INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR: THEME 2 - COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE YOUNG AND RUBICAM'S 4Cs - CROSS-CULTURAL CONSUMER CLASSIFICATION This has been developed in the UK and has been extended to France and Holland. It is a VALS-type system of classifying people into groups with similar needs. Y&R are concerned with innermost needs. They maintain it is not a question of how much money we earn but how we want to spend our money, what we buy and the kind of advertising that will work on different people with different needs.
Task: While you watch the video make a note of the characteristics of the people described and the type of advertising that might appeal to them. They are:
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR: THEME 2 - COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE WORDS, TRANSLATIONS, MEANINGS, BLUNDERS - OR CROSS-CULTURAL CONSUMER CLANGERS
The first episode of "Joanie Loves Chachi" was the highest rated American program in the history of Korean television. Why? Probably because "chachi" is Korean for "penis."
When Braniff Airlines translated a slogan touting its upholstery, "Fly n Leather," it came out in Spanish as "Fly Naked."
Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."
Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate."
When Vicks first introduced its cough drops on the German market, they were chagrined to learn that the German pronunciation of "v" is "f," which in German is the guttural equivalent of "sexual penetration." Not to be outdone, Puffs tissues tried later to introduce its product, only to learn that "Puff" in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.
The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. "No va" means "It does not go" in Spanish.
When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life" pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave."
Then when Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product something that when pronounced sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only problem was that the characters used meant "Bite The Wax Tadpole." They later changed to a
set of characters that mean "Happiness In The Mouth."
A hair products company, Clairol, introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the manure stick.
When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as here in the USA - with the cute baby on the label. Later they found out that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what actually is inside the container since most people can not read.
MENSA, the organization for the extremely intelligent (and from time to time the extremely arrogant), is the Spanish word for stupid (gender female).
Bacardi concocted a fruity drink with the name "Pavian" to suggest French chic ... but "pavian" means "baboon" in German.
Parker Pens translated the slogan for its ink, "Avoid Embarrassment - Use Quink" into Spanish as "Evite Embarazos - Use Quink" ... which also means, "Avoid Pregnancy - Use Quink."
Jolly Green Giant translated into Arabic means "Intimidating Green Ogre."
In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "Finger-lickin' good" came out as "Eat your fingers off."
An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of the desired "I Saw the Pope" in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed "I Saw the Potato."
Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means "big breasts." In this case, however, the name problem did not have a noticeable effect on sales.
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water. In an effort to boost orange juice sales in predominantly continental breakfast eating England, a campaign was devised to extol the drink's eye-opening, pick-me-up qualities. Hence the slogan, "Orange juice. Itgets your pecker up."
Task: Add new examples to this list
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR: THEME 2 - COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE COMMUNICATING IN THE MIDDLE EAST Introduction
“The Middle East” is a term that is somewhat misleading in the sense that it suggests to Western organisations and particularly business types that there exists a certain homogeneity. This might be true for a lot of things but while Dubai may be an important advertising centre, Saudi Arabia in particular stands out and can only be served with a carefully tailored approach to what is a sensitive situation in many areas of activity. It is in such markets that the “act local” dictum becomes a true necessity. Pushing extensions of what is done in the West is a definite mistake. Advertising is no exception to this and many would argue that the onus is on the marketer/advertiser/communicator to “get creative” and to “get flexible” in order to overcome the challenges The Middle East generally and Saudi Arabia in particular pose. Perhaps the one key point to make is that organisations have to seek maximum creativity within very strict guidelines.
Focus on Saudi Arabia This is regarded as the most promising and lucrative but most complex market in The Middle East. It is also seen as a way forward for marketers to understand Islam and other Islamic states - whatever their makeup.
The importance of Islam and other related factors The notion the impossibility of the “Global Village” (first seen by McCluhan way back in the 1960s, but we see the difficulties now with a fair degree of hindsight) is perhaps best illustrated by the strict adherence to local cultures as exhibited by Islamic states and Saudi Arabia especially. There a good number of barriers that prevent integrated and standardised approaches to such markets including religion, other socio-cultural aspects, media infrastructure (availability, characteristics), the legal system and not least the ability to conduct marketing research - there is limited information on such markets to start with. These environmental forces are illustrated in Doole and Yaqub’s diagram below.
