Advertising appeals and cultural values in television commercialsA comparison of Hong Kong and Korea

Young Sook Moon*, Kara Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - The objective of this study is to investigate to what extent advertising appeals in Hong Kong and Korea are different, and whether the differences between the two countries can be attributed to the differences in nations' cultural characteristics. Hypotheses are drawn in relation to the two dimensions of Hofstede's framework - uncertainty avoidance and masculinity/femininity. 

Design/methodology/approach - A sample of 803 prime-time television commercials from the two countries was analyzed using Cheng and Schweitzer's classification of advertising appeals. 

Findings - The results show that femininity is an important variable for explaining differences in advertising between Hong Kong and Korea. Both Hong Kong and Korean advertising show no difference in values of high uncertainty avoidance, although an appeal of high uncertainty avoidance was used more often in Korean advertising. However, values of low uncertainty avoidance are more prevalent in television commercials in Korea, a country of high uncertainty avoidance, than Hong Kong, a country of low uncertainty avoidance. It is also found that the correlation between product categories and cultural values is society-based. 

Originality/value - This study reveals that Hofstede's framework does explain cross-cultural differences between Hong Kong and Korea and provides empirical evidences for the impact of value paradoxes on advertising in both countries, suggesting that Hofstede's framework and the value paradoxes provide a possible theory for testing the relationship of the society and its advertising content within a culture as well as across cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-66
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Hong Kong
  • South Korea
  • National cultures


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