Advertisement is becoming one of the most effective mechanisms of action on the human, since appears not only as a source of information about new goods and services, but also as a factor contributing to the formation of consumer preferences and consumption standards. The advertisement also offers ready behavior samples introducing certain values and norms in a wider diapason.
If referring to History, the very abstract idea "advertisement" ascends to the early Latin word "reclamare" (which originally meant "exclaim", "advertise", then it was associated with such meanings as "require", "declare", "respond"), to the first written announcements in Pompei and Herculanum, to the first European heralds and native market criers (1). In the very primitive appeal to the crowd already the major characteristic of modern advertisement is seen: to advise, to disseminate the information about something (someone) to attract a buyer or boost commodity or producer. As far as the society developed the meaning of the notion "advertisement" changed and expanded.
Currently, one can distinguish a variety of approaches to the give phenomenon definition: marketing, sociological, culturological, psychological ones, etc. The majority of advertisement definitions in contemporary literature disperse due to differences in the treatment diversity used by authors when investigating this phenomenon.
To consider advertisement within the system of intercultural communications one should address to the culturological approach.
Advertisement within the framework of the culturological concept is studied as the phenomenon of popular culture, as its element possessing such special features of the last as a "considerable rate of expansion through mass media, average consumer taste determination, stereotypicality, entertainability, pursuit of reality trivialization" (2). And, of course, advertisement is investigated as an equally significant component of modern culture medium as design, beautiful music, urban development, social and political journalism, photography, general press, television.
In the culturological concept of advertisement study there is an accent to the fact that advertisement not only sets the behavior standards in one or another situation, but also determines the society morals and its ethic parameters considerably, acts as the most active propagandist of esthetic values.
Thus, the culturological concept also studies advertisement as a structural element of culture, it performs a projective function aimed at the adoption by the individuum and society of the values and popular culture achievements, such as comfort level, life quality, education, consumption of other essential characteristics. At that, the advertisement itself is a project, while projecting information and indirectly - the human and the society.
Owing to its feature to transmit values, priorities, norms, ideals of social medium, advertisement is an active participant of present-day personality socialization.
How is advertisement realized within the system of intercultural communications?
Since ancient times and up today a great variety of national cultures appears on the planet in the partnership with advertisement and self-advertisement. In the culture of every nation living on the Earth one can find out a fact of individual creativity defined by the desire to tell from the total weight of compatriots. At the same time they strive to observe traditions, norms and carry out special rituals fully formed in their national community. Following traditions is determined by the sense of "we".
Observing traditions and wishing to tell from the others, to excel, people try to be in the fashion, which has a variety of changeable forms, but manifests itself in practically all kinds of human joint activities. People want to resemble those who are stronger, more powerful and famous than they are; they try to imitate their idols.
The contemporary society is interlaced into a complex network of informative-communicative processes. The tendencies to globalization appear as a catalytic agent of the intercultural communication process giving the communication space new qualitative forms. Within the framework of the world´s civilizing process, scientific and technological progress, development of transport and appearance of new technological capabilities and also greater openness of the boundaries between states the modernizer has got unlimited opportunities to contact with the representatives of other cultures. In present-day conditions the intercultural communication is performed in the most diverse spheres of social life: economical, political, mental and others, inclusive of advertisement as well.
Considering the fact that one of the key channels of intercultural communication is an individual as a certain culture bearer, the advertising phenomenon in this aspect represents a great scientific and practical interest, as advertisement appears as one of the main forms of intercultural communication.
Really, at the end of XX-the beginning of XXI century there arose a demand for considering advertisement as a phenomenon of people´s cultural life, as one of the culture formation mechanisms. Nevertheless, the notion of "culture" itself turns out to be extremely indefinite due to the fact that it was being formed for a very long time and was applied in relation to various objects, which are different in their historical origin. Most often culture is considered as the form of organization and development of the society. It is represented in the products of material and spiritual labour, in social norms and traditions, in moral values, in the attitude of people to each other. In the given idea the difference of the socio-economic factors of human life activity from biologic forms of life, the qualitative distinctness and variety of historically specific forms of life activity at different stages of the social evolution within the limits of certain epochs, socioeconomic formations, ethnic and national communities is fixed.
