|Type of paper:
|Company Advertising Leadership style Customer service
Advancement of technology and globalization in the 21st century has shifted the power towards the consumers in the organization-customer relationship. Consumers have more purchasing power than was the case in the past years given the choices of products and services to serve their needs at their disposal (Cetina, Munthiu, & Radulescu, 2012, p. 186). In a bid to remain highly competitive, businesses are expanding to other countries as has been the case for Domino, an American company, currently, the largest pizza seller globally in terms of total sales. With approximately 15,000 stores in different parts of the world, the company has to incorporate different marketing strategies such as advertising to make its product appealing to customers in different country.
Organizations use advertising to promote the goods and services that they want to sell to the public (Haque, Rahman, Ahmed, Yasmin, & Asri, 2011, p. 45). The advertising method that a company applies is the one that they consider will be most effective for brand recognition and promotion of goods and services. For advertisement strategies to be effective, an organization has to take note of its targeted consumer behavior, and how they are changing over time (Samy, 2015, p.4). The reason for this is that the consumers are the end-users, and companies have to do their best to gain the attention of its diverse customers to ensure that they increase their sales revenues and profits through the increase of demand of their products (Muniady, Al- Mamun, Permarupan, & Zainol, 2014).
Domino's Pizza has outlets in Malaysia and Singapore. Interestingly, the company has used two advertisements for the same promotional campaign of its pizza flavour for its Malaysian and Singaporean customers. The aim of this study is to conduct a multi-modal analysis on the Domino's Pizza campaign in Malaysia and Singapore. The researcher will take into consideration the similarities and differences of the two advertisements in terms of the ads' textual features (Malaysian and Singaporean English elements) and visual semiotic elements. The theories that will be applied for analysis purposes are Critical Discourse Analysis for the textual features and Kress and van Leeuwen's visual semiotic framework for the visual and pictorial features.
The growth and success of international businesses has been as a result of the combination of an increase in the number of advertising activities globally, and their effectiveness in reaching the targeted consumers. It is important to point out that modern-day advertising is targeted to a specific consumer with the aim of generating interest in the product, or service that is being sold, and ultimately influencing their purchasing decision towards the commodities that an organization is promoting (Bhatia, 2005, p. 216). The process of developing effective advertising messages involves developing a deep understanding of the different linguistic typologies with the aim of coming up with the right language (choice of words) that will have the right impact on the consumers. The language used is an important component of advertising as it carries the message that an organization is trying to communicate to its clientele base. It is therefore imperative for advertisers to adjust the language they use on a regular basis to conform to the constant changes in the business world. This is mainly achieved by glocalization (Robertson, 1995, p. 32).
Robertson (1995) stated that glocalization can be described as a company's ability to accommodate a diverse clientele base through the use of a combination of globalization and localization strategies. The aspect of differentiation has contributed to the global success of Domino Pizza. Alsagoff (2010) elaborates Robertson's glocalization concept by explaining that globalization is a process, which incorporates the use of local strategies or cultures, while taking into consideration global perspectives and actions. Domino Pizza has implemented the glocalization concept in its promotional advertisement. Not only does it use catchy phrases such as 'Eggstra Shiok,' and 'Hosey Together,' it also localizes its advertisements depending on the targeted customers on a product that is sold globally. It is important to point out that part of the text in the two posters has been localised to the consumers' slangs. This marketing strategy can be considered as Domino Pizza attempt to distinguish itself from other competing brands by accomplishing a balance in the 'local' and 'global' elements as part of its advertisements (Bhatia, 1993).
Cook (2001) noted that advertisements in the 21st century are designed to communicate a particular message to the targeted customers through the use of language and signs. The words that are used in the advertisement texts depict the product language, meaning on its audiences and social system. Consumers consider advertisements as a discourse type based on the message that is being promoted and its social significance. On the other hand, Fairclough (1995) believed that discourse represents or reflects a point of view of people to each other and the world. Therefore, advertisements can be considered as type of discourse that centres on the interaction of power and ideology, and can be used to not only express, but also impose an individual's ideology (Bishop, 2006). An individual's culture shapes his or her attitudes, values, ideologies and concepts, and this can be seen in the Domino's Pizza adverts. As language is part of an individual's culture, it can be argued that the advertising strategists in this company used the local dialect purposefully to impose the concept that Pizza can provide sheer happiness for the Malaysian customers who consume this particular flavour, or pizzas are attractive for the Singaporean consumers.
