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Advertising execution styles as a reflection of culture: Cross-cultural analysis of messaging app advertising preferences in South Korea and China
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Increased globalization and the thought of converging values has lead marketing practitioners and academics to consider more standardized approaches to marketing and advertising strategies. Even though cultures seem to evolve closer to each other, cultural diversity still exists. Advertising reflects and influences our cultural values and therefore it cannot be ignored when building effective advertising. Results show that culture impacts execution more than creative strategy (Wei & Jiang, 2005) and therefor execution is seen as an important element of cross-cultural marketing and advertising. The emergence of new social media channels is raising the question whether previous execution styles are suitable for these marketing channels and whether similar connection with the culture exists. This thesis examines how cultural characteristics are reflected in advertising execution and draws special attention to the marketing communication through mobile messaging applications. However, this study takes new approach for viewing culture’s influence on advertising executions by exploring the preferences of audience.

This research aims to shed light on the under researched area of cross-cultural advertising in Asian region in terms of two culturally similar countries. This study examines Chinese and South Korean preferences and perceptions of execution styles and explores to what extent similarities and differences occur. These similarities and differences are analyzed in terms of culture and whether these findings can be attributed to the nations' cultural characteristics. To address the topic holistically in its cultural context, a qualitative mixed-methods research approach was adopted for this research. This present study combines cultural and advertising theories to produce a theoretical frame for data collection and further analysis.

Findings indicate that culture does influence execution preferences even in rather similar cultures. Although advertising reflects nations’ cultural values, it does not directly translate into the preferences of that audience. This study indicated that the channel of marketing communication influences execution preferences. Mobile messaging application as a marketing channel was seen affecting the preferences of Chinese and Koreans towards more direct and informational communication which have been considered untypical for East Asian cultures. However, overall changes in the preferences appeared indicating value shift, changes in the expressions of culture, or paradoxal values. Results suggest that cross-cultural marketers and advertisers should recognize the importance of cultural characteristics when planning and designing execution strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 89 p.
Keyword [en]
Marketing communication, advertising execution, culture, international marketing, advertising likability, perception, mobile messaging application, social media, China, South Korea
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93330OAI: diva2:747679
Educational program
Master's Programme in Marketing
Available from: 2014-09-24 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved

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