Lack of accurate information hypersensitive censorship
Religious dominance socio-cultural issues
Media availability and characteristics
Taking each in turn:
Islam offers serious challenges to international marketers wishing to communicate. An understanding of Sharia Law as outlined in the Quran (Koran) is essential since religion takes precedence over everything else and should not be included within the usual ‘cultural variables’ list. The Quranic signals impact on many things but have particular significance for advertising and other forms of communication and the rules and regulations that follow. Consider the following:
2. Duties - such as praying five times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadan, giving charity/alms (Zakaat) to the poor, respect for the family, especially parents and caring for the disadvantaged. These duties should not be interfered with in any way.
3. God’s bounties - such as good health, peace of mind, sustenance, children
Below is a table of Haraam subjects in Islam, totally banned in Islamic states but certainly so in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran. Source: Doole and Yaqub (1997):
Pornography, cheating alcohol, adultery, necromancy, drugs (intoxicants), abusive language, hoarding, interference in performing religious duties, adulteration, gambling, pork, false promises, usury (interest), prostitution, arrogance, comparative advertising, immodest exposure, game of chance, sodomy (homosexuality), bribery, murder, backbiting, idol-worship, cruelty toward living beings
There are also Makruh subjects - detestable and discouraged in Islamic markets - but not banned because it does not lead to major sin. Smoking is therefore permitted but discouraged.
Religion is seen as the reason why there is an absence of comparative advertising in Saudi Arabia. Community and unity are seen as more important than division. In Islam, justice is swift. For advertisers this means that women have to be covered in any message so that images in international publications cannot be standardised unless they conform to this norm i.e. not sensuous-looking females but rather pleasant-looking women covered in a robe and headdress. The only flesh showing would be the face. Cartoon characters allow advertisers to do a little more without violating Islamic codes on exposure. The notion of deception in advertising is also problematic. If a marketer appears to fail to deliver exactly what is in the advertising message (or other communication) then this could be viewed as fraud - another restriction on message content and a more factual and rational set of appeals being the likely outcome.
Note: It is legal and can be beneficial to begin a piece of communication with Quranic words.
Legal system and punishment Sharia is Islamic law and therefore the Quran and the legal system intertwine to form a unique state of affairs - The injunctions of the Quran are code law where (Allah is law) and the sayings of the prophet Mohammed (the Hadith) are about equivalent to common law and in this sense provide ways in which Quranic law can be applied.
Unlike much of the rest of the world, there is no body or agency to control advertising and communications. There is no code of conduct, or industry self-regulation. Just the Quran and Hadith. The Ministry of Commerce decides whether ads are legal. The Ministry of Information is responsible for approval/banning television commercials. Censorship is a very sensitive issue. Members of the ‘muttawas’ group have a duty to observe any violations of religion relating to all things public including promotional material.
The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) has a role to play in shaping regulations in the Gulf States but Quranic messages still dominate advertising and regulation.
This includes activities as diverse as photography to what women can and can’t do to the role of the family and tribal life. Generally women have remained in traditional roles as housewives and mothers, have been screened from male members of their households etc. - posing very big problems with the portrayal of women in advertising. Sexual purity is foremost. Deeper dimensions include the education system and attitudes towards the level and kind of education women receive as opposed to men. There is an emerging professional class with women working as doctors, nurses and teachers - but there is still no doubting the dominance of the male role within the family and society at large. Within all of this the importance of language should not be overlooked. In Saudi society levels of literacy can be low and the reliance on word-of-mouth high. Hospitality is seen as playing a major role in society - but also business and is a major means of communication.
Media availability and characteristics Western companies have to understand the very big differences in the media landscape both in terms of what is available and how what appears to be the same differs considerably. The only audio-visual medium really is television (introduced in 1976) but the structure and frequency of the commercial breaks (very long commercial breaks are common, inevitably affecting advertising effectiveness) differ from those of the West. There are no audience research figures or other information on audience behaviour. Satellite ‘abuses’ have been stopped and the tight restrictions imposed cover all advertising content. Cinema and radio are not available in any meaningful way to advertisers. Video appears to be a mystery.
Newspapers and magazines dominate print and there are very limited but some good vehicles for advertising - but this is very expensive. About 15 newspapers exist and about 50 magazines but there are no readership figures and distribution is poor. Some international vehicles are available. There is very big potential in outdoor. Yellow Pages is limited and hand bills prohibited in terms of street distribution. Direct mail is undermined by its lack of credibility and social status (Doole and Yaqub 1997) but direct marketing generally is being seriously considered as a strategic tool (De Mooij1994).
