Cultural values in Hong Kong advertising

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A content analysis of 600 print advertisements for the period 1946 to 1996 was conducted. Cheng and Schweitzer’s (1996) framework of cultural values was adopted to investigate the advertising content. The study identified ‘quality’, ‘economy’, ‘modernity’, ‘popularity’, ‘social status’ and ‘convenience’ as the six cultural values that dominated Hong Kong advertising. The set of dominant values was a combination of utilitarian and symbolic values that put emphasis on product features as well as human feelings of being recognized and prestige. However, the set of dominant values consisted of mainly western values and there was no typical eastern values. The manifest of cultural values depended mainly on the product category. Specific types of products and services tended to use a specific set of cultural values. As a result, the change in cultural values mainly reflected the types of products or services advertised in different time periods. However, the manifest of ‘quality’ and ‘popularity’ values depended on product category as well as year. An additive model of product category, year and their interaction accounted for 10.2 to 20.2 percent of the variation of the frequencies of the six dominant cultural values. The manifest of cultural values was rather consistent and the study did not support a rapid shift from utilitarian values to symbolic values over the past fifty years.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997
EventEast-West Communication: Challenges for the New Century: Conference organized by David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies - , Hong Kong
Duration: 17 Nov 199719 Nov 1997


ConferenceEast-West Communication: Challenges for the New Century
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


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