Contextual Communication Styles and Their Effect on Visual Imagery in Print Advertising: a Cross-Cultural Study

Michael A. Callow, Morgan State University
Leon G. Schiffman, Baruch College
ABSTRACT - Although visual images are becoming increasingly popular in global advertising, very little is known about the effect that cultural differences have on processing these types of messages. This paper examines the roles of cultural context and visual complexity in the interpretation and evaluation of standardized visual print advertisements among consumers from America, Spain, and the Philippines. The results of our study suggest that consumers from high-context cultures tend to interpret images at a greater symbolic level than consumers from low-context cultures. Additionally, complex visual images were viewed as more affective and simple images were seen as more informative, regardless of context.
[ to cite ]:
Michael A. Callow and Leon G. Schiffman (2001) ,"Contextual Communication Styles and Their Effect on Visual Imagery in Print Advertising: a Cross-Cultural Study", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 389.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 389

CONTEXTUAL COMMUNICATION STYLES AND THEIR EFFECT ON VISUAL IMAGERY IN PRINT ADVERTISING: A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY

Michael A. Callow, Morgan State University

Leon G. Schiffman, Baruch College

ABSTRACT -

Although visual images are becoming increasingly popular in global advertising, very little is known about the effect that cultural differences have on processing these types of messages. This paper examines the roles of cultural context and visual complexity in the interpretation and evaluation of standardized visual print advertisements among consumers from America, Spain, and the Philippines. The results of our study suggest that consumers from high-context cultures tend to interpret images at a greater symbolic level than consumers from low-context cultures. Additionally, complex visual images were viewed as more affective and simple images were seen as more informative, regardless of context.

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