About the Author(s)

Majid Mirvaisi symbol
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran

Azar Kaffashpoor Email symbol
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran


Mirvaisi, M. & Kaffashpoor, A., 2023, ‘Culture and religion creolization impact on digital advertisement of Muslim users of Instagram’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 79(1), a8054. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.8054

Original Research

Culture and religion creolization impact on digital advertisement of Muslim users of Instagram

Majid Mirvaisi, Azar Kaffashpoor

Received: 28 Aug. 2022; Accepted: 18 Oct. 2022; Published: 17 Mar. 2023

Copyright: © 2023. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the last decade, digitalisation has been a subject of increasing attention among scholars and practitioners. The effect of culture and religion on advertisements, consumerism and marketing, is deniable. The main goal of this research is to present a comprehensive conceptual model based on cultural and religious diversity in digital marketing. This research mainly includes introduction creolisation concept and the elements (religion, music, clothes and custom) as the most important factor in digital advertisement and branding. In this regard, this study examines Instagram consumer products users from five different subcultures in Iran (Lor, Kurdish, Baluch, Arab and Azeri) and considers the impact of creolisation elements on digital advertising, brand identity and brand globalisation. Data were collected by sending 1200 questionnaire via email to subcultures and then analysed using LISREL software.

Contribution: The results demonstrated that Islamic religion between participants affects their brand loyalty, therefore the Islamic worth in advertising is necessary. It was suggested that creolisation elements significantly affect digital advertisement, brand identity and brand globalisation. Consequently, all hypotheses were accepted. On the other hand, the impact of brand identity and digital advertisement on the brand globalisation was also confirmed. Discussion and managerial implications concerning creolisation were explained.

Keywords: creolisation; religion; Muslim; sub-cultures; digital advertisement; brand identity; brand globalisation; religious impact; Instagram.


Social networks are, in fact, web-based services that allow people to generate a public or semi-public profile for communication by each other, sharing data by users that were created in the platform (Adler 2001; Akaka & Alden 2010; Roozitalab 2022). In other words, social networks are a technology that focuses on promoting collective awareness using social dialogue among a group of people engaged in a common goal or action (Joy & Li 2012).

It is certainly clear that loyalty is one of the ways that customers express their satisfaction with the performance of the product or service received (Balochi et al. 2015). In marketing literature, the concept of brand loyalty is often considered synonymous with concepts such as ‘repurchase’, ‘preference’, ‘commitment’ and ‘following’, and these terms are used interchangeably (De Mooij 2021). Brand loyalty is a concept that has attracted much attention in the last decade, and many companies seek to achieve brand loyalty from their consumers (Schroeder 2009).

Word-of-mouth marketing (WoMM) is the main influence of companies in consumer-to-consumer communication and is becoming more important day by day (Kipnis et al. 2014). Electronic WoMM is a powerful source of information about the product and an effective marketing communication strategy. Electronic WoMM is defined as any informal conversation between online guests for the purpose of sharing interests. In marketing, a multicultural approach has become a very popular method of advertising (James et al. 2017). Some new realities in macro environment of the brands, such as digital transformation, affect interaction between culture and globalised world. Brands are no exception in this globalised world and must adapt to this space through culturalism (Gürhan-Canli et al. 2018). Therefore, the purpose of this article is to investigate the effect of religion and culture of costumers on brand identity and digital advertisement among Instagram users and its role in making global brands.

Literature review and hypotheses

Islamic digital ads

Every year, the market of halal products around the world is getting bigger and Muslims are interested in consuming halal products everywhere in the world. In addition to Muslims who demand informed and Sharia-based transactions, non-Muslims are also affected by the simplicity, purity and comfort of halal brands. Halal is an Arabic-Quranic term and refers to products that are permissible for Muslims to consume and use (Ansaldo 2017). Halal is a concept based on which Muslims use products that are healthy for consumption and produced in a clean and healthy environment (Simpson 2016). In addition to the food industry, the halal brand has also expanded in the field of pharmaceuticals, cosmetic products and services including finance, investment, tourism and business (Abbott et al. 2013).

