on women will continue to grow as cultures continue to grow and redefine their stereotypes of female and male gender roles.

A recent surge of advertising efforts have been employed that position products as environmentally sustainable, through tactics of green marketing. SunChips made use of this advertising strategy in their campaign, similar to those efforts of many domestic and global brands alike. This intrigue with protecting the environment, works to present companies as socially responsible, which will continue to be an increasingly popular marketing strategy among advertisers.

International advertising efforts are becoming more and more prevalent as businesses continue to realize the opportunities that exist abroad in new emerging markets. China will grow to become the largest market on the map, soon overcoming the success and power that the United States has established and maintained for so long. The themes of advertising campaigns will continue to become more accepting of targeting female audiences with more than household products, as women in many cultures show growth in becoming more dominant consumers. In addition to these international advertising trends, the global efforts being put forth to save the environment are gaining increasing support all over the world, and advertisers will continue to capitalize on this concept. In understanding the views and roles of international audiences, advertising campaigns can more successfully target particular cultures, sexes, and issues. These trends in international advertising are in no threat of declining, showing the importance of recognizing them so that one can properly reign success in this rapidly growing industry.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Print Adverting Industry Experiences Surprising International Growth

While the print advertising industry continues to decline in the US market, it has been gaining speed in the Persian Gulf market. Newspaper readership is extremely high in this market, compared to the steady decline which has been occurring in the United States.

The six countries that make up the Persian Gulf spent $2.96 billion on advertisements in newspapers and magazines. While this is only a small percentage of what advertisers spend in the US market, this number is 21% higher than it was the previous year, and 44% higher than in 2005.

This growth in the print-ad industry can be attributed to the increase in government spending, due to the soaring revenue resulting from the success of the oil industry. Businesses that appear to be taking advantage of this successful print-ad industry include property developers, telecommunications, and the banking industry.

Even with a growth of internet advertising in the Persian Gulf, a large percentage of this market maintains the tradition of reading the morning and afternoon newspapers. Recent polls have shown that 87% of Kuwait reads the newspaper daily, along with 67% of Saudi Arabia reporting to read the newspaper daily.

Compared to the US market, where multiple newspapers have suffered financial difficulties that result in reversing marketing objectives and staff lay-offs, the Persian Gulf continues to launch new newspaper companies. It appears that the tradition of reading the newspaper in this market has a greater significance within the culture, and has allowed for print advertisements to continue to thrive.

[Fam, Mariam. "Print-Ad Business Booms in Persian Golf." The Wall Street Journal. 1 May 2008: B7.]

Monday, May 5, 2008

Citigroup Revives an Old Campaign Slogan

Citigroup Inc. recently decided to bring back an old advertising slogan first launched in the 70s, "Citi Never Sleeps." Citi hopes that the nostalgic approach will help generate trust and confidence among its target markets during a particularly uncertain economic time. On Friday May 9th, the company will debut its global campaign, which will include television, print, and online advertisements in the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and two additional markets.

The campaign is estimated to cost roughly $20 million over the next two months, compared the the $451 million that Citigroup spent last year on their advertising campaign. The campaign is, however, supposed to be part of a cost-cutting effort, which included the reuse of old footage and included music already owned by the company.

Citi decided that the old campaign, which included the slogan "Let's Get it Done." should be dropped since it proved ineffective at helping the company pull out of the financial service industry crisis. The revival of the old campaign appears to be viewed optimistically, since it did receive great success in the late 70s, success that was repeated with occasional uses of the slogan up until 1996.

Although some doubt is cast over the reuse of this campaign slogan, past use doesn't seem to indicate any threats. Market conditions are different now from how they have been in the past, but an old, familiar advertising approach may be what consumers require to make them feel secure in an uncertain market situation. Also,the statement "Citi Never Sleeps" suggests that this company is always looking out for the consumer's best interest-an important message to convey when consumers are feeling uncertain and unsafe.

[Vranica, Suzanne. "Citi Awakens an Old Campaign." The Wall Street Journal. 5 May 2008: B9.]

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Problems At Home for Starbucks Lead to Wandering Eyes

While deemed a successful, well-established business, Starbucks, the Seattle-founded coffee chain, reports a decline in net income-28%. Starbucks appears to be losing attention from new customers, while brand loyal customers remain consistent.

A decrease in the company's ability to attract future clientele results in weaker sales. In response to this business threat, Starbucks, over the next three years, plans to reduce the number of stores they open in the US. The corporation's reaction to this decline in customers halts the long-running trend Starbucks had created for covering the US in new Starbucks' stores.

Starbucks plans to open 1,020 locations for this year, a sizable decrease compared to the 1,800 stores that were opened in 2007. Following this years decrease, the corporation plans to cut this number by more than half in the next three years-meaning that less than 400 would open per year. To offset this decline in the domestic market, Starbucks will increase the expansion of international markets. While this includes building 1,050 new locations overseas for 2009, the corporation plans to increase that number to 1,300 by 2011.

The launching of these new locations is key to Starbucks business. However, a new strategy is necessary for existing locations to counter the decline in customers. Starbucks plans to place a stronger focus on the coffee in addition to store renovations in hopes of improving the look and feel of the in-store experience. But, would refocusing customer attention on coffee seems like a weak resolution for reviving customer visits. Perhaps the existing domestic market is sick of the commercialized cafe experience propelled by Starbucks- not to mention the overpriced beverages. The US market appears completely saturated with shop locations, rendering customers unable to appreciate the brand's intangible qualities.

Hopefully, international markets will welcome new locations with an influx of customer visits-but how long before foreign markets react the same way as the US? It seems only inevitable for the massive coffee chain, and when it happens, will a plan to refocus attention on coffee be able to save the company then?