All of the above does not apply to ex-pats but this is still limited and restricted.
(Lack of) information
There is virtually no concrete information to go on. Statistics that do exist are seen as spurious if not dangerous. Much of this is to do with a combination of restrictions and cultural problems of collection of data etc. There are positive movements generally however. For example Ryan (1997) reports on a major study of Saudi young families. For example with shopping habits, fresh fruit and vegetables are bought from the Souk (market/bazaar) while rice is bought from wholesale outlets and meat from meat slaughterers. This is still a male activity with a social element. In terms of marketing research Arab women are interviewing Arab women with some market information emerging for companies to act upon.
All of the above points are summarised in the following diagram from Doole and Yaqub (1997):
Lack of accurate information media availability and characteristics
Task: Add detail to these parameters
References De Mooij, M. (1994). Advertising worldwide. Hertfordshire: Prentice Hall.
Doole, I. and Yaqub, A (1997). Developing an integrated communications strategy: The challenges of Saudi Arabia. Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Conference. (pp329-341). Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University.
Luqumani, M. et al (1987). Advertising in Saudi Arabia: contents and regulations. International Marketing Review. June. 59-70.
Mueller, B. (1996). International Advertising. London: Thompson.
Ryan, J. (1997). Why young Saudis stick to old men. ResearchPlus. April. 13-14.
Tuncalp, S. (1994). Outdoor media planning in Saudi Arabia. Marketing and Research Today.22. 146-154.
Tuncalp, S. (1992). The audio visual media in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Advertising. 11. 119-130.
Tuncalp, S. (1988). The marketing scene in Saudi Arabia. European Journal of Marketing. 22. 15-22.
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR: THEME 2 - COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE IN PRAISE OF DIVERSITY PAPER BY JULIAN SAUNDERS CEO ConquestLondon
Paper to be used supplied and used on the day of seminar
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR: THEME 3: ADVERTISING MESSAGE STRATEGY HAAGEN DAZS Introduction This is a case where the media department and the creative department worked closely together to develop a campaign that first created consumer excitement, then newsworthy PR, then trade excitement and consequently more and more consumer interest to the point where the whole launch gained an unstoppable momentum.
Situation Haagen-Dazs luxury ice cream previously had very little above the line activity. The limited amount of local advertising used radio, posters, local press, cinema and sandwich boards to launch the openings of Haagen-Dazs shops. There had been no previous brand launch activity.
After being briefed, agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) immediately started researching. Focus groups were set up among premium ice cream consumers to try and identify the main differences and reasons for purchasing a super premium ice cream over other ice creams. After a lifelong diet of other ice creams, individuals found it difficult to describe the experience of tasting Haagen-Dazs. They kept lapsing into the language of sensual satisfaction. Some elements of this were more tangible than others. The lavishness of the ingredients (fresh cream, egg yolks, skimmed milk and no E numbers at all) invited comparisons with indulgence. The special flavour of the ice cream elevated it to an experience more sensual than just eating. People also seemed to want to enjoy the ice cream quietly and intimately - to savour it without interruptions. They wanted to concentrate on the experience without the distraction.
The target market This was not easy to define. Although the ice cream was expensive to market was not casually defined as 'up market, frivolous and young'. Instead the target market was defined by attitude - they enjoy the best, believe that quality is worth paying for and that they themselves are worth treating (see below how this was translated into media selection).
Media research Rather than conducting independent research into the Haagen-Dazs audience, answers were sourced from the extensive qualitative research that was used to guide the creative development of the advertising message itself. Despite the attraction of television advertising for a new brand and the popularity of television with other ice cream suppliers (87.5 per cent of the total ice cream spend went on television), press was preferred since it created a 'feel' with the advertising that could itself be savoured and enjoyed at leisure. In addition, the intimacy of the experience could be better hinted at through the personal one-to-one communication of the press. Television is often a family or social medium which might, in itself, devalue the communication by exposing it to the comment and reaction of third parties.
Research showed that women were particularly expressive of these special moments when they are left alone with their favourite magazine. They often save up the magazine for the sheer joy of being alone with a cup of coffee. disconnected from the rest of the world for a few moments of self-indulgence (ideal for Haagen-Dazs).
Objectives I) To launch Haagen-Dazs brand nationally.
2) To build brand awareness.
3) To position it as the finest ice cream in the world.