In the last decade, because of the increase in the Muslim population and their dispersion in more than 112 countries, halal markets have grown a lot (Purnomo et al. 2021). The Muslim population is currently around 1.8 billion and is expected to reach 2.7 billion by 2050 (Ai et al. 2019). The number of Muslims in the world is a quarter of the world’s population. Among the religions, Islam is the fastest growing and the Muslim consumer market is the fastest growing. Halal market value in 2015 was more than 1 trillion dollars (61% in food sector, 26% in pharmaceutical sector, 11% in cosmetics and 2% in other cases). In the same year, Bank Indonesia announced the transaction value of halal food products as 160 billion dollars.

In addition to the demand for halal products to fulfil the religious obligations of Muslims, the process of producing halal products has become a global market requirement. Halal markets bring many unknown opportunities that have attracted the attention of many economic activists and global marketers. This issue is important even in Muslim countries like Iran where Sharia laws rule; it is necessary to succeed in entering and operating in the halal market, knowing the standards and behaviour of consumers and realistically knowing the cultural, value, religious and religious factors and responding correctly to the needs, demands, expectations and preferences of customers.

The consumer’s mental image of the brand is one of the most important effective factors in the consumer’s decision-making process. The results of Foscht et al. (2008) research in six countries and different groups of people showed that the same brand is perceived in different cultures in many ways. However, despite the many researches conducted in this field, no extensive research has been done in Iran, considering the Iranian Muslim population. In addition, in the limited research conducted in the field of halal products in Iran, religious issues and the halal nature of these products in terms of Islamic Sharia have been emphasised (Gordon et al. 2021; Lashgari et al. 2022). Given to this point that huge impact of the advertising text on human behaviour and market, it is vital to note the common values of audiences and should always align itself with different sub-cultures. Here, unconventional advertising can be utilised to promote the level of culture (a type of culture for all) (Khoshnava & Naseri 2017; Pour et al. 2022). Advertising in digital space has become one of the fastest growing practices for marketers to connect with consumers from different cultures (Bozorgkhou et al. 2019; Chetverikova 2020; James et al. 2017):

H1: Creolisation significantly affects Islamic digital advertisements.

The development of the web-based technologies and online process is changing global brand management and marketing strategies of companies. With the advent of social media such as Instagram, consumers can exchange brand data, ideas and experiences with a lot of clients in any time (Liu, Steenkamp & Zhang 2018). According to Steenkamp (2020), one of the requirements for building a global brand is rising of digital promotion channels because it provides the global connectivity among the brand’s consumers (Melnik et al. 2016; Verdenhofs & Tambovceva 2019):

H2: Islamic Digital advertisements significantly affect brand globalisation.

Brand identity

Creolisation affects these trust links, knowledge sharing and brand efficacy. Considering that online communities cause growth in the media market, Franklin (2014) stated that analyses show that online brand communities will be able to build brand loyalty. The process of building brand loyalty includes several variables, including affiliation and commitment to brand communities. The commitment of community members leads to brand attachment, which ultimately leads to repurchase intentions and word of mouth advertising. Another variable is identifying and determining community identity, which plays the role of a leading variable in community commitment and has an indirect effect on brand affiliation through the psychological feeling of brand communities (Mao et al. 2020; Peng & Chen 2012):

H3: Creolisation significantly affects brand identity.

Online social networks refer to social actions that happen in the digital environment and in which groups of Internet users communicate with each other online. The emergence of these online communities supplies a system for online consumers to share and exchange opinions, views and information about products and services. This provides huge opportunities for retailers, especially online businesses. Online consumers also develop online trust through relations in online communities. So developing a multicultural identity for a brand can help its globalisation (Heinberg, Ozkaya & Taube 2017):

H4: Brand identity significantly affects brand globalisation.

Brand globalisation

Instagram has been growing ever since its inception until today, and every year it experiences more success than the previous year. For this reason, many brands and companies are very interested in working on this platform to increase their reputation and popularity. Some businesses and brands fail on Instagram by using the wrong methods, while others achieve a very decent amount of success by being smart.

With the increasing importance of electronic WoMM, investigating the behaviour of customers exposed to this type of advertising has become more useful for managers, especially marketing professionals (Makarova et al. 2019). Research shows that electronic WoMM can be a powerful force that influences consumer loyalty and purchase decisions (O’Byrne & Hensby 2012). In Holt (2002), research also shows that online product recommendations are effective on online consumer choices. By facilitating the dissemination of consumer opinions, different websites demonstrated impact on consumer behaviour (Alam & Patwary 2021):

H5: Creolisation significantly affects brand globalisation.