Besides, one can notice that culture also describes people´s behavior, mentality and activity features in concrete areas of social life. In culture a separate individual´s, social group´s or the whole society´s life activity way can be recorded.
Advertisement, in its turn, is a form of communication, which tries to render the quality of commodity and services and also ideas into the language of consumer needs. A special attention at the advertising phenomenon consideration at the present-day stage should be paid to the following aspects characterizing the culture collision:
- On the one hand, such a collision is manifested at the attempt of a shift of western advertising manner in conditions of Russian mentality;
- On the other hand, in an individual advertising unit and commercial already one can observe a combination or opposition of elements, characters, meanings relating to Eastern or Western culture. Naturally, the given aspects, it their turn, cause problems in advertising perception. It is due to the fact that the ethno-cultural, confessional, lingual and other features of every country, every people are subject to the traditions and norms being formed for centuries, worldview, ideological orientations, customary world perception. The goods and services market internationalization caused by the globalization growing tendencies, causes in the sphere of advertising operation the segmentations of target population not only on habitual gender, age, territory, financial and economic factors, etc., but, first of all, on cultural-national (lingual, ethno-confessional, ceremonial, cultic, etc.) signs. The intercultural communication acquires more and more the character of an attributive property of present-day social reality. The influence of these conditions on advertisement is becoming more and more evident.
The advertisement, entering all the society spheres, has a sizeable effect on social behavior, ideas, values of individuals, affecting the process of borrowing and dissemination of material and intellectual values of the West by the same token. This process is contradictory and causes a not uniquely defined reaction. On the one hand, advertisement acts as a required element of the market economy development; on the other hand, an increased flow of advertising units causes a negative reaction at their perception.
All the world´s companies run into a not simple problem consisting in advertising the best qualities of their products both in conditions of local culture and internationally. The advertisement of their products needs to be inscribed in the sphere of the ideas characterizing the peculiarities of culture, political traditions, the level of economic development of the country and the degree of development of material and ideological needs of the population. The most effective is the advertisement that conforms to the national and cultural ideas of the region where the advertising campaign is supposed to be carried out. The identification of various cultures´ special features and adaptation of marketing companies to different systems of values often becomes a crucial variable in the publicity of some or other production.
In different national cultures the information about some or other goods can be perceived differently. So, very often the adaptation methods, so that visual and linguistic elements were transferred into new conditions, are used in advertising. If, when creating commercials, wherein a foreign product is promoted, the ad makers manage to adapt the new product to the final culture system, then this advertisement will be efficient. One or another culture representatives´ appearance, their skin color, clothing preferences, language, meal manners, etc. can serve an adaptation object.
Nowadays while "exporting" advertisement from the originator culture into the target culture the following two methods are generally used: one the one hand, a part of producers prefers to adapt the advertisement to another cultural medium replacing some elements composing the original advertising unit in accord with the traditions and values of the addressee culture, often assigning the creation of the information proper to the final cultural-language community´s representatives. On the other hand, great multinational enterprises most commonly create one advertising unit, which is merely translated into the language of another auditory.
The cross-cultural approach considering the destination areas´ cultural differences is used for promoting such brand names as «General Motors», «Volkswagen», etc. The «Kodak», «Benetton», «Coca-Cola» successfully realizing the principle "one picture, one sound, one system of sales" for the whole world, can be referred to the global strategy supporters.
Speaking on generally accepted values of the Russian culture it is necessary to advert to such its aboriginal traits as:
- collectivity based on the traditions of peasant commune;
- outspokenness, kind-heartedness, expressed in the idea of "Russian soul´s vastness";
- tolerance as a consequence of the state´s multinationality, its geographic position between Europe and Asia;
- strict morality;
- exceptional preoccupation with the future in combination with almost complete neglect to the present;
- childish spontaneous expectancy of a "miracle" and confidence in "Russian perhaps" (3).
In this connection I.Rzhevskaya fairly notes in the magazine "Advertisement - your capital" that "the majority of Russians prefer kind and conservative to aggressive and innovative" (4), and advises the ad makers to avoid platitude, lies, steamy love scenes, mentioning sexual minorities, curses, obscenity and any discrimination in their products.
