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Analysis of the Carlsberg Advertisements

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Danish printed advertisement

The poster shows 4 men in the forest having conversation and smiling, meanwhile everyone has a bottle in a hand.

The background shows the connection to wild nature: large green trees together with five fallow dears, a magpie, a fox and a pheasant. The men have been hunting, possibly, and decided to take a break. The idea is to illustrate a moment of relaxation and enjoyment of Carlsberg beer in a good company. The slogan “Vores ol brygget pa det bedste vi har” (Our beer. Brewed from the best we have) at the bottom, involves different product characteristics. The first part “Vores ol” awakes the awareness of Danes, because their traditional beer connects people in Denmark.

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Per contra, the final part focuses on quality of a beverage, which worth to go hunting. The image and the content of a text box creates a unified whole. The advertisement illustrates the traditional myth of drinking beer since hunting is an old tradition and according to the text box "Only 11% of the Danish hunters are hunting to hunt" which implies social interaction with friends. And, therefore, the social belonging to that particular group is related to drinking beer.

Furthermore, Carlsberg beer can be seen as a reward for hard-working process, going beyond the beverage and highlighting old traditional values which express the hunting myth. In addition, a humor takes special place in this print. Relaxed hunters are surrounded by animals, walking nearby very close. It seems that animals are not afraid of intruders. The beer is no longer just a beer. It builds community and harmony between the people, and also between the animals. This is a signal of weak uncertainty avoidance in Denmark.

Carlsberg beer provides relaxing atmosphere and sense of peace as well as hygge (fun on Danish). Moreover, the poster represents the everyday culture, playing on the symbolic associations. Consequently, Carlsberg intends to tell a true story about the real product. Denmark is a very individualistic culture where independence is very important. Nevertheless, the Danish advertisement (the slogan “Vores ol”) contradicts individualism. Instead, the advertisement drives towards collectivism.

It turns out that Danes are double-standard people: they keep distance from other people, sitting alone in public transit while they pursue the sense of belonging, seeking community involvement. Ultimately, Denmark is categorized as a low-context culture. That means that additional information and reasoning is required. Although this poster does not provide explicit argumentation apart from slogan and little text box. In my opinion, information given is sufficient enough to deliver the message to Danish consumer.

British printed advertisement

UK version demonstrates 2 young men sitting on a terrace of a luxury house with a sea view and two beautiful young women in the background The woman standing next to swimming pool is showered by a cloud above. Next to her is another young woman, who is lying in the sun with a rainbow over her body. Aforesaid young men are both smiling and holding a bottle of beer. There is a snowing cloud between them, which keeps the beer on the table refrigerated. Perhaps, they talk to each other, sharing opinions and ideas about everything behind them, which is not realistic.

It can be assumed that the man on the left is telling about his fantasy (which is the actual background of a print). This flight of imagination is correlated with a text box “Carlsberg don't do the weather, but if we did it would probably be the best weather in the world”. I will interpret it this way: Carlsberg is already producing the best beer in the world; if only Carlsberg made weather, it would also be the best in the world. The informal contradiction “don’t” is used to make the text ordinary, which links to the fact that Carlsberg beer is an everyday beer for any event, any time.

According to this ad, the best weather is summertime, beautiful ladies either taking shower of rain or sunbathing and cold Carlsberg beer with a snowing cloud above. This idealistic lifestyle reflects the fantasies and desires of younger audience, which is the actual target population. This unrealistic weather is not only a castle in the sky, a dream, but also a myth of success which implies luxury, nice weather and exclusive alcoholic beverages. Young men stylish clothes and beautiful beach house proves that link.

British small power distance is visible in this poster by the use of four independent young people who are able to make ideals in countries, where individualism is highly valued. Beer-drinking culture in is also manifested in this advertisement. In Great Britain beer is a social drink, it is not consumed alone, it should be shared in a company. Just like in Denmark, British are double-standard people: individualistic community seekers. Overstatement in slogan “Probably the best beer in the world is a sign of masculine cultures, it is often used.

The features of the product related to luxury and high status is another a signal of masculinity. On the other hand, slogan also has an understatement "probably" which represent feminine values. Weak uncertainty avoidance can be noticed in text box focused on what the product does rather than what it can. And again, if Carlsberg could modify the weather it would be just as good as their beer. Communication style is more high-context than low-context. This is caused by the indirect, implicit message the viewer have to understand (metaphor: snowing clouds performs the role of refrigerator).

Cultural Differences and Similarities

The above analysis of Carlsberg advertisements of Denmark and United Kingdom illustrates how dominant cultural values, believes and norms reflect the style and content of particular print. There are some characteristics in common while there are a few differences. In the first place, both advertisements involves myths. However, British one provides the myth of success, whereas Danish ad is linked to old Dane traditional values such as hunting and social interaction. Secondly, in both posters beer-drinking culture is related to social process and relaxing activity.

The Denmark version possess harmony, peace and community while British focal point is high quality and exclusive luxury. Thirdly, both Denmark and Great Britain advertisements are high-context despite the fact that both countries are classified as low-context. Text boxes are not that informative such as the image scenario. Although Danish ad is more symbolic meanwhile British one has more high-context communication. Last but not least, in both prints all characters are smiling, expressing the joy and satisfaction. This is a distinctive feature of strong uncertainty avoidance cultures.

On top of that, both countries are double-standard combining individualism with collectivism (as previously mentioned "individualistic community seekers"). Still, UK ad demonstrates more signs of highly individualistic values

Appendix A

Danish printed advertisement, 1999 Only 11% of the Danish hunters are hunting to hunt There is intelligence that can create intense peace as the taste of the original Carlsberg humble exclusively from flowers of the hemp plant Our beer. Brewed from the best we have

Appendix B

British printed advertisement, 2007

Analysis of the Carlsberg Advertisements essay

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