The fact that buyers and consumers become fans of certain brands in social networks and by utilising the data resources in the networks causes the formation of the fact that social networks have an impact on marketing communication devices to affect the costumer decision; also it has a significant effect on success. Hence, in the competitive world market, the research on brand loyalty and buyer performance through new methods of marketing and advertising in online social networks is the way for companies to succeed in the markets. This study aims to answer the following question: Does the dimensions of creolization have an effect on marketing of social networks, such as Instagram in brand identify, digital advertisements and brand globalisation.


Sample and data collection

This research is surveyed and applied. The statistical population of this research consists of users of social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and so on in Mashhad in 1994. In the upcoming research, Lisrel software was used. In this case, the sampling method is based on 5 to 10 times the total number of research subjects (Webber et al. 2021). The lower limit is calculated for standard questionnaires, and the upper limit is calculated for researcher-made questionnaires, which prepared for the statistical sample of the study to evaluate the impacts of the creolisation religious and cultural element on Islamic digital advertisement and brand identity and its role in globalisation of a brand in Islamic users (Figure 1). Considering the statistical population of the research, five different main sub-cultures in Iran (Sistani va Baluchistan, Kurds, Lurs, Azeri and Arabs) who are Instagram users and have experience in interacting with Islamic digital ads on Instagram were selected purposefully. Using the Morgan table, the statistical sample of 296 people from five main subcultures of Iran was determined. The questionnaire was distributed among 296 participants via email. The choosing of respondents was according to a quota sample of age and gender among the Islamic users as quota criteria (Table 1).

FIGURE 1: A pattern of creolisation dimensions and consequences.

TABLE 1: Respondent profile.
Reliability and validity of questionnaire

In this research, we want to test the model of creolisation consequences empirically in Islamic users of the Instagram, selected various cultures by questionnaire by develop with researchers and others concept analyse with standard questionnaire has been used. In order to analyse the reliability factor, the Cronbach’s alpha deduced significantly as presented in Table 2. The Cronbach’s alpha values of variables in the study are higher than 0.7, which confirms the questionnaire reliability (Ghazvini et al. 2021).

TABLE 2: The result of reliability test and factor loading and constructs.

The outcomes of confirmatory factor investigation (Figure 2) indicate that all of the indexes were in the confidence range of 99%, and factor loading was not less than 0.4.

FIGURE 2: Confirmatory factor analysis.

Testing the dimensionality of creolisation in the Islamic users

The analysis of the results in the field of the influence of social network marketing dimensions on the purchase intention of users indicates that social network marketing has a positive and significant impact on the purchase intention of users. The findings show that there is a positive and meaningful impact between the dimensions of social network marketing, electronic WoMM, online relation and advertising with the intention of users to buy.

The analysis of the results in the field of the impact of social network marketing dimensions on brand loyalty has shown that social network marketing has a positive and direct impact on brand loyalty. The findings revealed that there is a positive and direct impact between the marketing dimensions of social networks, that is, electronic WoMM, online communities and advertising with brand loyalty. These results indicate that social networks are new tools used to maintain customer brand loyalty. Therefore, social networks are a strategic tool in the hands of industry owners and are known for developing brands, and companies use these new media to communicate with the users who are members of these networks and encourage them to be loyal to their brand.

Hypothesis testing

To examine the research model, which includes the independent variable of creolisation (with dimensions of colour, music, clothes) and the dependent variables of the digital advertisements (with the dimensions ads’ memorisation, attitude of viewers, content analysis by viewers), the brand identity (with the dimensions of brand visual aspects, brand personality and brand credibility) and brand globalisation (with the dimensions of worldwide sales, worldwide customers, global compatibility), suitability and good fit must be ensured before confirming the structural relationships. The indicators of goodness of fit and their acceptance range are summarised in Table 4.

Table 4 presents the path coefficients; it is for the total sample of creolisation element in Instagram based on the likelihood algorithm. As can be seen in Table 3a and 3b, the amount of factor loading is close to 1 in most cases and is greater than 0.4, and also the t statistic for all factor loadings is greater than 1.96. Therefore, the result is that the selected questions provide appropriate factor structures for measuring the variables and dimensions studied in the research model. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was also used to confirm the reliability of the questionnaire. The value of Cronbach’s alpha was 0.82, which indicates the excellent reliability of the questionnaire.