Thus, the advertisement in Russia as a whole should be reserved, unobtrusive, respecting the society´s foundations and its citizens´ private inner life. However, as a rule, the communication material, especially foreign one, is not only regardless of the national mentality and makes no reckoning of the Russian audience´s anticipations, but also seeks to dictate the addressees the direction of thinking alien to their own one.
Advertisement, certainly, has a cultural significance. In other words, it is impossible to ignore or diminish the advertisement value for the society´s psychological and moral "health", as it able to "engineer" people´s consciousness according to intentions and needs advertising spenders-producers and change age-old crusted habits, social norms and cultural traditions in a comparatively short term.
Advertisement may be one of the main comprehensible sources of knowledge of commodities and services. It is no wonder that, absorbing the information, the consumer assimilates and memorizes it in those very words and characters, in which the advertising spender passed it to him. These words and characters form a peculiar "language".
In this sense the concept of G. Hofstede described in the book «The Software of Mind», where he emphasizes four general manifestations of culture, and among them: symbols, rituals, heroes and values, which, in their turn, can be taken for the basis when constructing advertising companies (5), is very interesting. Under the symbols we understand the words, gestures and also subjects, which bear a special meaning and are recognized by the given culture representatives. The heroes are represented by certain persons, who can be real people or imaginary personages, our contemporaries or legendary personalities of the past, but all of them possess the characteristics, which receive high social rating, and thus become a model to emulate. The rituals represent collective actions, which are considered as the basis of social existence. Among the rituals one can name religious ceremonies, special pattern of behavior, greetings, gestures and tokens of respect to elders. Their samples can serve family values, independence, security, individual freedom, intellectual valuables, etc. Therefore it is important to use and turn to such values in advertising one´s own products.
Successful advertising and marketing of the identical product in several countries can be possible in the presence of considerable discrepancies in performance, characters, styles and verbal message. The performance of advertising materials adapted to cultures of various countries is the factor of the product´s popularity, first and foremost, under the notion of the consumer commodities. The model of G. Hofstede proved its consistence practically and can serve a good reference point while planning advertising campaigns.
Special attention at the advertising preparation should be paid to the religious factor. Religious traditions considerably limit the advertising character content, and the ad makers have to advert to different variants of products´ boosting in the regions, say, with Muslim and Christian population. With turning of the Muslin regions´ population of Russia to their religious traditions the requirements to the communication material distributed here become more and more severe. In the Muslim republics of Russia - Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabrdino-Balkaria and others - during Ramadan the advertising of ladies fashion underwear or entertainment complexes is considered by local authorities as abomination.
Advertisement originally contains contradictions, that exerts influence on the difference in its perception by some or other social groups. Among positive aspects of advertisement functioning in the system of culture one should mark the one, that advertisement takes an active part in culture renovation and its development. In Russian advertisement a tendency to counterfeit foreign models is very often observed; the National history, culture and traditions, values of the Russian society are insufficiently reflected.
At the implementation of advertising activity internationally one should pay attention to the main principles of intercultural communication and take into account the target population segmentedness on cultural-national factor, first and foremost.
So, advertisement has become an important component of mass culture, a part of propaganda process, a means of control, manipulation and psychological impact on the human behavior. Under the influence of advertisement the psychological characteristics, properties, states of people, their perception and behavioral reactions change. The future of the society, national culture, psychology and self-consciousness of the people depend on the character of its action. The most important condition of the advertisement effectiveness is its conformity to the general characteristics of national psychology, self-consciousness, cultural tradition of Russians. In Russia this situation is complicated with its multinationality, multistructuredness, and religious diversity. To make the advertisement effective the account should be taken of both local national heritages and values of the peoples living in the territory of the Russian Federation.
- Uchenova V.V., Starykh N.V. History of advertisement. - SPb.: Peter, 2002, p. 10.
- Kostina A.V. Advertising esthetics. - M.: LLC "Vershina"(peak), 2003, p. 40.
- Medvedeva Ye.V. Advertising communication. - Moscow, 2003, p. 257.
- Feofanov O.A. Advertisement. New technologies in Russia. - SPb.: Peter, 2000.
- Hofstede, G. Cultures and organizations: Software of the Mind. - New York, 1991. P. 163-179.