The Use of Socio-Cultural Components as a Marker of China’s Contemporary Advertising Markets
Globalization has incited millions of people to set themselves apart through language, culture and traditions, resulting in one more challenge for corporations in search of coordinating operations all over the world. The similarity of the audience base in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan gives an excellent opportunity for analyzing advertising tools, trends and future development. Product marketing is closely connected to the marketing of values, which can be defined as the means and ways of using ethno-cultural components for creating, distributing and promoting products. The marketing of values entails the development of certain concepts and conceptual fields as well as images in the minds of potential consumers and their subsequent actualization. This, in turn, leads to the formation of behavioral patterns required to create a demand for the advertised product. Marketing is less interested in the origins of a product than in how it expresses local tastes and traditions – something that is not necessarily linked to the origins of the product itself. While target audiences have no difficulty in appreciating foreign goods, this is made easier by traditions expressed through socio-cultural components represented in modern ways. The use of signs, images and symbols relevant to the ethnic or social culture of the target audience increases the advertisement’s impact and the overall brand enhancement. Actualizing meaningful images and concepts latent in the minds of consumers is easier and less expensive than formulating new concepts or localizing foreign developments. While commercial advertising offers a certain lifestyle as a product, PSA may be called a tool for developing such a lifestyle within a given ethno-cultural paradigm. Our study of ethnic and socio-cultural components of present-day TV advertising in Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China attempts to interpret contemporary advertising and its impact on the perceptive and behavioral aspects of target audiences on three similar yet different markets.