Research Proposal: Adaptation of Advertisements in Muslim Countries

Pages: 30 (8264 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising  ·  Buy This Paper

Coca-Cola Ad Campaigns

In Morocco During Ramadan

The rumor, "Boycotting Coca-Cola makes a statement against America and American (foreign) policies," constitutes one of the myriad of rumors the Coca-Cola company has had to counter, relating to contemporary religious, particularly Muslim, conflicts. Along with officially countering negative rumors about Coke, the Coca-Cola Company proved in a number of promotional efforts that that local adaptation of advertisements may constitute a vital strategy to increase its sales revenues and simultaneously improve the company's global image. An illustrative example for the success of this particular strategy includes the efficiency of the television advertisements Coca-Cola Company crafted celebrating the spirit and values of the holy month of Ramadan.

In this dissertation, the researcher explores the impact of locally adapted TV advertisements on sales revenues of Coca-Cola Company in Morocco during the Holy month of Ramadan. Along with implementing an exhaustive review of relevant literature, this study includes a survey of 150 Moroccan Muslim participants to assess their perceptions relating to Coke advertising strategies. The researcher, utilizing the Moroccan market in the most significant month in the Islamic calendar, "Ramadan," as a case study, asserts that advertisements locally adapted to fit with a specific culture do succeed.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

1

1.2 Study Area

1.3 Dissertation Structure

1.4 Aims and Objectives

CHAPTER II

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

8

2.2 Advertising Theories

2.3 Marketing to Muslims

Religious Considerations (i.e. Ramadan)

Muslim's Buying Habits

2.4 Advertising to Different Cultures

2.5 Coca-Cola Ads

Myths Regarding Coca-Cola

Contemporary Customer Considerations

Muslim Concerns

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Data Used

3.3. Methods And Techniques

3.3.1 A Specific Method

CHAPTER IV

ANALYSIS

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Results for the Same

4.3 Discussion of Results

CHAPTER V

DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Discussion

5.3 Conclusions

5.4 Recommendations

APPENDICES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1: Depicts scenes from Coke's First Experience ad campaign.

22

Figure 2: Respondents Answers to Question 1.

27

Figure 3: Respondents Answers to Question 2.

27

Figure 4: Respondents Answers to Question 3.

28

Figure 5: Respondents Answers to Question 4.

29

Figure 6: Respondents Answers to Question 5.

30

Figure 7: Respondents Answers to Question 6.

31

Figure 8: Respondents Answers to Question 7.

32

Figure 9: Respondents Answers to Question 8.

33

Figure 10: Respondents Answers to Question 9.

34

Table 1: Advertising Expenditure Growth 2005-2008

13

Table 2: Islamic Elements and Marketing Implications

16

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

"The advertisement succeeded when it discovered, defined, and persuaded a new community of consumers"

- Daniel J. Boorstin (b. 1914)

(Boorstin, as cited in Columbia World, 1996).

In the United States (U.S.), advertisements (ads) that insult Arabs and Muslims, according to Tony Kutayli of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), increased following the launch of America's war on terrorism. In the Washington Report, "Offensive Ads Anger Muslims," Delinda C. Hanley reports Kutayli to argue that insensitive and/or negative ads relating to Muslims foster fear, hatred and misunderstandings. For contemporary advertising to be successful, Daniel J. Boorstin, a U.S. historian, asserts, it needs to be understood in a positive realm, "aimed at something new - the creation of consumption communities" (Boorstin, as cited in Columbia World, 1996). For an advertisement to succeed, it must discover, define, and persuade a new community of consumers.

In this dissertation, the researcher explores the impact of locally adapted TV advertisements on sales revenues of Coca-Cola Company in Morocco during the Holy month of Ramadan. The researcher, utilizing the Moroccan market in the most significant month in the Islamic calendar, "Ramadan," as a case study, asserts that advertisements locally adapted to fit with a specific culture more likely succeed than standardized advertisements.

Following the 1981 intifada, "First Intifada, a Palestinian Arab uprising against Israel from 1987 to about 1991" (Intifada, 2007), despite a number of American companies continuing their advertising efforts, some Muslim countries reported their citizens exerted pressures to boycott Israeli and American products. Related religious conflicts contributed to rumors circulating about the Coca-Cola Company, which in turn contributed to a decrease in sales of coke products. The rumors included, however were not limited to the following:

"Boycotting Coca-Cola makes a statement against America and American (foreign)

policies.

"The Coca-Cola Company is a Jewish company.

