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A comparative study of perceptions toward “scratch and save” promotions in Canada and Korea

Sungchul Choi (School of Business, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, Canada)
Moontae Kim (College of Social Sciences, Catholic University of Pusan, Pusan, Korea)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The paper seeks to examine cross‐cultural differences in how consumers evaluate “scratch and save” (SAS) promotions (which are characterized by uncertainty of savings outcomes) between Canada and Korea, where the promotion tool is widely used but the countries have different cultural values.


An experiment was conducted to examine cross‐cultural differences in SAS promotion evaluations between Canada (n=77) and Korea (n=78).


SAS promotions effectively stimulate favorable shopping intentions in Canada, a country with a low uncertainty avoidance culture, more so than in Korea, a country with a high uncertainty avoidance culture. However, subjects in Korea show consistently higher savings expectations from SAS promotions than subjects in Canada. Thus, the results report that consumers with the highest savings expectations do not necessarily have the highest intention to shop. In addition, in Korea, a SAS promotion with guaranteed minimum savings is found to be very effective due to reduced ambiguity about its outcome.

Research limitations/implications

The study suggests cross‐cultural differences in the applicability of the disjunction effect.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that when SAS promotions are presented in a country with high uncertainty avoidance, retailers should explicitly indicate the value of the guaranteed minimum savings. By promising guaranteed savings, retailers can reduce consumers' relatively high concerns about unknown SAS outcomes, which results in a greater advantage in building favorable perceptions.


Very little work has been undertaken into SAS promotions and no known empirical research has been undertaken into cross‐cultural differences. This paper fills some of the gaps.



Choi, S. and Kim, M. (2008), "A comparative study of perceptions toward “scratch and save” promotions in Canada and Korea", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 265-271.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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