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Marketing to different Asian communities: The importance of culture for framing advertising messages, and for purchase intent

Graham R. Massey (Department of Marketing, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
David S. Waller (Department of Marketing, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Paul Z. Wang (Department of Marketing, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Evi V. Lanasier (Department of Marketing, Curtin University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 7 January 2013

5471

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that culture has differential effects on purchase intent, using respondents from four very different cultural groups within Indonesia, and two different advertisements (one ethical, another unethical).

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses survey methods and a highly structured questionnaire to collect data from respondents in four cultural groups. In total, 100 responses were received from each of these groups within Indonesia (Bali, Batak, Java, and Minang). Data were analyzed using partial least squares.

Findings

The results suggest that when advertising to culturally conservative groups, caution is required. Such groups have lower purchase intent when they do not like the advertisement. Moreover, other variables such as attitude towards the advertiser may become salient drivers of purchase intent for such groups if the advertisement is perceived to be unethical. Importantly, neither of these factors are salient for more permissive cultures, regardless of whether the advertisement is perceived to be ethical or unethical. In addition the authors identify a set of “universal paths” by which advertisement-related factors, and company-related factors indirectly influence purchase intent for both permissive and conservative cultures, regardless of the perceived ethicality of the advertisement.

Research limitations/implications

The research uses four samples, with 100 respondents per group. Future research could verify these results using larger samples. In addition, the study only uses low involvement consumer products, hence future research could test the model on higher involvement products.

Practical implications

Managers should test their advertising messages on target audiences to assess whether they are likeable, as advertisement likeability can influence purchase intent. In addition, whilst factors such as ethicality (and likeability, and attitude towards the advertiser) tend to not affect purchase intent directly except in specific circumstances, these antecedent variables do have strong effects on each other via the universal paths.

Originality/value

This is the first study which has examined the effects of ethical/unethical advertisements across four different cultures in Indonesia. The results also reveal an important set of relationships between the model variables, which the authors refer to as the “universal paths.” These paths have important implications for advertisers and their clients in their attempts to build brand equity and increase purchase intent.

Keywords

Citation

R. Massey, G., S. Waller, D., Z. Wang, P. and V. Lanasier, E. (2013), "Marketing to different Asian communities: The importance of culture for framing advertising messages, and for purchase intent", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 8-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/13555851311290911

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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