"Coca-Cola contributes profits to Israel

"Warning to buy Coca-Cola due to possible contamination by terrorists

"Coca-Cola contains material making it unsuitable for vegetarians and Muslim

"Anti-Muslim messages appear in graphics (No Mohammed, No Mecca)

"Coca-Cola runs advertising that is offensive to Muslims" (Middle East Rumors,

2009).

Coca-Cola, the primary company for the focus of this dissertation, made a point to counter each rumor. Nevertheless, in 1968, due to Coke's business ties to Israel, the Arab League declared a boycott of Coca-Cola. In the new release during July 2005, "Cola wars as Coke moves on Baghdad," Rofy Carroll (2009), Guardian foreign correspondent in Baghdad, reports that after almost four decades, Coke returned to Iraq and a number of other Muslim countries. Then as now, the Coca-Cola Company "denies any political or religious bias. 'The myth is indeed sometimes perpetuated, but has no truth to it,'" a spokesman for Coke stressed. The boycott of Coke products ended in 1991; however Coke remained out of Iraq as sanctions against the company continued, along with ongoing wars in Muslim countries (Carroll, 2009).

During 2002, in retaliation to Washington's support of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, one unidentified Moroccan government official predicted Coke sales would fall 50% in northern Morocco. This area serves as a powerbase for Islamic groups. Nicolas Marmie, Associated Press Writer, reports in "Unofficial boycott campaign against U.S. products gathers steam." Boycott calls against Coke products circulated across the Arab world. Many Muslims perceived the U.S. As a supporter of Israel's military incursions; regarding this support as biased toward the Jewish state. Some supermarkets in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cleared their shelves not only of Coke, but all U.S. products.

During this time, protestors organized and led daily strikes against the Coca-Cola Company in Morocco in front of the parliament in the capital Rabat, as well as the major cities of the country. Coca-Cola's name became directly related to the killing and slaughtering of Muslim children in Palestine, with most consumers avoiding Coke products. To reverse the anti-American trend, Coca-Cola Company opted for new culturally charged advertisement campaigns. The Coca-Cola Corporation began adapting its advertisements to fit the Arab and Muslim world. Prior to 1998, local advertising agencies produced TV commercials in each country for Ramadan. During 1998, however, the Coca-Cola Company ran the "Charity" campaign in twenty Islamic countries, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco (International Approaches section ¶2). Coke's new strategy aimed to move closer to the Arab market by promoting Muslim values, while simultaneously dissociating the company from their government's policies, were interpreted as a reconciliation process aiming at gaining back the lost market. 1.2: Study Area

More than 32 million citizens live in Morocco, a North African country, the country for this study's focus. As with most North African countries, Islam serves as the official religion Moroccan citizens follow. In fact, 99.8% of Moroccans are Muslims. As globalization makes Morocco a prime destination for a major global companies; nowadays, hundreds of corporations invading the country have taken the control of several fields in the Moroccan market. The Coca-Cola Company, one of the world's biggest, best-known known corporations entering the Moroccan market is known all over the world by its attractive, efficient advertisements. Coca-Cola Company traditionally implements a standardized advertising strategy, which in turn permits the company to reduce its advertising costs, simultaneously increasing its profitability. (Hollensen, 2004).

Coca-Cola Company, albeit proved in a number of promotional efforts that that local adaptation of advertisements may constitute a vital strategy to increase its sales revenues and simultaneously improve the company's global image. An illustrative example for the success of this particular strategy includes the efficiency of the television advertisements Coca-Cola Company crafted celebrating the spirit and values of the holy month of Ramadan.

Every year, more than 1.4 billion Muslims throughout the world; 99.8% of the Moroccan population, celebrate the holy month of Ramadan by fasting each day from sunrise until sunset. In Morocco, however, a number of things differ from the traditional celebration during Ramadan. Changes and transformations occur in many aspects of life in this area; including the eating and drinking habits of Moroccan people.

1.3: Dissertation Structure

Organization of the Study

A case study research design proffers a basic guide for the researcher to develop his/her study. The following section relates the segments/chapters the researcher included in this study.

Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter I of this study relates the background of the phenomenon being examined; the impact of locally adapted TV advertisements on sales revenues of Coca-Cola Company in Morocco during the Holy month of Ramadan.

Chapter II: Review of the Literature

During Chapter II, the researcher presents a synopsis of the literature reviewed for the study. The researcher retrieved information… [END OF PREVIEW]

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