Cultural differences

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Cultural differences in advertising

Differences between cultures are sometimes obvious, however some design is sometimes hidden and needs picking apart before it becomes obvious. These differences can influence design. As a group we looked at these images and analysed them establishing the differences of cultures such as the law and the social acceptance of the imagery.

(ISHR, 2007)

The above image is part of a campaign to help women in the islamic world to remove the restrictions of the law regarding the wearing of the burka, this image we can see a woman wearing the traditional wear. However the slit is barred, this is imposing our views on their culture that they are imprisoned in their cultural ways. However this is not always the case, when asked on their thoughts on the burka, they support the use of it as a sense of empowerment. The use of colours is used to further push the idea of darkness that they are being kept in, this along with the rust on the bars communicates the idea that they have been in this oppression a long time. However this image has had a injection of humanisation by the woman having makeup on creating the implication of the woman is the same as the women in the western civilisations. The composition of the advert is that of a pyramid structure signifying a image of power or strength of the movement, this draws the eyes to 3 sections of the image the face (mainly focusing on the eyes) and the bottom corners in which the main aim of the advert becomes clearly outlined. The choice of a grainy texture enforces the transmission of the harsh feel that is trying to be implied by the aim of the advert.

(United Colors Of Benetton, 1989)

This advert by United Colors Of Benetton (UCB) is used to force many different questions by its audience, why are they handcuffed, who is handcuffed to who and who are they. The use of denim in the picture would be safe to day it is used as a universal language for acceptance as well as creating a common ground between the two parties, the only visible difference that we could deduce if their ethnicity. UCB are known for crossing cultural differences between races, here in a western country with a culture that is still secretly racial discriminative, the culture could see this as a back man has been handcuffed to a white man as a punishment. Others could se this as a punishment to the white man to be handcuffed to a black man as punishment in many different ways. Perhaps they were both in the wrong and incarcerated together as a brother in arms gesture. They are both wearing a blue shirt possibly a nod towards the blue collar man a man who has worked in industry to achieve what he can, the fact that they are both wearing the same items of clothing would increase that conception of them being equals. The composition seems to be full frame as we are seen to focus on the centre of the image rather than anywhere else.

(United Colours of Benetton, 1997)

Another one from UCB was for their world food programme advertising, this one was used yet again as a shock factor to show that even though he has lost a hand it is still essential for him to feed himself even with the lack of food in the country that we can assume is one of poverty. the use of colours is that of greys in the background and in the foreground is a warmth of the character in the image, this will be used to support a humanisation of the character rather than trying to discourage looking at the character. The use of a spoon would also imply that the food this man can actually access would be of no substance so a knife of a fork would be of no use.


Dolce and Gabbana, (2007). D&G. [image] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2016].

ISHR, (2007). Burka. [image] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2016].

Moms Demand Action, (2013). Banned to Protect. [image] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2016].

United Colors Of Benetton, (1989). HandCuffs. [image] Available at:×216.jpg [Accessed 4 Oct. 2016].

United Colors Of Benetton, (2011). Leaders Kissing. [image] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2016].

United Colours of Benetton, (1997). food for life. [image] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2016].

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