[Adamy, Janet. "Starbucks Slows U.S. Growth Plans as Sales Weaken." The Wall Street Journal. 1 May 2008: B3.]

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Markets Inspire New Marketing Strategies

GlaxoSmithKline establishes a new strategy to potentially increase sales in emerging international markets. Andrew Witty, the future CEO of Glaxo as of May 22nd, plans to develop a new marketing team that will provide assistance in creating new marketing strategies. Such marketing strategies would be employed in upcoming international markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the Middle East.

In order to gain market share, it appears essential for Glaxo to penetrate these new markets. These markets do represent roughly 25% of today's pharmaceutical market growth and are predicted to grow at an even raster rate in the future. Emerging markets present great opportunities for a powerhouse such as Glaxo, the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world, just under the market leader, Pfizer.

Witty seems prepared to attach these developing markets with creative and novel tactics of corporate operations. Making structural adjustments may prove beneficial for Glaxo in the future. With an increasing demand for innovative medicines and health care products, Glaxo exhibits potential to dominate these fresh markets.

[Whalen, Jeanne. "Glaxo's New Chief Shuffles Ranks." The Wall Street Journal. 1 May 2008: B10.]

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kraft Takes A Big Bite Out Of The China Market

By redesigning and repositioning the Oreo cookie among other cookies in the China market,Kraft has effectively managed to make the Oreo a top-selling product within the foreign market, in addition to its already established reputation in the US market. The oreo sold in China appears longer, thinner, and four-layered, compared to the Orea design made and sold in the US. The transformation of the Orea design is what allowed Kraft to successfully sell the cookie in China, the world's largest market.

International Business makes up 40% of Krafts revenue, even though Chinese oreo sales represent only a small portion of the corporation's annual revenue. Kraft has used it's success in the Chinese market to further capitalize on the concept of redesigning of its food products to more properly target foreign markets. Profits of the corporation rose 48% within the European Union for example, in part due to Kraft's introduction of dark chocolate, a marketing strategy used to response to the strong preference for dark chocolate in countries such as Germany.

Kraft has acheived global success as an international brand, demonstrated with its ranking as the second largest food company in the world. Kraft has experienced an increase in profits based on the positioning their instant coffee product within the Russian market. The coffee is positioned as a high-end, upscale product, distributed for sale among operas, film festivals, and fashion shows throughout the country.

Kraft has maximized profits in developing markets by 54%. The effectiveness of tits new marketing strategies are profound. Kraft, reacting to the Phillipines's particular fondness of iced tea, released a new iced tea beverage, tailored specifically to the culture of the market.

While Kraft continues to build itself as an international brand, it is still able to maintain a dominating presense within its domestic market of the US, indicating incredible talent at developing brands within multiple differing markets.

[Jargon, Julie. "Kraft Reformulates Oreo, Scores in China." The Wall Street Journal. 25 April 2008: B1]

Friday, April 25, 2008

Arby's Has New Sister-Wendy

Triar Co., parent company of fast food chain Arby's, bought mega-chain Wendy's International, the hamburger chain which was founded by Dave Thomas. The new management has big plans for expansion which includes increasing Wendy's international exposure, as well as broadening the menu selection to include breakfast at US locations. Also, new marketing plans are in the works to position the Wendy's brand towards a new target market of older clientele. Marketing to this new audienc would certainly be a novel approach to gaining market share in the fast food industry compared to strategies of heavyweight McDonalds, which dominates the children market, along with Burger King targeting a young-adult audience.

While Triar seems confident that implementing these few marketing changes will fix the corporation's problems, shareholders remain skeptical. In fact, shareholdrs claim that these same marketing proposals have been suggested in the past, but proved ineffective in saving the company, leaving one to ask: Why would this time be different?

New CEO, Ronald Smith, acknowledges that the restaurant industry is currently a difficult playing field and asserts that Wendy's needs to focus on differentiating itself from top dogs, like McDonalds and Burger King. How would adding a breakfast menu help distinguish Wendy's from other fast food restaurants? Such a change would resemble competitor business, making it less likely for Wendy's to stand out amongst the crowd. Smith's goal is to emphasize the quality and freshness of the food, but is this really enough to turn the company around?

[Adamy, Janet. "After Two Years, Peltz Finally Makes A Deal For Wendy's." The Wall Street Journal 25 Apr. 2008: B1. 25 May 2008 . ]

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Power of "My"

Brands are capitalizing on the use of the word "my" in connection with their products. This trend of labeling a product with the inclusion of the word "my" is an attempt made by advertisers to help build a more meaningful relationship between brands and consumers.

While Apple has been successful with their branding of the word "I" (among the ever popular IPod and IPhone), other companies are moving towards a "possessive" form of the word. The online community portal, MySpace, for example, is one of the most obvious and successful brands, which helps illustrate the fact that this new trend has been dominating the online world. Coca-Cola has made use of this idea, in creating their virtual world, similiar to the idea of SecondLife,

While "my" appears to be dominating the advertising team, it is unclear how long this trend will last. It is only a matter of time until the next prefix comes onto the scene. Both "i" and "e" are ruled out, and the question arises: what will be next?

[Browne, David. On the Internet, It's All About "My". The New York Times. April 19 2008. Online.]

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is Plum the New Black?

A recent trend amongst advertisers is giving the color plum a new association. This particular shade of purple is being positioned as the new classy, high-end label. The plum label is not only being used to position and classify certain products, but also as a strategy to categorize market segment of consumers.

American Express has used the unique color to not only title their new credit card under the RedPlum name, but also this classification will apply to the market segment which chooses to purchase the new credit card. So as a result of advertisers positioning their products in association to plum, consumers are being forced to ask themselves if they can relate to this association.

