Cross Cultural Marketing And Advertising

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With the growing influx of a variety of means of communication and varying consumer patterns, the term ‘cross-cultural’ has become more relevant in the world of today which has transformed into a global village. Here’s what it means: Cross-culture is an idea that perpetuates bridging of various mindsets, ideas, and lifestyles to connect people of various nationalities, ethnicities, and different parts of the world to new ideas, new environments, and new preferences. (Kopp, 2020)

According to Kopp (2020), the term cross-culture refers to connecting particular ideas, attitudes, and lifestyles to different cultures, nationalities and societal trends in different part of the world, thus bringing about new approaches, attitudes or general preferences among a certain group of people.

It is critical to note that human behaviour and culture have capacity to exert influence on consumer patters, therefore, marketers cannot neglect the significance of culture in marketing strategies as emphasized by various studies (Baek and Yu, 2009; Ji and McNeal, 2001). Marketing companies and their policy makers are now urgently required to make more efforts to appreciate their target consumer culture if they want their polices to be more effective and result oriented. In this regard, any marketing policies which are not in line with the target culture are less likely to meet their targets which then would result in the waste of resources, time and energy because cultures, as noted in McCarthy’s study (1994), differ from each other as each culture has its unique cultural and social contexts. If cultural question is not taken into account, it can have an adverse impact on financial might and reputation of a particular company. To meet cultural demands of the targeted audience it is imperative to conduct a cross-cultural research in order to understand the requirements of a specific society before launching marketing campaign. Such research will give a firm ground to any company and its policy to stand on without putting its financial and reputational stakes at risk. This research-oriented approach has also been endorsed by Khaled, R. et al., (2006 ).

There has been an ongoing debate as to what culture actually means and over the years, various approaches to define culture have been employed based on the mental attitude and behaviour of a specific people. In this regard, Hofstede's study is an important step in this field and is based on a codification scheme that helps to classify various cultural extents using numerical indexes. For Hofstede, culture means a society’s adaptation to its environment. That is the reason Hofstede’s study has been endorsed by reputed marketing theorists like Sodergaard (1994) and Sivakumar and Nakata (1999) in their research. It must be noted that Hofstede, using the factor analysis methodology in order to monitor values of employees, examined IBM workers globally between 1967 and 1973, thus targeting a multinational workforce to authenticate his results. Since Hofstede’s research, this theory has received due appreciation from researchers in this field and has seen substantial acclaim.

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Some other social scholars have also been working on culture since the first half of the twentieth century. For example, Linton (1945: 21) defined culture as a “configuration of learned behaviour and results of behaviour, whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society. It refers to the sum of human beings’ lifeways, their behavior, beliefs, feelings, thought; it connotes everything that is acquired by them as social beings.” On the other hand, culture for Hall (1997) is a set code of values and in a given society. Furthermore, for the purpose of understanding the term culture for marketing and advergaming, Rise (1993: 243) defined culture as “the values, attitude, beliefs, artifacts and other meaningful symbols represented in pattern of life adopted that help them interpret, evaluate and communicate as members of a society”, thus emphasizing a collective and shared norms of a given society.

Commenting on Hofstede’s definition of culture, some scholar (Hsu, Chen-Hsing, 2002) argue that culture means a union of individual members of a group by a collective mental programming, either held by the same members of that group or members of a different group. This criterion could bring ethnic or national groups or groups within a society at different levels under one umbrella of culture. However, in cross-cultural studies of global advertising, the term culture is mainly applied, at a country level, to the complex whole who make one taxonomy with same characteristics in a given country.

Recently, cultural aspects of using technology to persuade and their underlying benefits have gained momentum due to their extensive world-wide reach. It has also witnessed tremendous advantages in terms of revenue generation and a deeper impact of some of the huge companies in the world. It is because of the fact, which various studies have found as mentioned earlier, that the cultural perspective of a target audience, if duly taken into account after a thorough research, brings astonishingly positive and effective results of using technology persuasively.

In order to close this research gap, my cross-cultural study aims to provide empirical evidence illuminating the effects of culture on consumer-advergame engagement in Saudi Arabia and the UK. Although, in the cross-cultural literature, many cultural dimensions have been extensively examined for delineating cultural variations, such as individualism versus collectivism, time orientation, high versus low-context communication, preference of communication styles and the content of advergame in different cultures, yet the way culture drives consumer-advergame-engagement behaviour in different countries has not been systematically explored. This research is aimed at bridging this gap in the context of two different cultures: Saudi Arabia and the UK.


  1. Baek, T. H., and H. Yu. 2009. “Online Health Promotion Strategies and Appeals in the United Statesand South Korea: A Content Analysis of Weight-Loss Websites.”Asian Journal ofCommunication19 (1): 18–38.
  2. (3) (PDF) Consumer engagement with brands on social network sites: A cross-cultural comparison of China and the USA. Available from: [accessed May 14 2020].
  3. Barnett, G. A., and E. Sung. 2005. “Culture and the Structure of the International HyperlinkNetwork.”Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
  4. Khaled, R. et al., 2006. Persuasive interaction for collectivist cultures. In The Seventh Australasian User Interface Con- ference (AUIC 2006). Hobart, Australia: Australian Computer Society
  5. Triandis, H. C. 1995.Individualism and Collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview.
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