How Is Culture Reflected in Consumer Advertising?


Culture can be defined as ideas, beliefs, objects and activities that help characterize of a group of people. These cultural characteristics have a certain meaning to people who are part of the culture. Advertisers draw from these meanings and reflect them in their advertisements to make them more appealing.


Culture is reflected in ads through its images. An ad for lip gloss targeted to teens may feature bright colors and a younger model. Those who see the ad would be able to tell that the lip gloss is geared toward younger women.


The way that the text is constructed within the ad can reflect culture. An advertiser will phrase the dialogue differently for an ad that has youth appeal than they would if they were targeting that ad to a mature audience.

Current Events

Current events can be representative of a culture. For example, around certain holidays, many companies in the United State will have an ad in the theme of the approaching holiday.

Pop Culture

Pop culture is also reflected in consumer advertising. Some companies choose to use a celebrity who is well known and currently popular as a spokesperson for their brand.


Aside from text, the actual language used within an ad can be important in reaching different cultures. In the United States, many advertisers will create special ads in another language if a neighborhood is heavily concentrated with speakers of that language.

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  • "Advertising, Promotion, and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications"; Terence A. Shimp; 2007
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