Social and Personal Values in Advertising: Evidence from Food Advertising in South Korea

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Extant research has shown that advertising is more effective when the advertised message is congruent with the cultural values of the targeted population. However, this research has not explored which values are activated when consumers view the advertising and, in particular, if there is a match between values conveyed by advertising and values activated by consumers. Moreover, little research has examined the effects of culturally-relevant (e.g., socially-oriented values) versus globally-relevant (e.g., personally-oriented values) advertising messaging in emerging global markets with deeply-held cultural traditions (e.g., Confucian values in South Korea). Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, this research compares advertising-conveyed values with consumer-activated values and explores the effects of socially-oriented and personally-oriented values on perceptions of advertising and product effectiveness. Results suggest that the often singular values conveyed in South Korean food advertisements do not precisely match the multiplicity of values that are activated by South Korean consumers. Furthermore, South Korean consumers are more responsive to advertisements that emphasize social values than they are to those that emphasize personal values. Results provide theoretical and managerial insights into the design of effective global and local advertisements.