The campaign also had to generate strong consumer response since the campaign took place when many of the major multiples were testing the brand.
Build brand leadership by creating a new language for ice cream. Other ice creams focus on ingredients or images of happy families. The new advertising, instead, talked about end benefits that are sometimes hidden deep below the surface of traditional and conscious feelings expressed about ice cream. Strategically, a series of press advertisements allowed a relationship to be built with the target audience rather than just a one-off advertisement.
Tactically, although weekend colour supplements and weekend reviews are considered to be highly optional reading and lack the immediacy of their parent newspapers, the weekend's 'leisurely read' aspect (being read for leisure rather than for information) lent itself to the creation of the values which the brand advertising was trying to develop. The qualitative research highlighted those lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon moments, languishing in the garden. This is just the moment to whisper Haagen-Dazs. instead of having to shout the message on television.
Budgets Haagen-Dazs used 6% share of voice (SOV) to launch the brand (which is not great for a launch) and a small sum on PR.
Implementation Scheduling Original research and TGI data was used to blend the shopping and reading habits of the target customer. To ensure that the target market would be exposed to more than one of the four advertisements, the media schedule was compiled with meticulous attention to duplication. The media planners researched and analysed the extent to which readers of each magazine also read the weekend reviews or the weekend magazines. The titles eventually chosen also had to share a commitment to the quality lifestyle which was appropriate to the brand itself.
Evaluation Campaign measurement Although this advertising campaign only had a 6 per cent share of voice (share of all the advertising money spent by UK ice cream manufacturers), it helped to make Haagen-Dazs the most talked about ice cream brand of the year- in fact, the New Product of the Year according to the Marketing Society. It had become brand leader of the take-home premium ice cream sector.
Results The results below confirm the power of good advertising.
1) The propensity to purchase (or try it) increased by over 500 per cent.
2) Sales through Haagen-Dazs own outlets broke all records.
3) Distribution penetration increased through the retail multiples with Waitrose increasing distribution from their test stores dramatically and Safeway going to national distribution immediately.
4) Prompted awareness almost quadrupled.
5) Haagen-Dazs had a unique positioning as they were 'Dedicated to Pleasure', effectively redefining what premium meant to the consumer.
Task: Bring the Haagen-Dazs story up to date
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR THEME 3: ADVERTISING MESSAGE STRATEGY THE UNRAVELLING OF BENETTON BACKGROUND
Benetton was founded as a small business in Treviso in 1965. It is not a fashion company but a manufacturer that uses agents and a quasi-franchise system. Benetton prefer competition between franchisees and see nothing wrong with two franchisees (who own their shops) in direct competition in the same area of the high street. Benetton in 1992 was worth in excess of $2bn (US billion) with more than 7000 stores in 100 countries including 8 shops in Cuba, much to the disdain of some Americans and which sells only to tourists and deals in $s American. Luciano Benetton appears to have a personal philosophy of 'world without borders' and sees business life as inseparable from life itself. Benetton is by all accounts a global thinker and has used print and billboard advertising (with a relatively modest budget) to great effect by courting controversy. The 'United Colours of Benetton' campaign disconnected the actual product from the advertising and succeeded in generating enormous publicity - and criticism. Later the 'AIDS' image caused outcry - but provided the opportunity for the US organisation ACT UP to reproduce the image of a dying victim using a picture of a condom underneath with the slogan 'There's only one pullover this photograph should be used to sell'.
There has been many incidences of official bans - like the photograph of three little boys of different races sticking their tongues out was banned in Arab countries (deemed as pornographic and where the depiction of internal organs is forbidden) - and unofficial bans - like magazines refusing to run the ads (for example Child magazine in the USA refused to run ads of `new-born'). Elle magazine's March 1992 edition was published with blank pages because they pulled the Benetton AIDS victim ad the night before.
In the USA Benetton has now conceded that controversy alone will not be successful and have therefore re-focused on marketing via showing the clothing in ads combined with a direct mail campaign. This after they saw their number of store decrease from 700 in 1986 to 400 in 1993. This month sees legal action in Germany.
Benetton claim to deal with real life issues using stark, shocking images and the brand/corporate name. This is a great distance away from the much used `slice of life' style emanating from the lifestyle marketing approach developed during the 1970s. Buying the product (or more likely the brand) means getting access to the lifestyle it represents. Benetton are presumably saying that they care about the world in all its serious and problem-laden manifestations. The company claim they raise general awareness of social problems around the globe via disturbing photographs of compelling images. The Benetton ads certainly couldn't be accused of being reductionist, and the company became very well known very quickly as they utilised other media - books, magazines, interviews. Benetton claim to represent a world view and say they do not advertise to sell sweaters.
