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COMPARISONS OF COSMETIC ADVERTISEMENTS:
STRATEGIES FOR CULTURAL ADAPTATIONS IN WOMEN'S MAGAZINES
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Many people have kindly helped make this thesis possible. My father, Hong-
Yong Pu, generously supported me to study in the U.S. My mom, Sho-Lan Chiu,
cultivated me to become what I am today. Without their endless love, my dream will
never be a reality. My beloved brother, Kenji, helped me a lot with dealing with trivial
things so I could concentrate on my thesis. My life-long friends, Chin-Wen Lin, Anita
Liu, Michael Tsi, and Julia Wu, stimulated and inspired me to finish this thesis. I had
wonderful time with my friends at UF, Yang-Ling Chou, Ean Chien, George Wang, Wen
Ren, and Yi-Po Chou, who kindly helped me a lot through my study. Kang-Uei Dai, a
very special person to me, had unwavering faith in me and was always there for me. If it
were not for these people, I could never make this thesis possible. I am so blessed to have
all of them in my life, and the many others who helped me along the way.
I also want to attribute special thanks to my committee members, Dr. Robyn
Goodman and Linda Conway Correll, who generously gave me feedback and helped me
to develop my coding sheet, and especially my chair, Dr. Marilyn Roberts. Dr. Roberts
was incredibly "tolerant" with my poor English and helped me enormously for the
editing. She was not only a knowledgeable mentor but also a considerate and encouraging
coach and teacher. Without her intelligence and support, this thesis could not have been
I thank all of those named here from the bottom of my heart, and many more I
will never forget. I would like to dedicate this thesis to all of them.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S ......... .. .............................................................. .............. iii
ABSTRACT ............... ................... ......... .............. vi
1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..
B a c k g ro u n d ................................................................. .................................... 1
Women in Taiwan.................... ..................................
W om en M magazine in Taiw an......................................................... ............... 3
B eauty Industry in Taiw an......................................... .................................. 4
International Trends............... ... ............................. .... 5
Jap an ese Sty le .................................................. 5
The Ideal of "Pale Skin" .................................... .................. .. ........ ..
Purpose of the Study ............... ................ .................................7.
Significance of the Study .................................................... .. ........ .... 8
2 L IT E R A TU R E R E V IE W .................................................................. .....................9
Background of International Advertising .................................... ..................... 9
Stan dardization .................................................................................. .. 9
L ocalization ............................................................................................... 10
M ixed A approach .................. ............................. .......... .............. 11
A advertising and C culture ............................................... ............ ............... 12
N ature of P rodu ct......... ...................................................................... ........ .. .... 14
Product Category .................. ............................ ........ .................. 14
Product "Involvem ent" ........................................................ ............... 15
P product P ositioning ......................... .. .................... .. ...... .......... 16
A advertising Strategy .................. .......................................... .. ............ 18
Simon's Creative Strategy System ........................................ ...............18
A advertising Inform ation Level ........................................ ........................ 20
A advertising and Fashion .............................................................................22
W hy F ash ion ? ................................................... .....................................2 2
A advertising in B eauty Industry ........................................ ....................... 24
A advertising Practice in Taiw an ............................................................................ 25
3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 28
C o n ten t A n aly sis ................................................................................................... 2 8
U n it o f A n aly sis ................................................................................................. 3 0
S am pling D esig n .................................................................................. 3 1
Coding Categories and V ariables ....................................................... 31
Research H ypotheses .............................................................................34
4 F IN D IN G S ................................................................................ 3 8
D descriptions of the Sam ple .................................................................. 38
Elle U.S. vs. Elle Taiwan & Nong-Nong............................... ... .........42
N ong-N ong v s. E lle T aiw an ................................................................................. 45
