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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Unformatted Document Text:  6 variables is related to the manifestation of cultures—comparing such factors as the emphasis on history and tradition as well as veneration of the elderly and group consensus. Story-Telling Lin (2001) found that Chinese people regard a message as polite if it is indirect and vague, while their counterparts in a low context society may view such information less effective and demand a more clear and specific message. With respect to visual strategies in ads, this suggests that the ads in a high context culture will tend to establish indirect experience, while the ads in a low context culture will tend to establish more direct experience. Translated into visual strategies, we would expect the visual statements in a commercial should attain vividness and clarity to be direct. One of the categories we designed was whether the visuals of a commercial present a complete story line with a beginning, middle and an end. Obviously, the shortest way to a direct story in 30 seconds of a commercial is to juxtapose a series of shots such that a visual story is self-evident. A visual story line is strictly defined as a complete shot sequence, which shows a problem solved even without the aid of audio information. For example, the beer commercial shows a compete visual story in which a man with an anemic amount of cash checking out and finally decides to cut the toilet paper instead of the beer. The whole commercial is complete even without the aid of any audio. We expect commercials in a high-context culture will utilize such direct and forceful propositions. Hence: H1a: US ads feature more complete visual story lines than Chinese ads.

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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6
variables is related to the manifestation of cultures—comparing such factors as the
emphasis on history and tradition as well as veneration of the elderly and group
consensus.
Story-Telling
Lin (2001) found that Chinese people regard a message as polite if it is indirect
and vague, while their counterparts in a low context society may view such information
less effective and demand a more clear and specific message. With respect to visual
strategies in ads, this suggests that the ads in a high context culture will tend to establish
indirect experience, while the ads in a low context culture will tend to establish more
direct experience. Translated into visual strategies, we would expect the visual statements
in a commercial should attain vividness and clarity to be direct. One of the categories we
designed was whether the visuals of a commercial present a complete story line with a
beginning, middle and an end. Obviously, the shortest way to a direct story in 30 seconds
of a commercial is to juxtapose a series of shots such that a visual story is self-evident. A
visual story line is strictly defined as a complete shot sequence, which shows a problem
solved even without the aid of audio information. For example, the beer commercial
shows a compete visual story in which a man with an anemic amount of cash checking
out and finally decides to cut the toilet paper instead of the beer. The whole commercial
is complete even without the aid of any audio. We expect commercials in a high-context
culture will utilize such direct and forceful propositions. Hence:
H1a: US ads feature more complete visual story lines than Chinese ads.


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