There have been studies on advertising in Malaysia such as Hashim (2010) examination on five Malaysian advertisements through the lens of systemic functional grammar, multi-modal analysis, and Bhatia's (1993) seven major moves that used by sales promotion letter writers. In this study, it will take a different approach in that, it will analyse a similar advertisement campaign that was conducted in Malaysia and Singapore, while assessing the similarities and differences of the ad texts, and visual elements.
When marketers are designing print advertisements, they have to use the right linguistic and non-linguistic tools that will 'spark' the targeted consumers' interest in the product or service that is being sold by a specific company. In this case, the researcher will focus on the multi-modal analysis of Domino's Pizza advertisements in Malaysia and Singapore using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) grammar of visual design model. CDA is mainly used to find meaning in the ideologies and discourses that are underlying a specific text. According to Fairclough (2001: 229), CDA analyses are any type of discourse, it can be written text, speech, symbols, printed advertisements, and any other form of communication that an organization uses to relay a message to its targeted customers. Bloor and Bloor (2007) noted that CDA assesses how languages and discourse are used to achieve social goals.
The researcher will employ Fairclough's (1993) three-dimensional model, which comprises of the descriptive analysis of the text, discursive practices that are related to the production and consumption and socio-cultural practices. Using this methodology will assist us to devise contextual interpretations of Domino's advertisements in the two countries.
Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) grammar of visual design framework is a visual discourse approach that researchers use to create a link in the visual depictions of a print media, and its meaning in a specific social context. It allows an individual to interpret the visual representations that have been used in an advertisement from a specific social context, which makes it a compatible analysis methodology to use with CDA. Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996) framework comprises three meta-semiotic functions: representational, compositional and interactive.
The data that was used for this study was obtained online. As the researcher, I wanted to conduct a comprehensive study on a company's advertisement strategy that I felt employed glocalisation in its campaigns. Going through blogs, online magazines and social media platforms, I came across, a product promotion campaign that was done differently in two countries that are in the same region. In both of these advertisements, the print media platform was used. However, the language and the images are not similar. I wanted to know why Domino's Pizza had employed this strategy, and why the marketers of the company felt that this could be a successful strategy in terms of reaching and influencing its targeted consumers. I felt that the major limitation in this study, is that it is focused on Malaysian and Singaporean customers that consume Pizza. Another challenge that has been identified in this study arises from the small and specific sample size (Domino Pizza consumers), and therefore the interpretations that will be obtained cannot be generalized to represent even the Malaysian and Singaporean populations to depict effective strategies that can be used on them by marketers. However, I feel that the findings of this study can provide them with a starting point, or basis on areas that they can explore, or strategies that they can use to come up with effective promotional advertisements. In addition to that, according to Widdowson (1995) critical discourse analysts are depicted as having pre-existing prejudices towards a specific ideological commitment. Therefore, they are forced or mainly select the textual features that are in agreement with their already formulated hypotheses. As a researcher, in order to reduce my perceived sense of bias in this study, I will make an attempt to take into consideration all the possible discourses that may be presented during my analysis in terms of the linguistic and visual design to ensure that I can make wider interpretations.
Domino Pizza-Malaysia-Eggstra Shiok
The Domino Pizza advertisement features a tagline with three pizzas displayed at the centre of the poster, which instinctively indicates that the company is running a promotion that involves three flavours of Pizza, delightful information for any pizza lover. At first glance, a viewer's attention is reeled in by the great display of three plates of Pizza, and a tagline 'Eggstra Shiok.' Different fonts and colours are used on different sets of information, depicting their importance in relation to the message that is being passed by the organisation to its targeted consumers, while at the same time ensuring that they go through or read all the available information (Cetina, Munthiu, & Radulescu, 2012). The slogan and all the other sets of information are written in short phrases. There are also images of some of the main ingredients that were used to make these pizzas, and even to a small extent how they were prepared. The background of the advertisement if blue.
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