P personal C are v s. C osm etics................................................................................. 48
5 D IS C U S S IO N ....................................................................................................... 5 4
Elle U.S. vs. Elle Taiwan & Nong-Nong............................... ... .........54
Elle Taiwan vs. Nong-Nong ...............................................55
Personal Care Product Ads vs. Cosmetic Ads ....................................................56
W hitening E effects ............................................. ................... ............... ..57
Eastern Trends vs. Western Trends ............................................................ 57
Prom optional D devices ............................................... .............................. 58
Implications for International Advertisers ......................................................... 58
Lim stations ........................................................... ................. ............... 59
Suggestions for Future R research .......................................................................... 59
A T A B L E S O F R E SU L T S ........................................................................ ...............61
B C O D IN G SH E E T ........................................................................................... 65
L IST O F R EFE R EN C E S ................................................ .................. .........................69
B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E TCH ..................................................................... ..................79
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication
COMPARISONS OF COSMETIC ADVERTISEMENTS:
STRATEGIES FOR CULTURAL ADAPTATIONS
IN WOMEN'S MAGAZINES IN TAIWAN
Chairman: Marilyn Roberts
Major Department: Journalism and Communications
The study examined whether cultural adapted strategies were used in women's
magazine advertising in Taiwan. The special beauty idea of "pale skin" is extremely
popular among female consumers in Taiwan. Many beauty editorials in women's
magazines teach women how to obtain and preserve a porcelain-like skin. The most
promising product line of skin care is the whitening product. The widespread "whitening"
concept is overwhelming in Taiwan's beauty industry, and it has been emulated by
western brands in recent years.
A quantitative content analysis was applied to compare cosmetic product ads in Elle
U.S., Elle Taiwan, and a local women's magazine, Nong-Nong from October, 2001 to
August, 2002. Variables coded in the study include advertisement size; product origin;
brand name; advertising layout; visual size; product trial/promotional device; copy size;
product benefits and attributes in the ad; origin of model; degree of model's "whiteness";
presence of product; arrangement of model and product; language; and language
adaptations for headline. Product category, whether it was a personal care product or
cosmetics with or without whitening effects, and advertisement category, whether it was
a promotional, editorial, or pure product ad, were also examined. Resnik and Stern's
information classification was used for coding copy information. The wording of
"whitening effects" was examined as to whether the effects were directly featured or not.
This study also employed Simon's creative strategy system to determine the differences
in advertising appeals.
The findings of this study showed that there were differences in advertising
strategies among the three magazines. Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong employed more
implicit appeals and contained greater information levels of than did Elle U.S.. In
addition, most ads with dark-skinned models appeared in Elle U.S., while Elle Taiwan
and Nong-Nong had a much higher percentage of light-skinned models in ads.
Promotional devices were also widely used in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong. Instead of
being totally localized, advertising strategies in Elle Taiwan revealed a mixed approach.
Product category was the key to determine ii heiher or to what extent the ads were
adapted to local cultures. More standardized approaches were used in cosmetic ads, while
personal care product ads showed a higher degree of adaptation. In addition, ads of
products with whitening effects were more adapted than ads of product without whitening
effects. Due to the favorable attitude toward Japanese brands, Nong-Nong contained more
Japanese product ads than did Elle Taiwan. In contrast, more western product ads
appeared in Elle Taiwan, as its readers appeared to be less enthusiastic about Japanese
styles and more interested in western trends.
Despite its small geographic size and population, Taiwan has become an important
player in world economy over the past 40 years. With more than 20 million people,
Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The island continues
to expand its economic power at about five percent per year even after Asian financial
crisis. Per capital GNP was 14,188 USD and the economic growth rate was almost six
percent in 2000 (Advertising Magazine, December 2001, p. 115). Taiwan shares most
Chinese traditional values with other East-Asia nations and has emerged as one of the
most prosperous countries in the world. The U.S Department of Commerce (1995)
classified Taiwan as a "big emerging market" because of its remarkable market potential
for American business to invest.
Due to liberalization and tariff cuts in the late 1980s, local consumers gained access
to a wider selection of international labels at a more affordable price (Hwang, 2002).
