Advertising Translation Part#3 – Globalization

The global approach assumes that every human being has more or less the same needs, beliefs and aspirations. Rather than cultural barriers, similarities between cultures are highlighted. MNCs favoring this approach take the target audience as homogeneous and use the same advertisement in every country. “With the convergence of national wealth, technology and emerging global media, consumer wants and needs are homogenized” (Ted Levitt, 1983). For example, Nokia has a global approach in Turkish market. The ads of this corporation are generally used unchanged. There is not a sign of translational activity in many of its ads which were shown on Turkish TV channels or in movies. The one titled “Music gets you talking” has a long and loaded text; however, it was shown in movie breaks in English. Although some ads may reach their target when used unchanged, the ads containing linguistic features may fail to convey their messages. Titled “Harmony”, another ad by Nokia conveys its message as planned even if a global approach is employed.

The avoidance of linguistic elements makes this ad comprehensible by Turkish audience. Van Mesdag argues the impractical nature of employing the global approach in marketing and advertising translation:

“However, the number of products allowing for a pure global marketing strategy is very limited, if not non-existing. Since countries differ in culture, language, government regulations, topography, distribution and retail structure, adaptation or standardization of at least some elements of the marketing mix is usually required”


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