Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the cultivation effects of television advertising viewing on the perceived affluence in society and the materialistic value orientations among adolescents in urban and rural China. Design/methodology/approach The paper shows that a survey of 646 adolescents aged 11 to 17, in Guangzhou City, and in a rural county of Henan Province, was conducted in 2006. Constructs were measured using established scales. Findings Television advertising viewing demonstrated first- and second-order cultivation effects among urban as well as rural respondents. Heavy television advertising viewers were more likely to have a higher perceived affluence than light television advertising viewers. Heavy television advertising viewers were also more materialistic than light television advertising viewers. When television-advertising viewing was controlled, urban respondents had a higher perceived affluence, while rural respondents had a higher level of materialism. Research limitations/implications Students in grades 7 and 8 were examined only. A convenient sampling method was adopted. The city selected for the study is highly advanced in terms of economical and advertising development compared with most other Chinese cities. Practical implications Rural adolescents did not hold strong beliefs about prevalence of affluence in society. Popularity appeal may not be a fruitful marketing communication strategy for durable goods for them. Different marketing communication strategies should be adopted for the urban and rural adolescents as target audience. Originality/value The paper is a pioneer work on the study of consumption values of adolescents in urban and rural China.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
- Life-span and Life-course Studies
- Consumer psychology