American and Japanese television commercials both strive to promote products or services; nevertheless, there are overwhelming empirical evidences through their ways of promotions: Japanese commercials use the traditional appeals of group, consensus and soft-cell with social strategies which collate with collectivist and high-context culture, while American advertisers utilize images of individuality and independence, hard-sell, youth and modernity with more individualistic strategies that collate with low- context culture.
Commercial messages through American and Japanese advertisements reflect cultural values Of each. Japanese commercials are less informative than American counterparts, and American advertisements offer more facts and attributes to showcase product superiority while Japanese advertisements reveal an indulgence with sensitive crafting of product image and appearance slated within a subtle frame of references. High-context cultures are characterized by extensive information networks among family, friends, associates, and even clients.
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Their relationships are close and personal. They keep well informed about the people who are important in their lives. This extensive background knowledge is automatically brought to bear in giving meanings to events and communications. Nothing that happens to them can be described as an isolated event; everything is connected to meaningful context. People in low- context cultures, on the other hand, tend to compartmentalize their lives and relationships. They permit little “interference” of “extraneous” information.
Thus in order to give detailed meaning to an event, they require detailed information in a communication. The “context” must be explicit in the message. One might expect, therefore, that low-context communications are referee wordier, or longer, than high-context messages, since they have to carry more information. In fact, the opposite is sometimes true: low-context cultures use language with great precision and economy. Every word is meaningful. In high-context cultures, language is promiscuous: since words have relatively less value, they are spent in great sums.
Japanese adverts are based on audio and visual effect, instead of words, appeal to viewers’ emotions environment or context’s meaningfulness in communication small- town mentality, collectivism Japan is high-context – assign meaning to stimuli rounding the explicit message. Verbal messages have little meaning without the surrounding context America is low-context – exclude those stimuli and focus on the communication event, whether it is a word, a sentence or physical gesture.
The message itself means everything. Soft-sell appeal to emotion, family, your place in society. Dominant in high-context cultures hard-sell – direct logic, convincing proof of the products quality, low- context cultures emotional connector does not persuade but communicates the feeling of products’ allure and familiarity music plays a huge role in Japanese ads Japan and America have similar needs, how we get them is different.