ILCS is one of the partner universities of the School of Communication & Media. Wegman, lecturer Communication Theory of the International Communication bachelor programme gave lectures and workshops about media communications and cultural differences to bachelor and master students.
“One of the things we did was analyze different tv commercials from an intercultural perspective,” Wegman says.
The students used Dr. Geert Hofstede’s “Cultural Dimensions” framework to discuss the differences between the Moroccan and Dutch culture. This was linked to several workshops that researched tv commercials that the students had selected, which are aimed at the Moroccan public. These were compared to commercials for the same produtcs that are targeted at the Dutch audience.
According to Wegman it was interesting to see how students along the way discovered how commercials in these two countries try to play at different priorities, such as the nuclear family, or the value of family as a whole. “In many of the Moroccan commercials the setting was a wedding: lots of people, eating, dancing, celebrating. Of course you cannot generalise about that, but it does say something meaningful about the position of marriage within Moroccan society.”
By analysing commercials from two countries and linking them to cultural dimensions, the student gained more insight into the choices that advertisors make.
This yielded interesting discussions and analyses: “Moroccan people for instance cope very differently with long term uncertainty then the Dutch. Religion and orthodoxy seem to give a big amount of certainty, but at the same time this leads to less worries about short term dangers. Why worry about tomorrow if everything is in the hands of Allah? It is then interesting to see which marketing strategies advertisors in Morocco use in commercials for for instance life insurance.”
Mr. Wegman has been invited to give another series of workshops at ILCS next year.