Title

The impact of cultural and market distance on international advertising: A content analysis of magazine advertising from United States, Japan and Korea

Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Advertising

Advisor(s)

Fiona Chew

Keywords

mass media, marketing, advertising

Subject Categories

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

This study examined the degree to which standardized vs. localized approaches to advertising are currently employed, as well as the factors or conditions likely to influence these approaches. These were investigated via cultural and market dimensions which determine cultural and market distance between country dyads. A content analysis of 243 magazine advertisements for common multinational brands was performed. The sample included 1995 magazine issues from US, Japan and Korea. To investigate the influence of cultural and market distance, three advertising factors--creative strategy, information content and ad appeals--were compared between paired countries. Results demonstrated that of the 10 creative strategies examined, six were significantly different among the three countries. From the similarity test, ads from Japan and Korea for jewelry and alcohol-tobacco ads were more standardized than any other dyads. Creative strategy between US and Japan for jewelry ads was more standardized, compared to US and Korea. Korean ads were the most informative, followed by Japanese ads and then, US ads. When profiled by product category, an analysis of information cues by product type revealed more informativeness in Korean ads for alcohol- tobacco, and personal care-cosmetics than in US ads. From the similarity test, US and Japanese ads for alcohol-tobacco, personal care-cosmetics, jewelry and cars appeared more standardized, compared to US and Korea. Japan and Korean ads for jewelry, personal care-cosmetics and cars were more standardized, compared to US and Korea. Meanwhile, US and Japan for alcohol-tobacco ads seemed more standardized, compared to Japan and Korea. US ads used hard-sell appeals more often than Japanese and Korean ads. Japanese ads used less soft-sell appeals than Korean ads. US ads used comparative appeal more often than Japanese and Korean ads. No significant difference was found in direct response among three countries. From the similarity test, ad appeals between US and Japan for alcohol-tobacco ads appeared more standardized, compared to Japan and Korea. Japan and Korea for jewelry ads were more standardized than ads between US and Korea. The results suggests that the combination of cultural and market distance would ultimately lead to advertising distance between countries. Advertising distance influences the degree of standardization which depends ultimately upon product category, country dyads and ad-related factors.

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