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Cross-cultural advertising campaigns and the translation of humour

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posted on 2021-05-23, 14:29 authored by Victoria Marn
With the Internet and globalization, companies are able to reach wider audiences than ever before. Cultural adaptation has become a necessary strategy for advertisers in order to reach cross-cultural audiences without creating new advertising concepts. Although shown to be an effective and popular method, using humour in advertising can be difficult for cross-cultural campaigns because humour is difficult to translate and culturally based. Using Robertson’s theory of glocalization, advertisers can use cultural adaptation to create effective humorous cross-cultural advertising campaigns. In order to determine an effective method of cultural adaptation, this paper analyses Apple Inc.’s successful “Get a Mac” television advertising campaign, focusing on the use of slang, characters, and cultural humour characteristics. The results of the analysis, which examines both the culturally adapted commercials as well as the localized one-off commercials, suggest that advertisers should use a blended approach to glocalization. This approach incorporates both glocalized advertisements (using the same concept for different cultures with necessary modifications made) as well as localized advertisements (unique advertisements for each culture). By using this approach, advertisers can create effective humorous advertising campaigns for cross-cultural audiences.





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type