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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Unformatted Document Text:  17 Discussion The main purpose of this study was to examine the visual communication strategies in different cultures, in response to the paucity of research in this regard. The categories designed in this study tapped into a few aspects of visual content and strategies embedded in commercials created in high and low context cultures and individualistic and collectivistic societies. Results showed indeed discrepancies existed in story telling strategies, emotional valence and arousal intensity, as well as in some cultural measures. In terms of story telling techniques, we hypothesized that in a low context culture, a commercial would try to offer complete and unequivocal information as much as possible, as early as possible, and as directly as possible. Results seemed to confirm the validity of such claims to a certain extend. US ads did present more complete visual stories, use more comparisons and identify their brand names earlier than Chinese ads did. Regarding pacing, subjective camera and direct address, however, such claims were not substantiated. No significant differences were detected in subjective camera shots and direct address between the two sets of commercials in the sample, and pacing seemed to be faster in Chinese ads than in US ads, contrary to the proposed hypothesis. In light of the results, we further scrutinized these story-telling variables. It seemed that the three variables, complete story line, comparison and name acknowledgment, had more to do with traditional story-telling techniques than subjective camera, direct address and pacing, which tended to be closely related to camera techniques—framing a shot, framing a subject and duration of the shot. In other words, culture differences seemed to manifest themselves more readily and apparently in more traditional strategies, while they might not translate as easily to more technical

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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17
Discussion
The main purpose of this study was to examine the visual communication
strategies in different cultures, in response to the paucity of research in this regard. The
categories designed in this study tapped into a few aspects of visual content and strategies
embedded in commercials created in high and low context cultures and individualistic
and collectivistic societies. Results showed indeed discrepancies existed in story telling
strategies, emotional valence and arousal intensity, as well as in some cultural measures.
In terms of story telling techniques, we hypothesized that in a low context culture,
a commercial would try to offer complete and unequivocal information as much as
possible, as early as possible, and as directly as possible. Results seemed to confirm the
validity of such claims to a certain extend. US ads did present more complete visual
stories, use more comparisons and identify their brand names earlier than Chinese ads
did. Regarding pacing, subjective camera and direct address, however, such claims were
not substantiated. No significant differences were detected in subjective camera shots and
direct address between the two sets of commercials in the sample, and pacing seemed to
be faster in Chinese ads than in US ads, contrary to the proposed hypothesis.
In light of the results, we further scrutinized these story-telling variables. It
seemed that the three variables, complete story line, comparison and name
acknowledgment, had more to do with traditional story-telling techniques than subjective
camera, direct address and pacing, which tended to be closely related to camera
techniques—framing a shot, framing a subject and duration of the shot. In other words,
culture differences seemed to manifest themselves more readily and apparently in more
traditional strategies, while they might not translate as easily to more technical


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