Comparing the Ads: El Salvador and the United States

Often times we do not notice the differences between the United State’s advertising characteristics and smaller countries’. We tend to focus most of our energy looking at Europe or China.

For this blog, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the differences between the United States’ advertising and El Salvador’s. This is because a very good friend of mine, Miss Gomez, recently returned from spending a significant amount of time in El Salvador visiting her family. This blog is according to her observations and our discussions.

When we discussed the topic, I was very curious as to what mediums of advertising she saw often. According to Miss Gomez, billboards are a very popular advertising tool. She explained how she saw them everywhere. This is different from the United States where you are most likely to see a billboard by a major road. She explained that “in El Salvador there are many billboards in all parts of the country, city, or in smaller towns” (Gomez 2014).

We also noticed that there does not appear to be major competition for advertising space outside of tourist areas….”Stores will advertise certain products with posters inside and outside of their stores. You might even see a Coca Cola poster right next to a Pepsi poster” (Gomez 2014). This is obviously quite different from the United States where major competitors care and watch each other’s advertisement environments closely. Here they are in a constant state of monitoring and competition.

We also discussed the variety of advertisement topics. Miss Gomez examined to me that there are very few advertisement topics in comparison to the United States. She explained: “What I noticed in El Salvador is that most of the advertisements that are shown, not including television, is for food, beverages, and phone companies. While here in the US there is a lot more variety of the advertisements that are shown” (Gomez 2014). This is interesting and could be the case for a number of reasons. Miss Gomez explained that “Life is more simple in El Salvador and a lot of people do not have the capability to spend on luxury goods. Food being a necessity, it is more advertised” (Gomez 2014).

These are just a few of the differences that we discussed. It was an interesting conversation. We concluded that it depends on a number of things including the situation of the people and country, as well as the environment itself and the sociology of the people.

-“You should always expect advertising changes from country to country. It all depends on the type of environment that they live. In an environment where there is a lot more disorganization and no real laws, it is able to understand how and why advertisements are the way they are” (Gomez 2014).


Gomez, A. (personal interview). 2014

One thought on “Comparing the Ads: El Salvador and the United States

  1. Very interesting article about the different types of advertising in El Salvador! A few years ago I visited Budapest, Hungry and their advertisements were far different from the United States! I never thought about how billboards are a major medium for advertising in that country as well as the lack of variety in comparison to the US. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s