So with the new popularity that the color plum is receiving, black may be losing its appeal. Advertisers are realizing the versatility that plum can offer- a versatility that the color black is unable to match. This can be seen also in the development of a television channel called PlumTV and an online computer service called PlumChoice Online.

It should be interesting to see what companies jump on the Plum bandwagon, and which can successfully market their product with such a color association.

[Elliot, Stuart. Plum, the Color, Is Having Its Star Turned. The New York Times. Online.April 18 2008.]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

An Advertising Icon Passes

The man responsible for turning San Francisco into the innovative realm of advertising, Hal Riney, died at the age of 75 on Monday, March 24th. He spent his career building upbeat, low-key advertising campaigns which proved very successful in his 50 years dedicated the the advertising industry. He is most well-known for his campaigns for Saturn and especially the re-election of President Ronald Reagan.

Advertising Age ranked Mr. Riney's advertising agency as the 30th on a top ten advertising figures of the 20th century. Advertising campaigns for companies such as Saturn, General Motors, Bartles and Jaymes appeared in other Advertising Age lists of top advertising campaigns as well.

He made use of a subtle strategy, one that utilized subtlety and humor. Always direct and sincere, the advertising plans managed to incorporate humor with the casual soft sell approach. This approach to advertising won Mr. Riney hundreds of awards, some of which included 19 Clios, 15 Addys, and 5 Gold Lions at the International Advertising Festival.

His lifetime achievements in the advertising industry are huge, and his powerful methods are utilized by the very best in an attempt to recreate his success.

[Elliot, Stuart. "Hal Riney, Adman for Reagan and G.M., Dies at 75." The New York Times 26
Mar. 2008. 13 Apr. 2008 media/26riney.html?sq=international advertising.html>. ]

Friday, April 11, 2008

Newspaper Spreads to London

The Wall Street Journal is extending its business towards the London market. This move will benefit those in the US market who can access the newspaper several hours before it is released in the United States. This international marketing strategy is a strong one for News Corp's, especially since News Corp just recently came into ownership of the corporation. The paper will be available in airports, including the Heathrow and London City airports. The London market will also be able to catch their US Wall Street Journal editions on a business and individual subscription basis, available throughout central London.

The Wall Street has a rather large following in Europe, with a circulation of 81,140, compared to the United States circulation of 2.1 million. This business expansion is advertised in the Wall Street Journal, being labeled as a smart in depth global political and business expansion that will allow for greater choices and news to be distributed.

This international business move will take place on April 16th and allow 250 locations to distribute the paper. While the news would be the same, the price of acquiring it is uniquely more than double. The London market would pay the equivalent to $5 US currency, while in comparison, the US market pays $1.50. Discovering how this new market takes to the price increase will be interesting. Also, I look forward to seeing how many US readers are willing to pay the $5 for receiving their news a few hours earlier. The price you pay for faster information is certainly a steep one.

[Kardos, Donna. "U.S. Edition of Wall Street Journal To Be Expanded to London."
The Wall Street Journal 2 Apr. 2008. 13 Apr. 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Russian Beverage...Just for Women

A new Russian vodka , Damskaya, is heavily campaigning its brand as the vodka made for women, apparent in the slogan, "Just between us girls." Advertisements include the violet-colored bottle with its curvy design (no doubt intended to resemble the female body), dressed in a flowing white skirt that portrays a Marilyn Monroe flirtatious look. Damaskaya created a very powerful marketing campaign in order to generate female sales. Their strategy plans to target the 25-45 year old female market, with an average income, as opposed to the upper middle class women, who may have developed a palate more inclined to drinking dry wine.

This campaign strategy seems groundbreaking, as it defies Russian advertising precedent. Throughout Russian history, vodka has been considered a masculine drink and positioned as such. Taking on a different angle-with the repositioning of vodka as a drink that women can enjoy, sitting around the table with her girlfriends-may prove fatal to Damskaya's brand image. A serious advertisement campaign is vital in order to stay afloat, since the company is choosing to only target the female demographic, which means they are missing out on a large segment of the vodka-buying market.

Skepticism exists among the country, with many believing that this novel marketing strategy only leads to the furtherance of alcoholism in Russia. With an estimated 10% of the country suffering from alcoholism, some fear that a vodka brand targeted solely at women will create an increase in the number of women drinking alcohol, as well as an increase in the amount of female alcoholic consumption. In particular ads, the brand is labeled as a "healthy" beverage. Such labels, although legal in Russia, are not necessarily ethical, considering the substantial negative effects that result from frequent alcohol intake. This sort of health labeling produces a skewed message about the effects of alcohol, vodka specifically. While producing a less than accurate association between health benefits and vodka in Russia, Damskaya is not held to the same corporate social responsibility in Russia that it would be subject to if it were to consider marketing in such countries as the United States.

Misleading advertising in relation to alcohol health effects, surely limits the international advertising available to an alcohol brand such as Damskaya, especially in the United States where advertising is strictly regulated.

So positioning the brand as the beverage for women to sip on after a work-out in the gym, would not earn the brand the international success that it may reap while stationed in Russia, killing any potential dreams of reaching the status of such Russian vodka brands as Stolichnaya.

[Lileston, Randy. "Russian Distiller Creates Vodka Just For Women." USA Today 21
Mar. 2008. 30 Mar. 2008 russian-distill.html>.]

