Reshaping American Identity Through Advertising. Standardization vs. Localization

Madalina Moraru


Our study focuses on the impact of American advertising on local consumers and industry and discusses the relationship between standardization and localization on the global market. Although America seems to be a hybridized, McDonald-ized reality, it is in fact grounded on a multicultural and social mix that deems it highly recognizable. Consequently, we argue that reconstructing American identity means sharing similar values with other cultural spaces, whose history, religion, and social customs require a different approach to daily life and finding new means of expression.

Our main argument is that advertising disseminates its message in foreign markets and that American campaign models were implemented despite cultural differences. Therefore, we will study the way American heterogeneity becomes homogeneous in the advertising realm, and explain the relationship between standardization and localization in promoting brand values. Our analysis relies on examples of the post-1990 Romanian advertising revolution that showcase the global American influence on Romania s local industry as reflected by celebrations (Valentine s Day, Man s Day) and other American symbols (the cowboy image, the impact of the English language) present in locally broadcast advertisements.

Consequently, our paper asks a very controversial question: Does market globalization embed the American spirit in indigenous cultures through advertising, bypassing local culture, ideology and society?


advertising, standardization, religion, society, globalization, hybridization, Americanization.

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