Consumers in Taiwan demonstrate a purchasing power in high-end brand-name products
comparable with people in other countries (Kao, 2002). The increase of total import value
of apparel from US$250 million in 1990 to US$843 million in 2000 attract international
brands and designers attention to this small island (Hwang, 2002). Over sixty
international fashion brand names are already established in this island, and still dozens
of others are preparing to enter this highly competitive market (Kao, 2002). The approval
of Taiwan's WTO accession in 2001, earned after 12 years of strenuous efforts, marks a
milestone in Taiwan's economic and trade development. Meanwhile, Taiwan has
encountered the trend of localization, which peaked in 1999. However, the island still
welcomes imported products, as well as exterior cultures. Many young people favor
Japanese and Korean products, but are influenced by Hollywood movies and HBO.
By the late 1990s, Taiwan has evolved into a modern advertising industry.
Advertising spending per capital of USD $152 in Taiwan ranked it 22nd in the world in
1996 (International Journal of Advertising, 1998). From 1987 to 1996, Taiwan ranked
20th in world with ad spending growth of 153%, comparing Hong Kong's 22nd and
Japan's 36th (International Journal of Advertising, 1998). With advertising expenditures
of $2.5 billion in 1998, Taiwan ranked fourth in Asia in overall ad expenditures (Business
World, 1999). Advertising expenses in Taiwan last year were 47.7 billion NT dollars, a
twenty-percent growth compared to year 1999 (Advertising Magazine, 2001).
Women in Taiwan
Due to higher education and more financial independence, women in Taiwan have
become more powerful. Female consumers embrace a new definition of woman's role
from western culture, which blended well with traditional Chinese values (Tai & Tam,
1997). With economic growth and increased exposure to the west, "Taiwanese women's
tastes become more sophisticated and are moving towards the high-end of the market"
(Tai & Tam, 1997, p. 290). The most successful products in Taiwan are "foreign in image
and local in usage" (Tai &Tam, 1997, p.290).
Young females in Taiwan are very fashion sensitive and willing to pay for
entertainment or products that make them more beautiful (Bei, 2002). They change
brands of daily products frequently to maintain the sense of "life novelty" (Bei, 2002).
These young consumers like to follow the latest international trends and are willing to
spend more money on brand-name products (Bei, 2002). The motivations of their
purchases are not always based on function "but more on the prestigious image of
imported foreign brands" in some product categories, such as clothing and accessories
(Tai & Tam, 1997). However, this attitude doesn't contradict with the fact that they are
experienced and knowledgeable consumers. Young females read newspapers and
magazines habitually, exercise to keep fit, value life quality, and are vigorous in social
activities (Bei, 2002).
Women Magazine in Taiwan
Women's magazines in Taiwan act as a commercial medium that delivers
advertising messages to the target audiences who are urban middle-and-upper-class
women, well-educated, have above average salary, and have superior consumption ability
(Shaw, 1997). Those female target audiences rely heavily on women's magazines for
fashion information and advice on styles and buying decisions.
Nowadays, dozens of fashion publications battle in a highly competitive market in
Taiwan. Readers can choose from various magazines on shelves every month: local
magazines, Taiwanese editions of Japanese or international fashion periodicals.
International women magazines launched in Taiwan in the late 80's and early 90's
(Cosmopolitan was first introduced in 1989; Harper's Bazaar was founded in 1991; Elle
Taiwan was founded in 1991; Marie Claire was founded in 1993). In the early stage,
transnational corporations relied much on these Taiwanese editions of international
women's magazines to reach female consumers in Taiwan (Shaw, 1997). On the other
hand, international advertisers have also been the main financial source for these
magazines since they were founded (Shaw, 1997).
Noticeably, international women magazines share much of the advertising revenues
earned in Taiwan; only Nong-Nong, a domestic magazine, can compete with them (Shaw,
1997). Women magazines in Taiwan generate their revenues heavily on advertising, and
in turn, magazine editorials help advertisers promote their products by giving frequent
recommendations (Shaw, 1997). These editorials are a very persuasive form of
advertising because readers tend to trust editors' knowledge and objectivity.
