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A content analysis of advertising in a global magazine across seven countries: Implications for global advertising strategies

Michelle R. Nelson (University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA)
Hye‐Jin Paek (Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 27 February 2007




This research examines global advertising strategies and tactics in a global media brand for a shared audience across seven countries (Brazil, China, France, India, South Korea, Thailand, and USA).


A content analysis of advertisements in local editions of Cosmopolitan magazine compares the extent of standardization in execution elements (advertising copy, models) across product nationality (multinational, domestic) and category (beauty, other).


Local editions deliver more multinational than domestic product ads across all countries, except India. Overall, multinational product ads tend to use standardized strategies and tactics more than domestic product ads, although this propensity varies across countries. Beauty products (cosmetics, fashion) are more likely to use standardized approaches than are other products (e.g. cars, food, household goods).

Research limitations/implications

The research only examines one type of magazine and for one type of audience.

Practical implications

A global medium such as Cosmopolitan offers international advertisers an opportunity to reach a shared consumer segment of women with varying degrees of standardization, and that even in Asian countries, some standardization is possible.


This is the first multi‐country study to examine advertising executions for global advertising strategy within a transnational media brand. Unlike previous studies that advise against global strategy in Asia, we find that contemporary advertisers are practicing some global advertising strategies, but to varying degrees.



Nelson, M.R. and Paek, H. (2007), "A content analysis of advertising in a global magazine across seven countries: Implications for global advertising strategies", International Marketing Review, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 64-86.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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