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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Unformatted Document Text:  18 production techniques. After all, the definitions of a complete storyline, comparison and name recognition are more concrete and objective. For the technical variables such subjective camera, direct address and pacing, efforts have to be made to infer the implications of these variables. The argument here is that culture differences may not be encoded as easily and concretely to these technical variables, whose implications are more transient. U.S. ads did display more emotion appeals and higher arousal intensity of the images, which were in line with our hypothesis. We argued at the beginning of the paper that the visual medium is adept for emotional display and that emotion facilitates and clarifies a message by moving audience into the direction of the emotion, be it positive or negative. The literature on individualism also suggests that individuals in a collectivistic society are less likely to display emotion. Results in the study lend credence to these propositions. Tradition and history were used more often in Chinese ads than in U.S. ads. Certainly a large component of a high-context culture is its heritage. Centuries of conventions and customs arguably enabled the sharing of many symbols and codes, hence successful communication depends a lot on context—the understanding of historical events, traditional mores and common beliefs shared by the majority of the society. Chinese ads, however, did not display significantly more images venerating the elderly, which was considered one of the traditional virtues in a collectivistic society trying to build consensus based on authority and respect for others, especially one’s seniors. We suspect that two factors may account for this. As China is regressing towards

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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production techniques. After all, the definitions of a complete storyline, comparison and
name recognition are more concrete and objective. For the technical variables such
subjective camera, direct address and pacing, efforts have to be made to infer the
implications of these variables. The argument here is that culture differences may not be
encoded as easily and concretely to these technical variables, whose implications are
more transient.
U.S. ads did display more emotion appeals and higher arousal intensity of the
images, which were in line with our hypothesis. We argued at the beginning of the paper
that the visual medium is adept for emotional display and that emotion facilitates and
clarifies a message by moving audience into the direction of the emotion, be it positive or
negative. The literature on individualism also suggests that individuals in a collectivistic
society are less likely to display emotion. Results in the study lend credence to these
propositions.
Tradition and history were used more often in Chinese ads than in U.S. ads.
Certainly a large component of a high-context culture is its heritage. Centuries of
conventions and customs arguably enabled the sharing of many symbols and codes,
hence successful communication depends a lot on context—the understanding of
historical events, traditional mores and common beliefs shared by the majority of the
society.
Chinese ads, however, did not display significantly more images venerating the
elderly, which was considered one of the traditional virtues in a collectivistic society
trying to build consensus based on authority and respect for others, especially one’s
seniors. We suspect that two factors may account for this. As China is regressing towards


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