TABLE 3a: Data of statistics.
TABLE 3b: Factors correlations.
TABLE 4: Goodness of fit indices.

Hypotheses were analysed by employing statistical approaches and structural equation modeling (SEM). As illustrated in Figure 3 and Figure 4, all hypotheses were accepted because the t value is calculated > 1.96. The results of investigation hypotheses are presented in Table 5.

FIGURE 3: Structural equation modeling.

FIGURE 4: Significance coefficient (t-statistic).

TABLE 5: Findings of the research hypotheses.

Final results

As shown, creolisation dimensions have a direct positive impact on digital advertisements (P < 0.05, T = 16.72); so H1 was confirmed. Findings indicate that creolisation dimensions demonstrate significant effect on brand identity (P < 0.05, T = 13.92); so H2 was confirmed. Also, digital advertisement demonstrates a direct and positive effect on brand globalisation (P < 0.05, T = 13.92); so H3 was confirmed. But, the effect of brand advertising on brand globalisation (P < 0.05, T = 14.78) can be confirmed by the data. Finally, the effect of creolisation dimensions on brand globalisation (P > 0.05, T = 14.61) strongly supported H5.


Obviously each human society, like Islamic people because of the varied culture. Culture has been formed throughout history, and this culture, is the identity of a society, which can play a key role in the branding of companies. Today, consumers are looking for a healthier, higher quality and a safer product. Because of the fact that halal products have such features, in the last few years, there has been an increasing growth and a demand for inclusion among Muslims and non-Muslims, and the concept of halal has not been unfamiliar to them. Halal products include various branches such as food, hygiene, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. However, currently, most of the share of this market with 67% belongs to food. In this regard, many companies try to be present in this lucrative market by attracting the opinion of consumers through the observance of Islamic laws in the process of halal food production and acquiring a brand as ‘halal certificate’. Because this certificate is the main value axis of the companies present in the halal market.

There were two main objectives in this study. Firstly, understand the role and effect of creolisation dimensions on brand advertisement, brand identity and brand globalisation. Secondly, study the effect and evaluate the impact of this variable in various religious Instagram users for increasing the market share by considering various cultural characteristics. So, it is important to consider that some countries like Iran, India, Greece and Egypt also have an ancient culture and sub-cultures. The development of new kind of digital marketing tools has direct interactions by the micro-cultural element to improve the digital activity as well. Overall, the result of this study conforms earlier by Kipnis et al. (2014). This research showed that all dimensions of creolisation have effect in branding. The result highlights the importance of four dimensions in both factors (digital advertisement and brand identity) in Islamic Instagram users; so we suggested that top digital advertisement managers should consider the important role of this creolisation factors and then employ this understanding in all stages of digital advertisement for building global branding and brand identity in the world. This is also advisable that digital marketing managers, especially, in the Islamic digital advertisement company must consider the sub-cultural criteria in these areas (Askegaard & Kjeldgaard 2007).


Managerial implications

This study helps managers become increasingly aware of the benefits of creolising their products and producing them based on local tastes in order to penetrate new markets and meet consumer expectations. Managers have to spend millions of dollars promoting their products in the digital space and in a way that is compatible with the needs, cultural values and demands of consumers from different subcultures because they are more attracted to content that is closer to their originality. Generally, creolisation has the following benefits for managers and marketers:

  • Success in the field of digital advertising because paying attention to the signs and cultural values of the audience in advertising multiplies the power of remembering them. On the other hand, managers in the field of digital advertising can increase the audience’s desire to further analyse the content and also the desired attitude towards the brand by matching the content of advertising with the values of each subculture in the country.
  • Brand managers can position their brand identity as a genuine brand in the minds of the audience by paying attention to cultural values and subcultures’ originality. Among today’s diverse brands, customers trust the original brands more. In other words, creolisation builds more credibility for their brand.
  • Managers should be aware that by creolising their brand activities, they can introduce themselves to a higher level of customers, that is, global customers. Today, one of the ways to achieve global sales is to pay attention to culture effectively and achieve desired results. This helps the managers to achieve their goals and accelerates the process of achieving the goals.


Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Authors’ contributions

M.M writing of original draft. A.K. supervision, editing and conceptualisation.

Ethical considerations

This article followed all ethical standards for research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.

Funding information

Majid Mirvaisi was partially supported by a grant from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (No.FUM- 102045).

Data availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analysed in this study.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.


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