Course Syllabus

International Advertising in a European Context 

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International Advertising in a European Context

Semester & Location:

Fall 2018 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Advertising, Business, Communication

Faculty Member:

Benjamin Holk Henriksen

Program Director:

Susanne Goul Hovmand -

Program Coordinator: 

Adeline Reiser -

Program Assistant:

Ali Cohen -

Time & Place:

Tuesdays & Fridays 08.30 - 09.50, F24-406

Course Description

Globalization has made the corporate world more alike, but it has not diminished the cultural and sociological differences among markets. Hence, companies working internationally are faced with the global-local dilemma:

On the one hand they seek to reap the efficiency benefits of globally standardized advertising. On the other, national differences require specialized advertising to effectively reach target audiences in different markets.

This course offers knowledge of the challenges of international advertising. Specific topics include: Strategic planning, the communication platform, the creative brief, brand building, international segmentation, centralization and decentralization, the marketing mix, cross-cultural challenges of advertising, barriers to entry, international market research, the ideal pitch.

The overall purpose of the course is to:

  • Provide you with an understanding of the problems and opportunities facing people working with international advertising.
  • Watch and analyze commercials and current advertising trends.
  • Provide you with a basic knowledge about international marketing that enables you to understand and make use of international advertising.
  • Provide you with tools and practical experience to tackle the challenges when practicing international marketing and advertising.

Learning objectives

At the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Use brand building, market segmentation, and the marketing mix as a basis for determining an advertising strategy.
  • Demonstrate how to change a product/service into a brand.
  • Understand the cross-cultural challenges within international advertising related to advertising appeals, execution style, and media usage.
  • Demonstrate insights into the opportunities and challenges of international marketing research.
  • Analyze and understand the values, culture and strategy of a Danish company.
  • Develop an international advertising campaign for a new market.

Course Instructor Benjamin Holk Henriksen

Master of Law from University of Copenhagen, MBA from California State University and a Certificate in Directing from UCLA. Co-owner of Holk & Lassenius and co-author and co-producer of the international leadership and marketing research project: ”The Mind of a Leader,” published as books and film series, including Philip Kotler, Anita Roddick, Philippe Starck, Michael Dukakis and many more. Experience as strategic planner at an advertising agency and Senior Trade Officer and head of trade section for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Los Angeles and Singapore. With DIS since 2013.

DIS contacts

Benjamin Holk Henriksen, Course Instructor,

Susanne Hovmand, Program Director,, tel. +45 3376 5438

Adeline Reiser, Program Coordinator,, tel. +45 3376 5425


Textbook: Basic textbook “Global Marketing and Advertising, Understanding Cultural Paradoxes”

(Third edition) by Marieke de Mooij is used.

Texts and presentations on DIS Canvas.

For students with special interest, the DIS library subscribes to Marketing Week, which brings the latest news for marketing, advertising and media professionals. The Copenhagen Business School subscribes to International Journal of Advertising, which provides a quarterly review of marketing communications.

Content and structure

The course mixes theory of international advertising with European cases. You will be presented with real-life advertising/PR cases and marketing research cases.

The course combines discussion-based class sessions, lectures, guest lectures, teamwork, team presentations and field studies.

The semester is divided into two parts (team assignments):

  1. A) The creative brief.

Define the strategic and creative brief for a Scandinavian company.

  1. B) The international campaign.

Receive a creative brief and develop an international campaign for a new market.

Your learning process depends on your active participation in class as well as outside the classroom. During your stay in Denmark and travels around Europe you will have a unique chance to study differences in advertising campaigns across Europe and compare this to advertising campaigns in your home country. You are strongly encouraged to bring your observations into the classroom.

Laptop policy

As the class is meant to be interactive and hands on, laptops or electronic devices may not be used during regular class lessons. Laptops may however be used for group work activities.

Grading elements

  • Class Participation and short presentation of an advertising case: 20%
  • Team presentation A: 20%
  • Team presentation B: 20%
  • One In-Class Test: 20%
  • One final test: 20%

**Note: To be eligible for a passing grade in this class, you must complete all of the assigned work.

Further explanation of grading elements

Class participation

You are expected to attend all parts of the course. Unauthorized absences and lack of preparation will have a negative influence on the grade. If you have an emergency that will prevent you from attending class, you should contact me beforehand. You will be evaluated on the following areas:

  • Attendance: According to DIS policy, two consecutive unexcused absences will result in a report to the Academic Registrar. Three or more absences will have a negative effect for your academic standing at DIS, and your home university may be notified.
  • Level of preparation and involvement in class and group discussions, i.e. the ability to apply insights and learning points from readings to class room discussions.
  • Active participation in field studies and study tours. 

Short oral presentation of an advertising case

In the beginning of each lesson 2 students will present a 5-10 min advertising case. This could be a webpage, video commercial, print ad or news story that relates to topics discussed in class.

The presentation should include the following elements:

1) Summary: Present and explain the case.

2) Analysis: Explain why it is important form the perspective of international advertising? (Target group and stakeholders? Are there barriers to entry? What has been changed or not changed to meet local market demands and why? Etc.).

3) Take away points: Implications, overview, recommendations.

Presentation tools, such as PowerPoint, are not allowed.

Team presentation A: The creative brief (Presented in class and turned in).

Four teams are assigned the task of breaking down a Danish company campaign into a one page strategic and creative brief. The idea is to work in reverse order from campaign to brief. 

Considerations may include:

The organizations objective and strategy.  

Mission & Vision (if available).

History, traditions, philosophy and Values.

Primary and secondary target group (preferences, values, buying habits).

Considerations in regards to potential stakeholders.

The product or service position (price/quality)


Potential concerns in regards to the product portfolio and markets.

Selling points.

SWOT analysis.

The communication platform (words/moods the campaign is trying to convey).


The final result is a one page creative brief including keywords and sentences.

Team presentation B: The international campaign (Presented in class and turned in).

Teams will be assigned a creative brief from one of the other teams. The task is to adjust the strategy and communication platform to a new market, and come up with a pitch for new creative campaign.

The presentation may include:

Strategic pitch tools: Country background, market research and characteristics, positioning, SWOT, centralization vs. decentralization (brand consistency), cultural differences (Hofstede & Hall), visual style, the new adapted/applied communication platform words, selling-points etc.

Creative pitch tools: Logline, tagline, advertising form, style-mood-boards, print ad, storyboard.


In-class test and Final test

There will be an in-class test and a final test. You will be evaluated on your ability to demonstrate sufficient understanding of the course work and topics covered in class.

Late Paper Policy

Late papers will be deducted a third of a grade point per day they are late. All work must be handed in in order to get a passing grade.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Plan

Subject to change with as much notice as possible to reflect the needs of the class.


Course Summary:

Date Details