An analysis of Japanese advertisements in the US and Germany: From a comparative perspective on global marketing


This study presents the results of a content analysis of "Japan-related advertisements" in newspapers and magazines in the United States of America and Germany in order to explicate what function advertisements fulfill in the formation of international images and how this affects international marketing strategies. While the first section concentrates on the findings in the case of "Japan-re- lated advertisements" in two daily newspapers and two magazines in the United States the second section deals with "Japan-related advertisements" in two German weekly magazines. Research data are presented for product groups of advertised merchandise, targets of advertisement appeal, Japanese scenery, cultural symbols, comparative advertising and number, gender, age, nationality and colour of appearing persons. Finally it is concluded that this "content analysis"shows that Japanese companies adopt some sort of "Japan disguising" style of advertising in the United States of America and Germany. Concerning reasons for this style of advertising in "overseas countries" several hypotheses are raised, like the "hypothesis of assimilation", meaning to adapt instantly in any respect to foreign countries, the "hypothesis of Japanese particularity", implying that Japanese-style advertisements cannot be understood except by Japanese and thus are not comprehended in foreign countries, and the "camouflage-mac hypothesis", which means refraining from laying emphasis on the fact of being an advertisement by a Japanese company in order to promote sales while cleverly avoiding Japan bashing.

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