TVCs can improve US image abroad: Study

MUMBAI: A new study shows that a US government-backed advertising campaign on television may have been successful in changing certain anti-American sentiments abroad.

This runs contrary to the US government's decision to drop the ads, because, they were considered ineffective.



The Southern Methodist University and Oklahoma State University researchers in the US will publish the study, Advertising as Public Diplomacy: Attitude Change Among International Audiences in the Journal of Advertising Research.

The campaign that was studied was created in the wake of the events of 9/11 by advertising executive Charlotte Beers. She created the Shared Values Initiative campaign for the US State Department.

Five TVCs depicted Muslim Americans living happily in the US. Primarily aimed at women, the TV spots ran in countries with large Muslim populations. Print ads were produced as well.



The study conducted by the above mentioned Universities exposed 105 international students from 25 countries to the TV spots. The study noted that after viewing the commercials, overall positive attitude toward the US government and whether Muslims were treated fairly in the US improved significantly.

On the flip side, the primary criticism of the commercials was their one-sidedness, which for many affected the credibility of the message. International students at Regents College in London participated in the study.

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