[Schwirtz, Michael. "Russian Vodka With a Feminine Kick." The New York Times 30
Mar. 2008. The New York Times. 30 Mar. 2008 03/30/fashion/30vodka.html>. ]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Trendy Beverage for the Drinking Scene Intended to Reboost Cognac Popularity

Last January, a Cognac industry trade group labeled the Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac (BNIC), gathered together seventeen bartenders from around the world, including top cities such as New York, London, and Munich (Germany). Together in Cognac, France, these selected expert, worked at inventing a new hip drink for the bar/club scene that involved Cognac. Their mission was accomplished with the invention of the Summit. This Cognac group hopes to see the Summit enter into the popular circle of bar cocktails, aiming to hit status of the ever popular Cosmopolitan.

Reaching the status of the Cosmopolitan is a goal, but with the underlying intention of increasing the use and popularity of Cognac, at the less expensive level. Much in the way that the Cosmo helped to uplift the sales of vodka, primarily Absolut sales in the 1980s, BNIC would like to see the Summit gain skyrocketing popularity which ultimately sends Cognac sales through the roof.

Previous marketing efforts for Cognac have been successful in the realm of hip hop rappers, celebrities, and high income consumers. Two brands that have done a fantastic job with their marketing campaigns include Courvoisier and Hennessy. These two brands successfully developed a brilliant campaign strategy that appropriately reached their market segment.

Although the expensive, high-class brands appear to be doing well, it is the Cognac aimed at a younger market segment, with less discretionary income, that suffers in earning sales. This is where the new Summit drink would be most effective, with this younger market, the sort of market who love new and trendy drinks.

BNIC, as well as the rest of the target market, will know soon enough if the Summit is capable of driving Cognac sales back to the top. Similar to the way Mojitos are vital the the brand image of Bacardi Rum, it is possible that the Summit could be that drink for the more social, trendy Cognac drinker.

[Colchester, Max. "Cognac Group Takes a Shot at Hit Drink." The Wall Street
Journal 27 Mar. 2008. 29 Mar. 2008 SB120657545346067017.html?mod=mm_hs_advertising>. ]

Friday, March 28, 2008

SunChips Take on Green Marketing Approach

SunChips have recently decided that want to be positioned as a environmentally conscious, savy, and resourceful brand. Choosing to incorporate a green marketing strategy, appearing as a bold step for the brand, was not a choice that came completely out of the blue. SunChips, a brand of the FritoLay division of PepsiCo corporation, has recently added solar panels to its FritoLay manufacturing plant in California. So in a way, SunChips is making more literal use of its name in the development of its product, by using the Sun to help make the chips themselves.

SunChips is adding a 10-acre farm for this project with the intention of having the farm supply roughly 75% of the energy required to make the product. This particular plant, which plans on using the solar panels, is located in Modesto, California, and is only one of seven that actually product SunChips. The new green marketing strategy is expected to be launched on April 22nd, and is intended to position the SunChips brand as an environmentally caring snack brand.

This new campaign will not be subtle. In fact, PepsiCo has designed an advertising campaign that includes television commercials, print ads, billboards, website info, and even Facebook advertisements, to link its brand name to the increasingly popular Social network among the SunChips' young target audience.

This new approach to advertising, is becoming extremely popular among international brands, including corporations such as Coca-Cola, Toyota, and Wal-Mart. Not all environmentally-focused campaigns are so easily accepted among the public. Much of the public is skeptical about the reasons behind a company's desire to switch to green marketing. Some skeptics resent the corporate world's attempt to play on the general public's concern for the environment. They feel that companies and brands are manipulating the public's environmental concerns, while redeveloping business strategies that can be considered green marketing. They have even coined a new term, "greenwashing," which can be defined as the act of companies and brands to inappropriately integrate green marketing campaign strategies to gain public interest for their brand.

Only time will tell if the SunChip brand's new green marketing appeal stays positive with the general public, and if consumers are willing to accept the SunChips brand as an appropriate environmentally themed product.

[Elliot, Stuart. Trumpeting a Move to Put the Sun in SunChips." New York Times 27 Mar. 2008. 28 Mar. 2008 27adco.html?pagewanted=1&ref=media>. ]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Innovative Global Advertising Campaign: Reebok's Freestyle World Tour Collection

Reebok has taken an entirely novel approach to international advertising with the Freestyle World Tour, a campaign designed to promote six new versions of the Reebok Freestyle shoes, chosen to exemplify the six cities world-wide known for their influence in and fascination with high-level fashion. The campaign pays tribute not only to these glamorous cities-Tokyo, France, New Delhi, Spain, London, and New York- but also to six “authentic and inspirational women” who represent the essence of each fashion capital.

For years, Reebok has positioned itself as the shoe for women, whether fitness sneakers or casual kicks. The Freestyle shoe campaign maintains this focus of a female target market, while combining the shoe line with an additional clothing line to match the themes of each city.

The marketing strategy of the campaign involves print ads as well as video content displayed on, a virtual world that reaches a large percentage of Reebok’s female target audience. Reebok’s online website will also make available video content for the campaign. Promotional events will also take place within each designated city, starting with Tokyo, where the campaign was launched on February 21st.

The female icons associated with the six specified cities involve rising stars of each individual market segment. This includes Tokyo’s first NFL cheerleader, a young French songwriter/singer, a Bollywood actress of New Delhi, a Spanish model, a female DJ from London, and an actress from New York who stars in the film “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” These women were selected because they are genuine, real-life inspirational women to their particular communities. They represent a diverse group of women from around the world, each one portraying a unique style which is manifested in the design of the Freestyle shoe and the accompanying clothing lines.

The Freestyle World Tour comes one year after the 25th anniversary of the Freestyle shoe. This Freestyle shoe is illustrative of Reebok’s history as the innovator to female high-top shoe fashion.

