In the process of globalization, the American popular culture have spread out through movies, music, and television programs, however, there are also several other factors, which have promoted American popular culture across the world. Goods and services are also a major factor helping to grow American popular culture in the global world. “The American Global Cultural Brand” written by Lane Crothers examines different factors such as American brands, franchised restaurants, and clothing to expand the American popular culture in the global societies.
The author mentions one important factor promoting the American popular culture in global society is known as franchise. Through franchising American clothing brand, restaurants, cars into other countries would expand American pop culture. Almost always franchiser builds up a brand, which would most likely to get more attention nationally and then internationally. The major benefit of having franchise comes from the concept of economics of scale. Franchisers usually buy larger amounts of goods from the vendors.
In the process of buying large amount, the franchisers could get discount on the purchase; however, it is impossible for local business to do negotiation with vendors. Furthermore, the franchisers can offer cheap prices for the items than the individuals owned businesses, which will have more consumers to the franchise owner. The other important thing about franchiser is that they create brand intentionally. Also, they spend a lot of amount in advertising their product label globally. As a result they will be able to create image in the public and aware people about their brand.
Likewise, the franchise creates subcultural identity through labeling their products, which will essentially get huge population of consumers. Eventually, the world consumer will know the brand labeling or identities of American products such as restaurants, automobiles or clothing etc. Then, Crothers provides history of the franchising, which was primary started in Europe. However, the franchising in Europe did not succeeded as in the United States. In the United States franchising of goods and services started in the 1880s. The first successful franchise of a food product was Coca-Cola.
Similarly, various food franchise were opened such as A&W restaurant, now known as Kentucky Fired Chicken, automobile franchise and only some became successful. The chain such as McDonald, KFC, Holiday Inn, and Western Auto grew dramatically. Other then foods and services, automobiles companies were successful in opening franchise throughout the world. Car manufactures such as Ford and General Motors sold millions cars globally. People from the outside world have adopted American life styles, culture by eating American foods wearing American branded clothes.
Moreover, Crothers examines how American pop culture has been integrated through American brands and franchise to the global world. This case study showed how American brand became global as well as the cultural impact on the people using American products. Firstly, author gives a brief cultural history of Coca-Cola. IN the early years of globalizing Coca-Cola, it opened its franchise in Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and the Guam, furthermore the Canada and France in 1920s. It was Coca-Cola Company that invented the modern Santa Claus. Later, Coca-Cola bottles became collectibles, if it has logo on it.
People would collect labeled bottles due to its colors and logos, which had became a subculture in America. Internationally, movies used Coca-Cola as the iconic symbols, which would introduce the film. Coca-Cola became famous franchiser in the global market and many people started to consume coke. On the other hand Coca-Cola was criticized that said American soda manufactures are making the world obese as well as destroying local culture, flavors and styles of consumption. Many people thought coke as the symbol of cultural degradation, but it still is a global symbol of American pop culture across the globe.
There are not such places in the world, where coke has not reached. Even we could find people wearing Coca-Cola T-shirt. Likewise, the author examines the global cultural history of McDonald. Today McDonald’s restaurants are all over the world and it stands as the powerful symbol of American cultural globalization. The author states “McDonalds is thus both an indicator of globalization and evidence of the American cultural way of life”. (Crothers, 206) During 1970s McDonald went globally starting from Costa Rica, Germany, Holland, Australia, and Japan. It had franchised over 114 countries until 1998.
People were attracted by the American fast food. In fact Moscow McDonald opened in 1990, starting to serve 27,000 customers a day and China served 40,000 customers in the first day of opening. McDonald become successful outside the United States due to the adaptability of local culture by the restaurant. In same way, McDonalds shaped Asian cultures in many ways such as young people started to hangout in the restaurant. The restaurant had become meeting place for teenagers. McDonalds restaurant became birthday party place for most of the East Asians. It taught people how to behave and to become hygienic.
Likewise, taught East Asian American eating styles, to build social relationship and helped people to learn English by reading the McDonald’s menu bar. Similar to the Coca-Cola Company, the McDonald became a global symbol of America, which promoted American Popular culture across the globe. Lastly, Crothers provided case study of Blue Jeans and it’s American popular culture impacts. Blue jeans were the standard item for American workers. Unlike the food chain, the jeans company had less franchised networks of supporters worldwide. However, well-known produces such as Levi, Wrangler and Guess had produced their product globally.
It had global popularity as an example a student in Ukraine knew of a wide range of American brand names such as blue jeans. Another global success of blue jeans was found through a study that states average consumer worldwide own seven pairs of jeans. Primarily blue jeans were for American workers, but now it globally known product wore in school, colleges and in other places. Through the film industry the jeans went globally. Due to the cowboys seen wearing blue jeans in the early Western movies, the blue jeans got popularity as well as known as the American clothing.