Is Australia effective or just plain wrong?

I’m sure that many of you have seen this commercial before. And if you haven’t, I’m warning you… it is graphic. It went viral for a little while last year, some calling it hilarious and others appalling. Either way, it will leave you saying “well, that escalated quickly.” Check it out:

Although it is still up for debate whether that commercial is effective or disturbing, it is interesting to compare this to the PSA’s we send youth in the United States. It is safe to say that they are slightly more tame than the ad you viewed above. Take this LeBron James stay in school PSA for example.

Which do you think is more effective on teens? Statistics paired with celebrities, or a fun road trip paired with sudden explosives? Let us know what you think!


The Chinese New Year was celebrated February 19 and the National Basketball Association took advantage of a global marketing opportunity. The NBA understands the importance of global marketing and has been able to expand their brand to countries outside of the United States —  something some other sports fall short of doing. Because one of the NBA’s biggest international market resides in China, they took the opportunity to incorporate one of the country’s largest cultural events.

The commercial features James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin of the Los Angeles Lakers and the mascot for the Chicago Bulls. The NBA specifically chose these players and teams because of their affiliation with the international brand. All three teams have international players on their roster. Not to mention, Jeremy Lin is the first Chinese-American professional basketball player. The NBA also outfitted the players in special uniforms with Chinese writing on their team jerseys.

The ad is also accompanied by a record 56 live games broadcasted in Greater China, a donation of 1,600 basketballs to elementary schools in China and a giving initiative to feed underprivileged communities in China. This campaign is a great example of a brand striving for authenticity and consistency through all of their integrated marketing strategies. From using Chinese dialogue in their campaign to donating to Chinese citizens, there are no obvious inconsistencies throughout the campaign.

What else do you think the NBA could do to enhance their already impressive global marketing?

– Nick Bolick, Olivia Sadler & Patrick Wagner

Who is the Most Fashionable City?

It is no secret that America is a culture that values commodities. As a country we are constantly updating to the newest form of technology and fashion. For example, as soon as a new iPhone is released, an older model phone suddenly becomes inadequate. America is ranked third by Insider Monkey on the list of technologically advanced countries, and in 2014 New York City took first place in the rankings of fashionable cities determined through the Global Language Monitor. The rankings are determined by tracking buzzwords associated with fashion all around the world. We wanted to see where these fashion trends originated, so we compiled a list of top designer to see where they originated and how they fit in with Global Language Monitor’s results.

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Burberry – Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Calvin Klein- New York City

Chanel- Paris, France

Dior- Paris, France

DKNY – New York City

Gucci- Florence, Italy

Kate Spade- New York City

Prada – Milan, Italy

Valentino – Rome, Italy

Vera Wang – New York City

Fashion is one of the top markets in the world, but its primary form of advertising is discreater than most other commodities. Fashion advertisements, especially for designer brands, take place in magazines. These advertisements fit in with the context of the magazines, so it doesn’t stand out as an advertisement. Outside of magazine advertisements, fashion trends and designers are spread through word of mouth marketing. Whether it’s between friends or through a celebrity statement about what they are wearing its typically a hot topic of discussion. Designer brands have an element of exclusivity that other industries don’t have. For example, celebrities and pop-culture figures are always in attendance at fashion week. Since celebrities and pop-culture is looked up to in our society the trends being showcased at fashion week tend to catch on quickly. It’s hard to tell which city is the leader in the fashion industry through observation, but it is clear America, France, and Italy will continue to compete to be the most fashionable country in the world.

-Kelli Hall, Mallory Brayman, Morgan McCleaf

Misinterpretation or Culturally Insensitive

Most people can name an advertisement or two that has caused controversy in the United States. Most recently, Go Daddy had to pull their Superbowl advertising because of the controversy in created.

Controversial ads don’t just exist in America. In Australia, KFC is currently experiencing backlash from ad they released as part of their “KFC cricket survival guide” series. In the advertisement, a white male is surrounded by spirited Caribbean fans and he offers them fried chicken.



Even though this was an Australian advertisement, it was widely criticized by people in the United States. According to the Guardian, some Americans believe that the ad is racist because it is a reminder of the old and outdated negative connotation that African Americans love fried chicken.

This ad raises an important issue about being culturally insensitive across borders. The target audience for this ad was Australians who love Cricket, yet many Americans took offense to it. In this global world that we live in, advertisers can no longer assume that only their desired target audience will see the advertisement.

Geert Hofstede concluded that there are four crucial ways to compare cultures.  One the ways is known as power distance, which is defined as “the extent to which the less powerful members of society accept that power is distributed unequally.” America has a small distance, which means that we believe in equal rights and “liberty and justice for all.”  Americans easily took offense to this ad because of the long and unsettling history of our past how we now see ourselves as a low power distance society. KFC is an American based company, and they should have been more culturally aware of the various dimensions that make up a variety of diverse cultures.

