Cultural Differences In Television Advertising Part 4
INFORMATION CUES 1)
Other researchers focused more narrowly on the information content, rather than the appeals as a whole, in advertising. Information cues in advertising are generally understood to relate to pieces of information relating to the product or service that is being offered, the content in which the product is used or consumed is generally disregarded. A major tool for research focusing on information content is the Resnick-Stern Content Classification System (Stern, Dean & Resnick, 1981).
|Price Value||What does a product cost? What is the value-retention capability? What is the need/satisfaction capability?|
|Quality||What are the product’s characteristics that distinguish it from competing products based on an objective evaluation of workmanship, engineering, durability, excellence of materials, structural superiority, superiority of personnel, attention to detail, or special services|
|Performance||What does the product do, and how well does it do what it is designed to do in comparison to alternative products?|
|Components or contents||What is the product composed of? What ingredients does it contain? What ancillary items are included with the product?|
|Availability||Where can the product be purchased? When will the product be available for purchase?|
|Special offers||What limited-time non-price deals are available with a particular purchase?|
|Taste||Is evidence presented that the taste of a particular product is perceived as superior in taste by a sample of customers|
|Nutrition||Are specific data given concerning the nutritional content of a particular product, or is a direct specific comparison made with other products?|
|Package or Shape||What package is the product available in which makes it more desirable than alternatives? What special shapes is the product available in?|
|Guarantees and warranties||What post-purchase assurances accompany the product?|
|Safety||What safety features are available on a particular product compared to alternative choices?|
|Independent research||Are results of research gathered by an “independent” research firm presented?|
|Company research||Are data gathered by a company to compare its product with a competitor’s presented?|
|New ideas||Is a totally new concept introduced during the commercial? Are its advantages presented?|
Information cue research, such as Weinberger and Spotts (1989) or Maenaka, Miracle and Chang (1991), count either the total or the unique number of information cues presented in commercials.
Clearly, this type of research is far more limited in its approach, as it is more concerned with the product attributes that are displayed, rather than the entire message. It is however quite useful in order to evaluate the “directness” of advertising, and as such can be related more evidently to Hall’s high context/low context concepts, rather than to broader based cultural dimension concepts, such as Hofstede’s dimensions as a whole.
If counting the information cues present in advertising, a large number may suggest a low context society, whereas a low number would possibly suggest a high context culture. However, the number of information cues may equally be related to uncertainty avoidance, as it seems plausible, that in a largely risk averse culture the consumer may want to have more information about a product than in a less risk averse culture, as suggested by Usunier, 1999.
In comparison with Pollay based research, this type of research is not suitable for research into values, however it is far more differentiated in respect to the information content that is provided, and what product attributes are explained explicitly in the commercial message. As such, it provides a more detailed picture of target market consumer expectation than the more general values research, however it provides less opportunity for descriptive advertising context analysis. This is particularly evident, as certain appeals as classified by Pollay are considerably expanded. For example the “effective” appeal is split up in to three Resnick-Stern cues: Quality, performance and taste. The “safety” appeal is repeated in two cues: Guarantees and warranties and safety.
Prof. C.J.M. Beniers
About Professor C.J.M. Beniers
Prof. C.J.M. Beniers is a well known authority in the field of modern and international communication techniques. He developed the Six-Component-Model. This model enables companies, institutions and politicians to communicate and negotiate with counterparts from all over the world successfully. His career began as international manager at Philips and later he earned his doctorate as professor in communication. He has more than 35 years experience as manager and management trainer. Thus he knows both sides – theory and praxis – very well. As scientist, Prof. Beniers conducts frequently research in the field of intercultural communication. The results of his interesting research can be found in news articles, free pod casts, audio books and his E-books such as “Bridging The Cultural Gap.” Here, modern managers learn how to prepare for business meetings with people from different cultures; they acquire the techniques and tools to handle situations in times of crises successfully, master intercultural barriers, country-specific communication patterns, looking into personal cultural values & systems. Knowing all this, men can prevent cultural misunderstandings and misinterpretations – not only in business but also in private life.
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