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The potential effect of cultural priming on the effectiveness of cultural value adaptation in Western Europe

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Abstract:

In international advertising, there has been a long-standing debate about standardisation versus adaptation. A prominent empirical line of research addressing this issue has revealed that adapting advertisements to important cultural values is beneficial for persuasion and ad liking. Strikingly, this effect is absent for Western Europeans. The present study examines if Western Europeans are sensitive to cultural value adaptation in advertising if individualism-collectivism is primed prior to exposure to the ad. An experiment was conducted in which an ad with an individualist or a collectivist value appeal was presented after exposure to irrelevant primes or to primes consisting of images expressing individualism-collectivism. The results were in line with existing studies: no effect of adaptation was found, even after cultural priming. The results were interpreted through the cultural perspective of dynamic constructivism, according to which the European context may explain why Europeans are as positive about incongruent value appeals as congruent appeals. The experiment adds to the body of research indicating that value adaptation in advertising is not beneficial for marketers in the Western European region.

Keywords: ad liking; cultural values; dynamic constructivism; individualism-collectivism; priming

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-02-01

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  • Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy is the major new peer-reviewed, professional journal dedicated to the advancement of best practice and latest thinking in cultural marketing, incorporating multicultural and cross-cultural marketing. Guided by its Editor, Dr. Jake Beniflah, and an eminent Editorial Board consisting of leading cultural marketing experts, each biannual 100-page issue of Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy provides in-depth, practical articles from leading professionals in the field on innovative strategies, techniques and trends, together with the latest applied research in multicultural and cross-cultural marketing and detailed analysis of how leading brands are managed in today's changing demographic and cultural climate.
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