This campaign is the first of its kind, with the representative women paying homage to their respective cities, and each clothing line appropriately complimenting the style of the shoes. Reebok executes a compelling global campaign with well positioned advertisements that brilliantly capture the modern, edgy style and personality of its female market across the world.

Daily 195.37 (Feb. 2008): 17. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca
Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY. 22 Mar. 2008 login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=31275645&site=ehost-live>. ]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cheil Attempts to Break from Samsung and Join International Team, with Haines Leading the Plays

Cheil, South Korea’s leading advertising agency, seeks to expand its business ventures beyond Korean borders. With Samsung as their most dominant, successful client, Cheil has developed the reputation as a “one-client” agency, and they wish to change that image by establishing international connections with the powerful markets including New York, New York and London, England. Former Leo Burnett London chief Bruce Haines was hired by Cheil to help launch their global presence.

Cheil originated from within the parent company, Samsung, which has now become one of South Korea’s biggest corporations, highly ranked internationally as well. The company plans on working towards becoming a full-service agency that is capable of working with multiple clients on a personal basis. Hiring Bruce Haines was a positive step for Cheil in the direction of developing international offerings. Bruce Haines has prior experience in global campaigns for Samsung that make him qualified for effectively spreading the word of Cheil, as some industry players believe. Others, less convinced by Haines’ previous work with Samsung, believe that perhaps Haines isn’t as capable of changing Cheil’s situation as the agency lets on to believe.

Whether seen as a effective brand person or operations manager, Haines recognizes the importance of avoiding the mistakes that have been made by Japanese marketers in wrongly targeting the Western world, without properly looking at them through the eyes of people in the Western world. Haines believes that his experience in working with people of the Western world will significantly aid his plans for expanding Cheil’s clientele basis.

The future will decide whether Cheil can successfully establish itself as a global agency, gaining business from Western countries including England and the United States. Cheil is looking for the opportunity to embrace success and business outside of its connection with Samsung, and based on the campaign work designed for this global project, Haines will help determine whether or not Cheil can stand alone without parental support of Samsung brand name association.

[Lester, Robert. "Is there more to Cheil than Samsung?" Marketing Week 31.9 (Feb.
2008): 11. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY.
18 Mar. 2008 pdf?vid=5&hid=6&sid=2539a05f-1b9a-4461-9b6b-e02f19cfb1cc%40sessionmgr7>. ]

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Biggest and Most Attractive Emerging Market: China

International advertisers are beginning to take their business to the very promising, open market of China. But China market isn't for everyone, and more importantly, China's market in its entirety is not meant for one marketing message. China has approximately 1.3 billion consumers, and this group is exceedingly diverse. It would be highly unrealistic for marketers to assume that implementing a a single marketing message to the whole country would be effective. The market segment of high-income, Western-oriented consumers can be even further divided into groups of young royals,established money, patriots, and value players- four very distinctive groups within a single segment of the overall China market.

This elite group, with its further separating subdivisions, is often assumed to be most profitable group for international advertisers to target. However, with the advancement of many Chinese products, these native consumers are not naively concluding that expensive, western-produced products are immediately better. As a result, this market is not so willing to spend high amounts on foreign products, perhaps making this group not as desirable of a targeted market segment. It then becomes more important for new foreign marketers to target the middle class consumers, even the bottom of the market.

Nokia Corp, based in Finland, employed an effective marketing strategy towards the mainstream consumers of the Chinese market. Nokia has a 35% share in the China market, which places the phone company as the number one company in China phone sales. Nokia discovered that many rural Chinese consumers were having difficulty texting Chinese characters, provided pen and scratch pads to facilitate easier texting opportunities. This market segment adaptation allowed Nokia to retain a solid number of consumers as well as gain members of this group who were in search of a texting solution.

Nokia was able to uncover important information about this Chinese market segment through research performed by established, local partners in the China market. Forming such partnerships allows for an easier transition into the market, proving successful for companies such as Nokia, who developed these partnerships in order to then build upon domestic operations.

In combination with specific market segmentation, well-established partnerships and domestic relations help generate exposure to the best chunk of the market, in the most trustworthy, personalized way. Partnerships within the market demonstrate company credibility as well as provide for necessary assistance in conducting research on the intended target market. Further creation of specialized domestic operations allows for personal interaction with the consumers, an important step in bulding relationships with the members of the Chinese market. The China market is huge, open, profitable and full of opportunity for international advertisers. Along with smart business planning and a willingness to adapt, China could be the optimal place to expand business.

Bolgar, Catherine. "Staying Power and Adaptability are Key to Corporate Success
in China." The Wall Street Journal 11 Feb. 2008, Accenture sec. The Wall
Street Journal Accenture. 8 Mar. 2008 accenture>.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Citation for last entry

The article that inspired the last post:

Cheng, Jonathan, and Geoffrey A Fowler. " Ad's Insult to Industry in China?"
The Wall Street Journal [Hong Kong] 6 Mar. 2008, sec. B4: B4. 7 Mar.
2008 .

Refined Chinese Consumers Resent Crude Nature of Advertisements

Chinese consumers are emerging as a sophisticated audience, raising their current expectations of advertisers in their choice of brand messaging and strategy execution. This group is now well-versed in the innovative work of foreign ad agencies since their onset in the 1990s, has adjusted their standards for both local and foreign television commercials. They insist on higher production quality and unique message-delivery to captivate their attention and win over their approval.

A television spot produced by Heng Yuan Xiang Group (a leading Chinese wool manufacturer) received national criticism and rejection which forced the company to stop running the advertisement. The 60-second commercial, which was intended to promote Heng Yuan Xiang’s sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics, failed to interest Chinese viewers, who responded negatively to unadorned message, a result of the elementary production. Not only were viewers unimpressed, but also offended, believing the ad to be so terrible to the point of intellectually-insulting.

