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Visual Strategies in U.S. and Chinese TV Ads
Unformatted Document Text:  9 Visual Emotion The visual medium is best used in showing emotions. One can also argue that the stronger the emotion, the clearer the message. The audience will have no difficulty identifying if one is overwhelmed with joy or tormented by pain. A message becomes much more explicit, a characteristic of low-context message, with the display of emotion. That is why Aristotle (1997) identified one of the three major components of drama as pathos, or emotion, in addition to logos (clarity) and ethos (credibility). To move the audience to a certain direction of response, a commercial can effectively utilize elements of pathos to appeal to the audience’s sentiments or arouse their emotions. The literature on individualism and collectivism also suggests that individuals are less likely to display strong emotion, either negative or positive, in a society that rewards consensus, while a person who dares to hate and love shows more individuality. Thus we hypothesize that: H2a: US ads use more emotional appeals than Chinese ads. H2b: The emotional arousal level in U.S. ads is higher than in Chinese ads. Culture Values Advertisements in individualistic cultures are assumed to place a high premium on being unique, independent, successful and self-fulfilling while their counterparts in collectivistic cultures emphasize interdependence, family integrity and group well-being (Belk and Bryce, 1986; Han and Shavitt, 1994, Miracle et al, 1992; Mueller 1987). We

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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9
Visual Emotion
The visual medium is best used in showing emotions. One can also argue that the
stronger the emotion, the clearer the message. The audience will have no difficulty
identifying if one is overwhelmed with joy or tormented by pain. A message becomes
much more explicit, a characteristic of low-context message, with the display of emotion.
That is why Aristotle (1997) identified one of the three major components of drama as
pathos, or emotion, in addition to logos (clarity) and ethos (credibility). To move the
audience to a certain direction of response, a commercial can effectively utilize elements
of pathos to appeal to the audience’s sentiments or arouse their emotions.
The literature on individualism and collectivism also suggests that individuals are
less likely to display strong emotion, either negative or positive, in a society that rewards
consensus, while a person who dares to hate and love shows more individuality. Thus we
hypothesize that:
H2a: US ads use more emotional appeals than Chinese ads.
H2b: The emotional arousal level in U.S. ads is higher than in Chinese ads.
Culture Values
Advertisements in individualistic cultures are assumed to place a high premium
on being unique, independent, successful and self-fulfilling while their counterparts in
collectivistic cultures emphasize interdependence, family integrity and group well-being
(Belk and Bryce, 1986; Han and Shavitt, 1994, Miracle et al, 1992; Mueller 1987). We


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