Toscani was the driving force behind Benetton's creative design. He saw his role as one of:
"merely blurring the line between commercial and legitimate photography and that advertising
should be as free to use experimental techniques any other artistic medium"
and believes in "Human Emotion" as the bases for communication.
Toscani points to the Church as the biggest and oldest organisation to use advertising and symbolism to promote religion in the same way as any MNC promotes itself and its products. The Church hired the best artists at the time to use the cross as a symbol in (say) a fresco - just as advertising people use super models to sell cars!
Toscani therefore views advertising as a proactive social force, and raises the question of whether or not advertising is merely a trade or craft that reflects societal norms or something more than that. He advocates that Fiat use their huge ad budgets to conduct a civil war on drugs - do something about the world's drug problem - which would be a far better use of the money both for society and for Fiat.
Images, for Sen. T, shape our ideas, they are what we remember. You have to look at what is going on in society and take your stand. All media manipulates so why pick on Benetton? Why not pick on the Independent newspaper for using an image of a Bosnian soldier or an AIDS victim or a Mafia killing? "News pictures" illustrate the point where the commercial world meets the real world albeit with blurred edges. So why should advertising not provoke thought. Toscani therefore maintains he created photographic images not to shock but to exploit advertising to communicate - and that the world of the 1990s is leaving behind the constraints of the 1950s and 1960s. Constructs of the latter era are becoming less and less useful.
Benetton therefore is therefore viewed by some as somewhat of a "Post Modern" courageous hero for daring to raise social issues but by many as a commercial exploiter who's controversial style is now a tired old cliché and who would be better off, as it is doing, using more conventional communication such as direct marketing/mail order.
Task: Discuss the history of Benetton’s creative strategy and various appeals. In particular look at and comment on:
2. The particular use of signs and symbols within particular ads/artwork in terms of evocation.
3. The following questions: Did Benetton produce advertising as a ‘social conscience’ that is artificial reality? What is the importance of perception and perceived reality within society.
Brown, S. (1993). Post Modern Marketing? European Journal of Marketing, 27. 4. 19-30
Channel 4 (1993). Ducking the issue. Without Walls Channel 4 Nov.
Channel 4 (1993). The unravelling of Benetton. High Interest. Channel 4 Nov.
De Mooij, M (1994). Advertising Worldwide. Hertfordshire: Prentice Hall. (ch7 esp p.252)
Evans, I. G. and Sumandeep, R. (1993). Is the message being received? Benetton analysed. International Journal of Advertising, 12. 291-301.
Krugman, H. (1994). Observations: Pavlov's dog and the future of consumer psychology. Journal of Advertising Research. N/D. 67-76
Moore, S (1993). Graphic Violence. Guardian Weekend. (October 2).
United Artists Cable/Metropole. (1994). Benetton. Travel Channel. “
SEMINAR: ADVERTISING MESSAGE STRATEGY
PROJECTIVE TECHNIQUES - THEIR USE IN BRAND AND ADVERTISING RESEARCH The range of research techniques available to researchers is vast but possibly the most common form is the focus group. Projective techniques have gained some credibility through their use by large companies like Guinness. The idea is to fit the product to the message and the message to the product.
Task: When you watch the following short piece of film think about:
* The credibility of getting participants to cut up pieces of magazine images in order to get at the personalities of brands such as All Gold and Dairybox.
* How research like this allows the researcher to explore how a brand expresses itself.
* Role play as a means to exploring ways of segmenting markets and developing brand personalities.
* Clay modelling as an exploratory tool.
* Psychodrawings in terms of inner most properties and the use put to these by Guinness.
* Psychodrawings and outer properties and the ideal Guinness drinker.
* The Guinness "dolphin" campaign which ran for several years.
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING SEMINAR: ADVERTISING MESSAGE STRATEGY MINICASE HISTORY - STANDARDISATION/ADAPTATION - CLUB MED "HAPPINESS IS OUR BUSINESS" Global theme of happiness adapted locally? Yes, according to Club Med themselves and Rijkens. Originally set up in 1950 by Gerard Blitz at Alcudia more for philanthropic reasons than anything else, Club Med became one of the worlds largest operators of holiday resorts. As Blitz once put it himself "Le Club Med est aux vacances ce que Frigidaire est au refrigerateur et Kodak a la photographie". (Rijkens p46)
The company has not stood still and now caters for the business/study/conference market as well as the traditional vacationer in the "village" setting. This is an attempt to up-grade its image. Club Med, despite its international operations, is still apparently very French.
