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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Unformatted Document Text:  1 Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads Introduction Advertisers and researcher have always been fascinated by the peculiarities and commonalities in advertising strategies between Western and Eastern societies. A body of literature focuses on the values conveyed in ads, while another concentrates on the narrative styles effective in the contexts of different societies (Hong, Muderrisoglu & Zinkhan, 1987; Cheng & Schweitzer, 1996; Cheng, 1994). Among these comparative studies, however, none has attended to the visual content and strategies embedded in commercials created in occidental and oriental markets. Such research is significant in that it will inform us of any visual discrepancies in different cultures, discover diverse means of visual manipulations, and on the practical side, enlighten international marketers to conduct culturally-based advertising campaigns, which have been proven to work better than “generalized” advertising campaigns (Mueller, 1994; Taylor, Miracle, & Wilson, 1997). Visuals in a television commercial play a crucial role in determining its effectiveness. Many researchers (Lester, 2000; Berger, 1998) believe that the most powerful advertising idea is non-verbal but visual, which is more concise and more easily and quickly processed than verbal language. Barry defines the approach of image advertising as the use of pictographic symbols to offer viewers a positive perception of the product (Barry, 1997). Indeed, the skillful use of visuals in today’s advertising is ubiquitous. Ads strive to offer us in a 30-second span something about the uniqueness of the product, about our aesthetic sensibilities, our emotion and our culture. Necessarily

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Introduction
Advertisers and researcher have always been fascinated by the peculiarities and
commonalities in advertising strategies between Western and Eastern societies. A body of
literature focuses on the values conveyed in ads, while another concentrates on the
narrative styles effective in the contexts of different societies (Hong, Muderrisoglu &
Zinkhan, 1987; Cheng & Schweitzer, 1996; Cheng, 1994). Among these comparative
studies, however, none has attended to the visual content and strategies embedded in
commercials created in occidental and oriental markets. Such research is significant in
that it will inform us of any visual discrepancies in different cultures, discover diverse
means of visual manipulations, and on the practical side, enlighten international
marketers to conduct culturally-based advertising campaigns, which have been proven to
work better than “generalized” advertising campaigns (Mueller, 1994; Taylor, Miracle, &
Wilson, 1997).
Visuals in a television commercial play a crucial role in determining its
effectiveness. Many researchers (Lester, 2000; Berger, 1998) believe that the most
powerful advertising idea is non-verbal but visual, which is more concise and more easily
and quickly processed than verbal language. Barry defines the approach of image
advertising as the use of pictographic symbols to offer viewers a positive perception of
the product (Barry, 1997). Indeed, the skillful use of visuals in today’s advertising is
ubiquitous. Ads strive to offer us in a 30-second span something about the uniqueness of
the product, about our aesthetic sensibilities, our emotion and our culture. Necessarily


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