KFC claims that this ad has been “misinterpreted” by people in the U.S. What’s important is that in our technology-driven world, advertisements can transcend borders and be misinterpreted in other cultures. With a global company, such as KFC, it’s important to recognize the connotations of images and content used in any advertisement. They need to be aware of the various dimensions that make up different cultures so that their advertisements are not taken offensively.

Do you think it is just a misinterpretation or is it a culturally insensitive ad?

-Anna Joy Zima, Kaitlin Russell, Hannah Rodgers


There’s Nothing Like Australia

Happy Monday readers!

We hope everyone enjoyed watching Neil Patrick Harris and the Oscars last night. Congratulations to Birdman for winning best picture! Anyways, moving forward. Have you ever traveled abroad to a different country and looked around at the advertising around you? We know that many of us travel to go on adventures and move away from our televisions, cell phones, and clutter of advertising that surrounds us at home, but think about it; If you have traveled, didn’t you realize that the advertising was actually quite different?! This brings us to our topic of the week. International advertising.

Picture us in Australia. If you have been there before than consider yourself a lucky person. It’s beautiful. Australia is a very unique country and continent when it comes to its advertisements and media.  What’s so unique? If you have visited Australia, then you may have noticed that there is no advertising for cigarettes. Well that’s normal for us here in America too, but Australia hasn’t had any sort of smoking commercial since 1965, when all cigarette advertising was banned. Fifty years has gone by, and now Australia has finally allowed anti-smoking commercials to be aired.

Announced on The Guardian , in 2012 Australia became the world’s first country to regulate packaging laws on their cigarettes. Cigarette boxes now contain a very vulgar picture of a disease that is caused by smoking with the brand name at the bottom in small letters. Cigarette companies tried suing, but failed against the federal government. Now the cigarette companies have to deal with billboards and anti-smoking commercials, which have the potential to ruin purchasing habits and crush business overall.

Australia decided to air anti-smoking commercials and change the packaging, hoping to decrease smoking rates in Australia. Australia’s media is subconsciously relying on George Gerbner’s Cultivation theory, which states that people, who regularly watch television in moderate to heavy amounts will ultimately believe the reality portrayed on television; therefore, Australia’s media is hoping that the vulgar and obscene commercials and images will resonate with tobacco buyers and ultimately eliminate smoking habits. The commercials are working. According to the Cancer Council NSW, smoking has decreased significantly from 24% of adults to almost 13%!

Tell us about your past travel experiences below. We would love to hear more differences in advertising while abroad.

-Colby Cummings, Connor Gold, Chase Seymour

Psalm “23”

Michael Jordan — arguably one of the best self-promoters of all time — celebrated his 52nd birthday Tuesday. Jordan has developed his name into one of the most recognizable brands in the world. As first described by Tom Peter’s article , “The Brand Called You,” we live in the age of the individual. Everything we do is a reflection of our personal brand.

Due to fact that we are all working towards our personal brand, we can understand and conceptualize the ideas of self-promotion and advertising that surrounds us. Because of our media saturated culture, we need advertising to stand out in a unique way — almost miracle-like. 1one Production is a creative production company focusing on ” architecture, orchestration, and capturing live brand experiences.” They created a self-promotion video that plays into the awareness we have of advertising.

This ad playfully compares a religious figure to a modern, self promoting celebrity. The details in the advertisement, including things like demographics and sub brands, makes the video resonate the viewer, which would most likely be another business. Also, their use of juxtaposition of a modern employee — wearing glasses and armed with coffee and cell phone in hand — along with with their reference to unions, creates a fun post-modern tone.

Whether you’re Jesus, Jordan or an average joe, we’re all trying to create a brand that is specifically our own. What are some other examples of self-promotion that stand out to you?

– Nick Bolick, Olivia Sadle & Patrick Wagner

Fake ads creating real buzz for products

It is crazy to think that fake ads can impact consumer buying choices. I guess it’s really not that hard to explain. When you look at some company’s commercials like Old Spice and Slim Jims, the flashy over the top YouTube share-able content wins every time. An article by John Brandon, Fake Ad, “Boost product interest” from outlines just how some companies have utilized this new idea.

Sphero, a company that designs toys that allow users to control a robotic ball with a tablet or smart phone has incorporated this within the company’s marketing campaign. The fake ad titled “Sphero Peacekeeper” is a larger than life model who’s design (if you have yet to guess it) is to protect the community. The company did a great job creating this ad because the ending shows exactly what this product is for.

The ad was a success and Sphero noticed a huge increase in web traffic. the idea that people will watch a fake ad for a real product and buy it based on a false premise is a relatively new concept. These kinds of commercials use five key points to accomplish its goal according to International Management Group. First you have to avoid using icon temptations. Second, stand for something bigger. Third, be the brand you are. Fourth, be unexpectedly honest. And fifth, offer a visual reminder. I think the best depiction of this tactic can be seen from a commercial from A company that deals in video conferencing, sharing data and remote office entry.

This ad takes all five key points into consideration in the presentation of information throughout the commercial.

Let us know what you think about fake ads.

By: James, Jill, and Spencer