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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Unformatted Document Text:  5 and self-determination are valued. A person is all the more commendable if he or she shows initiatives or works well independently. Collectivist societies expect individuals to identify with and work well in groups that protect them in exchange for loyalty and compliance. In other words, individualism represents a social pattern in which loosely linked individuals who see themselves as independent of collectives and who look after themselves. Collectivism, on the other hands, symbolizes closely linked individuals who see themselves belonging to one of more collectives and are inclined to give priority to the goals of the groups before one’s own (Earley & Gibson, 1998; Triandis, 1995). Many Asian cultures are collectivist, while Anglo cultures tend to be individualist, in which individual independence is valued. As Lin (1993) has suggested, communication in a collectivist society concentrates more on achieving group consensus and harmony. It is considered impolite to be direct or “boastful”. In an individualist culture, however, competition is often encouraged in the belief to achieve personal excellence. Within that context, specific comparative or logically based appeals are often desired to more effectively convey product images. Hypotheses and Research Questions Three sets of hypotheses are proposed in this paper. First, we will examine the story telling techniques used in visuals. These involve whether subjective camera movement is used, direct address is presented as well as dramatic presentation of facts and characters in the commercials. The second set of hypotheses deals with the emotional content of the visuals because the visual medium is considered to be ideal to portray emotion (Shook, 1997), otherwise difficult to describe in words. The third set of

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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and self-determination are valued. A person is all the more commendable if he or she
shows initiatives or works well independently. Collectivist societies expect individuals to
identify with and work well in groups that protect them in exchange for loyalty and
compliance. In other words, individualism represents a social pattern in which loosely
linked individuals who see themselves as independent of collectives and who look after
themselves. Collectivism, on the other hands, symbolizes closely linked individuals who
see themselves belonging to one of more collectives and are inclined to give priority to
the goals of the groups before one’s own (Earley & Gibson, 1998; Triandis, 1995). Many
Asian cultures are collectivist, while Anglo cultures tend to be individualist, in which
individual independence is valued.
As Lin (1993) has suggested, communication in a collectivist society concentrates
more on achieving group consensus and harmony. It is considered impolite to be direct or
“boastful”. In an individualist culture, however, competition is often encouraged in the
belief to achieve personal excellence. Within that context, specific comparative or
logically based appeals are often desired to more effectively convey product images.
Hypotheses and Research Questions
Three sets of hypotheses are proposed in this paper. First, we will examine the
story telling techniques used in visuals. These involve whether subjective camera
movement is used, direct address is presented as well as dramatic presentation of facts
and characters in the commercials. The second set of hypotheses deals with the emotional
content of the visuals because the visual medium is considered to be ideal to portray
emotion (Shook, 1997), otherwise difficult to describe in words. The third set of


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