No longer accepting of basic, repetitive television spots, Chinese viewers now express intolerance for overly simple, cheap advertisements. The Heng Yuan Xiang Group appeared to take a “caveman approach” to their marketing strategy: employing a technique designed to beat consumers over the head with your message. Such simplicity does not fly with the now, sophisticated Chinese consumers, who possess greater expectations for the marketing efforts targeted at them.

With the addition of foreign ad agencies playing a role in the raising of the bar, these foreign marketers typically take a more experienced approach to targeting the Chinese market, although not with a perfect history. China was forced to ban Nikes 2004 TV ad which illustrated basketball star LeBron James fighting a kung fu warrior. China claimed the ad was an insult to the dignity of the nation.

Some criticism of local Chinese TV advertisement blames these overly simply, repetitive ads on their cheap production. In reality, the production value on many China ads matches that of either the US or Europe. China’s ad market, highly valued, is predicted to overtake Japan as the second largest in the world, in terms of spending. This results from the higher standards placed on US Domestic Chinese brands. Heng Yuan Xiang simply did not meet the raised bar, demonstrating a lack of growth.

Chinese consumers have grown wiser to the advertising methods of the industry, more critical of the ads themselves. Advancement in technology, especially the internet has designated consumers with more control than ever before-in terms of when they are exposed and the how they perceive ad messages. As a result, this experienced, empowered market is increasingly particular about the brands they choose to accept and, ultimately upon which, to bestow brands loyalty.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Internet Advertising for Eastern and Western Markets

Internet advertising receives a lot of attention from multinational advertisers who seek to reach as much of their target audience as possible through one medium. International corporations understand the importance and effectiveness of differentiating advertising tactics towards different national markets, adapting strategies so that they speak more directly to a specific culture. These international advertisers do not necessarily have to target markets on a country-by-country basis but perhaps differentiate marketing techniques between Eastern and Western markets. A study which compared two groups of nations, sought to uncover the difference between global brands advertising techniques in targeting local markets. The two groups involved in the study were Eastern and Western nations. The Easter nations consisted of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The Western group included Japan, Korea, and China. The study revealed a highly noticeable difference in the visual content of website advertising used by global brands to target these separate markets.

This study raises a lot of questions about the strategies global corporations should execute. Internet marketing, having gained such international popularity among advertisers, proves very effective and direct in targeting a vast number of consumers. As a result of having such unrestricted extension, capable of accessing such percentage of a target audience, the issue becomes whether or not more specialized advertising is required, reaching different market segments with more individualized messages. International businesses must consider if standardized international advertising is ineffective for their brand, although many find that market segmentation is highly effective in relation to differentiating cultures and national markets.

A style exists among Eastern nations which stems from our similar cultural values, and backgrounds, forming a particular way that this audience prefers to be advertised towards. The Eastern style includes a preference for internet advertising that focuses of audience lifestyles, brand images, and mood-creating symbols. A less literal message is warranted and more symbolic meaning is desired. Direct and aggressive website visuals would not be the best way to target the Eastern group because they are highly involved consumers, they are very responsive to the added meaning of a product or brand. They are very receptive to advertisements that involve celebrities because of the added meaning a celebrity portrays-a certain level of importance.

Concerning the Western nations, they too have a preference when it comes to the way in which they want advertisers to target them. They want website advertisement visuals that explicitly display brand name and company logo, along with lengthy product information. These consumers are not looking for the symbolic added feature-they want to know the facts about the product. These countries like direct communication of brand names and information because it is a common cultural form of communication. This style is specific to Western groups, and differs from the communication style of Eastern groups.

International advertisers should investigate whether this specialized market segmentation is necessarily for their brands. If they conduct proper market research on their international markets, they will probably discover that advertising visuals should reflect the communication style of the targeted national market in order to be effective.

[Daechun, An. "Advertising visuals in global brands' local websites: a
six-country comparison." International Journal of Advertising 26.3 (2007):
303-332. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY. 1
Mar. 2008 login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=26246061&site=ehost-live>.]

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Chinese Consumer Market: Babies to American Advertising Efforts

Product placement in the movies continues to emerge as a form of unconventional advertising, aiming to subtly target consumers in a less intrusive manner (attempting to seem more natural). It was defined by Balasubramanian in 1994 as “the tecnique of product placement is comprised of the “planned entries of products into movies or television shows that may influence viewers’ product beliefs and/or behaviors favorably.”

In comparison to more expensive, less effective advertising techniques, product placement acts as an appealing alternative-form of marketing. Product placement in movies has developed into a very cost-effective promotional tool, as a result of their increasing popularity in Hollywood films-such films that acquire a massive global audience.

A study conducted to report attitudes of Chinese consumers’ towards product placement, compared these attitudes with those of American consumers in order to gain insight into the similarities and differences among the two groups in the way they perceive, and approve of, product placement in movies. College students from an American university and a university in Beijing were tested for the study, being asked to watch segments of Hollywood blockbusters and afterwards, asked to evaluate product placement in the movies. The Chinese consumers were less accepting of the product placements compared to American consumers. Also, individual differences among consumers had little impact on the results of the study considering the significant difference in cultural values between the US and People’s Republic of China (PRC). US participants were more attentive of social functions brands played in the movies, while the Chinese participants were less likely to consider the product placements as paid advertisements. The Chinese also were more bothered with ethics of product placement and more in favor of strict government regulation on product placement. Noticeable differences in perception exist between foreign and domestic consumers in reference to product placement, demonstrating a possible need for specifically tailored advertising strategies within international advertising campaign.