Advertising is not seen as a central function although central office, Paris, is very much involved. The product is global but communication is local. Happiness is a basic promise everywhere but local offices can express themselves in terms of local preferences.
For the French its "la plus belle idee depuis l'invention du bon heur"
For the Americans its "the antidote for civilisation
In S E Asia its "absolute paradise"
For the English its "quality and style"
For Club Med internationally "now more than ever, you need Club Med - life as it used to be" i.e. Happiness.
Club Med is becoming increasingly centralised. Its French agency are handling most countries rather than the local approach as before. Commercials, posters and increasingly word-of-mouth are important. They are likely to become one of those advertisers who will run non-verbal TV commercials throughout the world utilising satellite technology.
Task: Rijkens predicted that Club Med would become a truly global company running global advertising campaigns. Find out if this is the case.
INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING THEME 3: SEMINAR: ADVERTISING MESSAGE STRATEGY MINICASE HISTORY - STANDARDISATION/ADAPTATION - LEVI'S `QUALITY NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE' HISTORY
The history of Levi is well documented both in writing and on film (see refs below). The case has celebrity status not least because of its advertising which to a large extent is localised i.e. selling and overall strategies are local responsibilities while the central marketing function concentrates on identifying consumer trends and developing marketing strategies. The main product is the 501 jean and this is up there with Coca Cola and Marlboro. As Rijkens puts it: "it is not surprising that the basic positioning of Levi's advertising is virtually the same all over the world".
Levi products are (hopefully) seen as being straightforward, honest, independent, adventurous, rebellious by men and women, 15-25 years of age, who care for what is genuine, enjoy the company of other, similar, people, feel attracted to the opposite sex and express their sense of freedom and enjoyment - in an acceptable manner irrespective of age. In theory it should be possible to use the same advertising everywhere.
The newer advertising began in the mid 1980s and was a move away from the western towards music. The Levi image was revitalised while the product remained the same. "Real" people were used to target and position an international brand. 501s became the authentic blue jean. As John Heggarty puts it, the secret to branding is the take a head and heart approach - be rational and creative. This has clear echoes of David Ogilvy two or three decades earlier.
Moving pictures and music combine to produce the desired image so that TV and cinemas are seen as the ideal media vehicles. The actual commercials are familiar to most across Europe - no worries about language or complicated (and often disastrous) dubbing or the need for any icons other than those with universal appeal to the target audience - especially in the age of satellite, as long as non-verbal communication works. An example in the UK would have been a spot around "The Word" programme to reach the target group with (say) the "River" commercial. Hoardings, trade mags (e.g. Levi's Contact in France) and merchandising are also used but the all important form of communication is the film which is expensive but clearly effective so far. Responsibility lies locally in close consultation with Brussels. Time etc. must be held over for international commercials or cinema films.
Music is the key to Levi advertising. Heggarty puts a figure of 70% of it being music. This is illustrated on the "Branded" video programme (1997) very well with "Refrigerator", which originally had a James Brown sound track which didn't work. This was replace with Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy". The difference truly is amazing.
Levi don't just advertise. They use many of the conventional tools at the communicators disposal such as focus group research which reveals Levi as a status symbol - and probably a consumer classic. They also use other communications such as "press parties".
While not denying the goal of commercial success Levi also proclaim their `responsible citizen' credentials. This can be seen as part of the Levi global PR effort.
Task: seek out the Levi mission statement and also view the ‘Branded’ video for a less than complementary look at what Levi say they do and what others think of them as an (ex) employer.
References Armstrong, S (1995). "The Bottom Line" Dec 1995.
BBC (1983). TV programme "Not by jeans alone" BBC.
BBC (1987). TV programme "Design Classics - Levi 501 Jeans" BBC.
BBC (1997). TV programme "Branded - Levi's Blue Dreams" BBC.
Levi Strauss company information
Moyle, F (1992). "Laying Russians Bare for Western Brands" in Marketing Week March 27.
McCormick, N (1995). "Darling they're playing our advert" Daily Telegraph 8.12.95 p25