What Is the Difference in Global Advertising & International Advertising?
Global advertising and international advertising are two distinct geographical ad strategies used by companies that conduct business globally. Global advertising is an approach where the same general message is applied in all countries. International advertising is a strategy where you tailor your ad messages to each country.
A primary benefit of a global approach is cost savings, which is especially important for smaller global companies. Since you don't have to redesign and redevelop your advertising concepts for different regions and cultures, you save. Consistency is another pro of global ads. By delivering your same message in the same manner in each country, you reinforce your main brand and product messages. This helps improve word of mouth as well, since people in different parts of the world can share in their understanding of your brand.
Global advertising limits your ability to distinguish different product uses in different countries. It also doesn't work well if your brand messages wouldn't impact or work with a particular audience. One big-box chain struggled to take its low-cost business model to Germany and other parts of Europe, where workers were already part of unions, and the appetite for the chain's low-cost processes and products wasn't as great. Social acceptance also varies, which global advertising doesn't account for.
The ability to differentiate your message as needed is the major strength of international advertising. You can tailor your advertising to directly impact the market in each country. This works well if your products or services have different meanings around the world. American hamburger shops, for instance, have had to change their menus and the focus of their ads in some Middle Eastern countries because of cultural diet restrictions. Use of sexuality in ad messages is generally accepted in the American culture, and many parts of Europe are even more open to it, while other parts of the world wouldn't accept it.
The cost is the biggest drawback of redoing your ad messages for individual markets. To get the best design and execution, you typically have to work with local ad experts who understand the culture, market needs and product usage. Production costs for new radio and TV commercials and print ads in each market can get quite expensive. The potential for inconsistency is also a drawback, but the general premise with this approach is that different countries already have an inconsistent use or understanding of your brand.