American companies, capable of internationally expansion, know and value the stability of China’s economy as well as the size of its consumer market (with the population of the People’s Republic of China equaling 1/5 the world’s population). China represents roughly the eighth largest advertising market in the world and with reference to it as “the last big consumer market,” more US companies will choose to expand their domestic businesses overseas, seeking to market their brands in China’s booming market.

Successful integration within global consumer markets requires a thorough study of foreign economies as well as a carefully devised and executed advertising campaign, culturally-tailored for specific target audiences in different markets. Standardized international ad campaigns neglect to acknowledge the influence culture has upon marketing communications and the media-not the mention the reciprocated impact of the media’s influence on cultural values and beliefs. Cultural differences can be embraced rather than ignored. Culturally-adapted advertising strategies, designed for individual national markets, expose consumers to more relevant and personal affiliations with a brand or product, leading to greater involvement and favorable purchase behavior.

The US consumers were more accepting of the product placement than the Chinese consumers while the Chinese were more concerned with the ethics of brand product placement than the Americans. Americans, more familiar and exposed to advertising, marketing, and promotional techniques and strategies, would logically be more accepting of product placement, familiarized with the more advanced advertising industry of the US. China consumers were also more likely to support strict government restrictions on product placement, keeping in congruence with their ethical objections to product placement as well as their higher resistance to recognize brand product placement as paid advertisements. These attitudes regarding ethical issues and acceptability of product placement are strongly rooted in cultural history of participants, greatly varying from one country to another. To account for the variance in cultural views, an international ad campaign would seek to culturally-adapt advertising efforts specific to foreign market.

[McKechnie, Sally A, and Jia Zhou. "Product Placement in Movies: A Comparison of Chinese and American consumers' attitudes." International Journal of Advertising 22.3 (2003): 349-374. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Ithaca Coll. Lib., Ithaca, NY. 27 Feb. 2008 .]

Monday, February 18, 2008

Last post is titled "International Markets provide security for Companies Withstanding Technological Decline"

Sources for last post included:

[Lohr, Steve. "I.B.M. to Push 'Cloud Computing,' Using Data from Afar." The New York Times 15 Nov. 2007. 18 Feb. 2008 15blue.html?_r=1&oref=slogin.

"Tech's Best Shot For Growth Is Abroad." The Week 8 Feb. 2008: 35. ]
Spending on technology is expected to grow only 3-4% this year, which is only half of the growth experienced in 2007. Companies that work internationally are more capable of handling this drop in internet progression compared with companies that solely operate in the US market. Branching out from behind US borders provides a great opportunity for companies to expand their business, as well as endure limitations upon the marketing environment, such as a large decline in technological growth.

It is hard to determine just how detrimental this slower movement of technological advancement will be. Countries with prosperous economies, like China for example, seem to experience heavy growing consumptions of mobile technology and internet. With technological usage increasing, advertising options grow as well, heightening marketing opportunities, possibly compensating for the lessened degree of innovation in technology itself.

Even with damage possibly caused by the technological decline, expanding overseas allows companies to weather present economic instabilities on the US Homefront, while prospering in outside markets that have healthier economies. Such expanion proved valuable to companies such as IBM, who more than successfully integrated into global advertising, considering that only 39% of the corporation’s revenue is coming from the United States. Thriving in the global market is possible, despite technology difficulties, providing more security to a company
that can reap the benefits of international advertising and marketing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Companies take advantage of China's Consumer Market during Olympic Games

China Mobile, McDonalds, and Coca-Cola are top the list of the three brands spending the most on advertising during the Beijing Olympic Games, coming about this summer. The heaviest-advertised items during the Games usually include toiletries, food, and beverages (McDonald’s and Coca-Cola demonstrating this fact). These items have massively increased their advertising efforts compared to spending on the Games last year. Several companies even made a point to spend less throughout the year in order to reserve a set amount of the budget for the Olympic Games.

Hosting the Games in China has many companies optimistic, excited to reach the powerful, thriving consumer market located within China. With the Olympics located in the world’s third largest advertising market, companies all across the board are developing campaigns that will grant them huge exposure and access into this prosperous market that continues to grow. Especially with the state of the United States’ economy at present, such an international advertising opportunity is ideal.

Not only are the Olympic games beneficial to the advertisers but to China as well, contributing to the country’s huge market explosion. The expansion of the advertising industry, through the emergence of internet advertising and the new-found popularity of innovative outdoor advertising, perpetuates the growth of the consumer market.
With promising predictions that sizeable campaign efforts will pay-off, corporate sponsors are pleased with China’s hosting of the Summer Games. Companies are smart to allocate generous amounts of their budget towards the Olympic Games, especially at a time when international business is essential. With the current instability of the US economy, attempts to build brand awareness and acess abroad is becoming increasingly important. The fact that the Olympic Games are being held in China, one of the world leaders, sets up an ultimate campaigning prospect. Companies that can afford it are wise to be innovative with their methods of advertising as well as their message.

[Ye, Juliet. "Olympics Fuel Ad-Spending Surge in China." The Wall Street Journal 31 Jan. 2008, sec. B8: B8. Dow Jones & Company. 17 Feb. 2008 . ]

[Stamler, Bernard. "McDonald's pushes to get its money's worth on Olympics tie-ins." The New York Times 5 Sept. 2000. 17 Feb. 2008 . ]

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Outdoor Advertising expands within Industry Internationally

Outdoor advertising, usually capturing less of an audience in comparison with other advertising methods, seems to be the fastest growing in the industry-aside from the Internet. Some International advertisers are making good use of outdoor advertising through their investments in the advertisements of Heathrow international airport. Heathrow airport, in the opening of their new Terminal Five, plans to include massive amounts of advertisements that will be specifically positioned so that international passengers will be unable to avoid them. This airport expansion includes 333 billboards and posters, along side 206 flat-screen tv sets (compare that to Los Angeles international’s 34 tv sets and John F. Kennedy international’s 40).

