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AT&T Learning Experience in Advertising

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“Thumbs-up” is a positive sign in the United States. However, in Russia and Poland, this gesture has an offensive meaning when the palm of the hand is shown, as AT&T learned. The company reversed the gesture depicted in ads, showing the back of the hand, not the palm.

Companies can learn from this example, Cultural symbols are things that represent ideas and concepts. Symbols and symbolism play an important role in cross-cultural analysis because different cultures attach different meanings to things. By adroitly using cultural symbols, global marketers can tie positive symbolism to their products, services, and brands to enhance their attractiveness to consumers. However, improper use of symbols can spell disaster.

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YouSigma. (2008). "AT&T Learning Experience in Advertising." From http://www.yousigma.com.

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