4. Danish advertising cultural value analysis
4.3. Product category
Another relevant aspect examined here, but which has not been included in the questionnaire, is the product categories frequency in the corpus analysed which may lead to interesting correlations between product categories and types of media, values or strategies used in order to promote them or would prove useful for further cross-cultural analysis in order to point out differences and similarities in different countries. For instance in Romanian television commercials cleaning products is a very well represented category, while in Danish television advertising only 3 commercials have been found for this category, accounting for 2,4%. It is also true that certain distortions of the conclusions could derive from specific legislative provisions. Romanian Advertising law does not restrict beer advertising on television while Danish legislation has specific provisions for alcoholic drinks which can be advertised on other media but not on national television. The absence of beer commercials on TV 2 does not mean that beer is rather absent on Danish markets or in Danish culture.
The results are presented in the following table:
Frequency of product categories (corpus of 125 commercials)
Video (DVD & VHS) (4)
Audio (CD) 34
Telecommunication (IP and mobile) 4
|Food & beverages: |
|Personal care: |
Beauty products (6)
Personal hygiene (2)
Cleaning products (3)
|Computers, digital technology: |
Digital (video) cameras (2)
Entertainment technology (2)
Mobile technology (1)
|Cleaning products, house maintenance||3||2,4%|
|Electric products furniture||2||1,6%|
The results presented in the above table confirm generally hypothesis 1 and 3. Main product categories advertised by Danish television commercial seem to be entertainment (40 occurrences), services (22 occurrences) and food & beverages (21 occurrences). Products related to high technology seem to be less present (only 6 according to the table above) and as such to partially infirm hypothesis 1 and 3. It is also true that high technology is present and turned into a rational appeal in some products included in categories such as toys, auto, or services. Beauty products and auto were predicted to represent a rather weak category the hypothesis is confirmed.
Further comments are necessary regarding toys category. Its presence depends highly on the meaning of primetime commercials advertising toys belong usually to the earliest blocks (17:55, 18). They can be related with a very controversial issue of Scandinavian advertising namely the advertising directed to children, but any further comment on this topic would be beyond the purposes of this paper. It should be added anyway that the relatively important number of toy products advertised in this corpus is strongly related to the very special nature of the season when advertisements were collected namely close to the Christmas holiday. The same reason might justify also the extremely high frequency of entertainment products from the subcategory audio CD.
Both categories toys and entertainment audio CD did not prove to be relevant in previous similar research. The main reference point is Marianne Figgies study already mentioned (corpus from April-May 1998) and also a personal study involving television commercials from July-August 2002. A comparison of the present results with those obtained in the other mentioned studies prove an extremely high stability. Main categories in 1998 were found to be: food & beverages (21; 23.3%), followed by entertainment & travel (18; 20%) and finally personal care (9; 10%) at a draw with services (9; 10%). For July-August 2002, main product categories are food & beverages (20; 23,50%), entertainment & travel (18; 21,17%) and services (10; 11,76%). Personal care products represented only 8,23% in the summer of 2002. It has to be mentioned that the category entertainment has been dominated in July-August by another subcategory with a very high degree of seasonality namely entertainment parks, gardens etc.
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