Advertising has taken a new path with this project underway, and advertisers anticipate major profits, resulting from this venture. Because they are locally or state government-owned, airports are beginning to place more emphasis on advertising in an effort to make money. The general public can’t seem to escape the advertisements which flood in from all angles of life, now reaching airport terminals. With the ceaseless attempts of advertisers to incorporate ads into every possible thread of life, one may wonder when the public is saturated, or if we have become desensitized to the ads themselves. Certainly some must wonder why we can’t seem to become immune to them altogether.

The truth is that advertisers are simple remarkable at what they do-finding new ways to solicit their audience in unexpected, yet subtle, ways. This will even at times leave the public unaware that they are exposed to the ads, although somehow still influenced.

A typical airport visitor is expected to see somewhere between 50-120 ads while passing through Terminal Five, depending on their method of arrival (taxi or train), and means of departure (domestic or international). One thing is certain, regardless or arrival and departure, there is no escaping advertisement exposure.

Heathrow attracts many international business travelers, which make up a defined segment of the market that advertisers are desperately trying to target. Brands such as Visa and Crowne Plaza (owned by InterContinental Hotel Group) plan to benefit from this airport advertisement endeavor.

High earnings are expected, and marker researchers have done their homework. Advertising continues to be an industry that can’t seem to lose its grasp on the public. Many novel opportunities still exist for advertisers to reach their targets, and international airports may be the start of a new form of expanding outdoor advertisements.

[Patrick, Aaron O. "Mass of Messages Lands at Heathrow." The Wall Street Journal [London] 14 Feb. 2008, sec. B3: B3. 16 Feb. 2008 . ]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Beijing Olympics Pose Moral Question for Advertising Sponsors

Political activist intheir attempts to terminate Sudan's attack in Darfur, are making progress with their efforts to pressure companies and markets to pull back their sponsorship of the Olympic Games in Beijing (, because of China's ties to the Sudan government. In agreement with their contentions, Steven Spielberg recently withdrew from the Games, with many marketers wondering if such a prominant pull-back compel more to follow.
Speilberg's removal from the Games places sizeable pressure on other corporate sponsors, calling for some form of response indicating their political stance. Branding specialists expects that if enough athletes and activists join together and convince the advertisers and sponsors of their views, marketers may have to change their duty to the Beijing Olympics.
General Motors has reported that they intend to supervise the Darfur situation and react if things reach a pivotal point. However, forecasts about the Darfur issue do not appear to be calming and marketers will have to react one way or another. Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games(Bocog) 0denounces combining poiltics with the Olympics, poses an important question to advertisers: Is advertising during the Olympic Games, creating the opportunity of reaching the Chinese market, more valuable than abiding by moral convictions, which condemn China's relations to Sudan's government?
In the months leading up to the Olympics, companies will be forced to decide whether they can place their moral principles before business, and if they can afford to withdrawal from such a profitable event. Companies are being ascked, even pressured, by political activists to determine whether they are capable of separating politics from their business in order to uphold crucial values. Time will certainly tell.

[Fowler, Geoffrey A., and Suzanne Vranica. "Darfur Issue May Entangle Beijing Olympic Sponsors." The Wall Street Journal 14 Feb. 2008, sec. B: B1. 15 Feb. 2008. Dow Jones & Company. 15 Feb. 2008 .]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Expansion of the Tap Project may lead to further Charitable Campaigns Developed by Ad Agencies

A project which begain last year by a small advertising boutique in efforts to gain public awareness and support for a charitable cause, has now evolved into a national campaign with hopes of global expansion in following years.
Drago5-the innovative advertising boutique-teamed up with thirteen additional agencies to kick-off what is labeled the Tap Project.
The Tap Project ( benefits efforts by Unicef( to provide clean drinking water to children in third world countries. The project requests that customers in participating restaurants (within particiapting cities) donate one dollar fur every glass of tap water, not bottled, they order, during the week of March 16th.
The campaign's success won Drago5 an award at the International Advertising Festival (, for their creative innovation, as well as helped inspire the United Nations( designation of World Water Day ( on March 22nd.
Such a national effort has certainly caught on, expanding rapidly. With a pro-bono campaign such as the Tap Project earning such buzz and popularity for Drago5, this advertising boutique sets an example for other Advertising Agencies for discovering novel ways of promoting charitable causes.
Global expansion of this campaign-intended 2009-further demonstrates the powerful ability of advertising to impressively spread messages fast. Once such a campaign expands internationally, a cause such as this is likely to unify people across borders who can connect to a common cause, which they may feel otherwise disconnected to because of this relevance to those of another country-the children of third world countries.
Advertising agencies possess enormous power in promoting cause-related operations. Their support and advertising efforts helps them appeal to the public that employs them while embracing socially responsible actions. International advertising helps bridge the gap of ideas between one country to another-the gap existing between the awareness and perception of ideas, and more importantly, the resulting behaviors of those exposed. The Tap Project will soon profit from such international advertising capabilities, hopefully inspiring the development of more cause campaigns that can reap similar benefits.

[Elliot, Stuart. "Creative Juices Flow for Pro Bono Effort to Aid Global Water Projects." The New York Times 13 Feb. 2008. 13 Feb. 2008. 13 Feb. 2008 . ]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Test Post

First post for my blog, just wanted to test it out