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Life satisfaction in Japan: The role of hedonic values, advertising and watching TV

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Purpose

There is significant interest in exploring how exposure to advertising effects life satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to add to the growing body of literature in this area by focussing in particular on the impact that exposure to TV advertising has on life satisfaction in Japan, a country with a significant heritage of TV viewership. This study will be of interest to advertising agencies and managers across a range of sectors, and in addition, to policy makers interested in the potential effects of advertising on targeted audiences.

Methodology

A quota sample of n = 17,111 Japanese people were randomly approached to complete a survey implemented by an online marketing research company. After screening and data cleaning, n = 1834 fully completed questionnaires (no missing values) were obtained.

Findings

Significant positive relationships were found between hedonic values and attitude to advertising, TV consumption and perceived standard of living in advertisement. Significant positive relationships were also found between TV consumption and attitudes to advertising as well as advertising use, whereas non-significant relationships were found between TV consumption and perceived standard of living in advertisement and life satisfaction. Positive relationships were found between attitude to advertising and both advertising use and perceived standard of living in advertising. Likewise, positive relationships were found between advertising use and both perceived standard of living in advertisement and life satisfaction. The relationship between perceived standard of living in advertisements and life satisfaction was found to be negative. Finally, mediating relationships were found between hedonic values and attitude to advertising (mediated by TV consumption), TV consumption and perceived standard of living (mediated by advertising use), and, advertising use and life satisfaction (mediated by perceived standard of living in advertisement).

Limitations

First, the self-report nature of the survey design may have allowed social desirability response bias to affect responses. Second, data were collected at a single point in time and thus subject to the usual limitations of cross-sectional data. Finally, our data were collected in Japan only, and subject therefore to potential effects associated with national identity and culture.

Implications and contribution

First, our results reveal the need for clarity when communicating about advertising. Second, the reasons people use advertising is of significance in determining its effects, and, may be explained by their experience of advertising. Third, personal values would appear to be important determinants of advertising attitudes, use, and ultimately life satisfaction.
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Keywords: ATTITUDE TOWARDS ADVERTISING; HEDONIC VALUES; LIFE SATISFACTION; PERCEIVED STANDARD OF LIVING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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