Construction of otherness via cross-cultural advertising

Date of publication: November 1, 1997


This paper focuses on the question of semiotics of brand communication. Lotman's’ concept of semiosphere and three types of semiotic relations between imagined our brand and other brands, hindering the brand's acceptance in particular market, are introduced in this paper: non-semiotic relation; alien-semiotic relation; and different-semiotic relation. We would like to point out that in operating in culturally heterogeneous and fast developing eastern European markets, the marketer must note the context of emergence of self-awareness of consumer identities which entails prioritising uniqueness of the self and sharper opposition to others. Thereby the brand discourse turns to alien-semiotic rather often but this is a somewhat logical path leading to more tolerant different- semiotic which is a good basis for creation of the we-semiotic between the symbolic self of the communicated brand and the social self of the consumer.

Triin Vihalemm


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