Beauty Industry in Taiwan
Due to increasing living standards and national incomes in Taiwan, consumers are
spending more than before on cosmetics products (Chou, 1998). Because Asians have the
most transparent and softest skin type, which leads blemishes and sun damages to be
more apparent than Caucasian skin, the main reason for skin care purchases in Taiwan is
the desire to avoid skin damage from the sun, pollutants, and aging (Geiger, 2002). In this
growing and lucrative market, U.S. brands lead the high-end market sector with a 37
percent share, followed by Japanese products with 36.5 percent and European products
with 20.4 percent in 1996 (Chou, 1998). When it comes to product category, personal-
care products occupy the highest percentage (about 50%), within which whitening
products take the lead; cosmetics has only one-fifth of the total sale percentage (China
Consumers in Taiwan tend to favor Japanese brands. According to the Taipei
Cosmetics Industry Association's report, the Japanese brand ./n1%,/1,, which has
traditionally targeted Asian women aged 35 and over and is recently trying to lower its
target group's age, is expected to be the fastest growing line among imported brands.
Taiwanese consumers are very curious and like to try new things. Compared with western
markets, they have lower brand loyalty and are easily attracted by advertisement (China
Girls, 2002). Therefore, cosmetics companies have to promote products frequently and
hold beauty seminars for only members in order to gain continuous support (China Girls,
The spread of international fashion is facilitated by a sophisticated distribution
network, and the widespread accessibility to international media such as films, cable TV,
magazines, and Internet. Fashion magazines, especially those Taiwanese editions of
international fashion periodicals such as Elle, Vogue and Marie Claire, convey fashion
ideas of global brands to Taiwan women. Before international fashion periodicals were
introduced to Taiwan, female consumers only knew big brand names and would stick to
them. Nowadays, brand culture is established and Taiwanese women become more
sophisticated and have their own opinions toward fashion. Female consumers seek
information about style and how to mix and match and are also sensitive about keeping
pace with international trends.
Taiwan has been traditionally under Japan's influence, which might be the result of
its Japanese colonization for fifty years until 1945. In the mid 50's, three Taiwanese
businessmen imported makeup materials from Japan, further processed them into
products, and sold them in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Years later, their company
became the well-known brand, ,/neh//',, and officially integrated into the Japanese
headquarter in the 80's that gave it a more international outlook (Bazaar Taiwan, April
Shiseido has deep local roots and helped to shape Taiwanese women's lifestyle and
beauty concepts long before international brands entered Taiwan market. ,\/ne\i,/
teaches women in Taiwan how to use make up and skin care. .,///\,/i,/ is well-known for
quality products and packaging. It normally develops ads in Tokyo and works with local
agencies to translate and tailor the basic message for different markets (Herskovitz,
1997). .\/nlii,,e, was the first brand to use famous local movie stars as spokespersons for
products in the mid 80's. The strategy was a triumph in Taiwan. Ever since then, the
company has continuously had stars whom local consumers are familiar with as one
important part of their advertising strategy. .\s//iit/i has historically devoted itself to
localization and has built a very successful "beauty empire" in Taiwan long before the
first international prestigious brand, Christine Dior, set up its branch in Taipei in 1974.
The easy access to Japanese magazines, TV programs, and pop music, due to geographic
proximity of these two countries, further lead the island to be highly influenced by
Japanese style. The younger generation has a particularly affinity with Japanese culture.
The Ideal of "Pale Skin"
There is an old Chinese saying: "A fair skin overshadows nine ugly qualities" (Yi
bai zhe jou chou). In ancient China, a porcelain-like complexion was "a symbol of
refinement, indicating that a person did not belong to the peasant classes who toiled
under the sun" (Johanson, 1998). The embrace of "pale skin equals to beauty" is very
popular throughout most East Asia. Because Asians are more prone to
hyperpigmentation, where a small amount of sun exposure will produce unfavorable
brown spots, women in Asia carry umbrellas, wear gloves that cover the whole arms
when driving or riding a bike or motorcycle, as well as wear hats and scarves to prevent
skin from getting tanned and to keep a fair skin. While a growing awareness that it is
practical to protect the skin in this way to avoid the damaging effects of UV radiation, the
main purpose of these long practiced protective tools is for the prevention of the skin
from appearing tan.
The idea of "whitening" does not mean imply "bleaching." Unlike Michael
Jackson's attempt, whitening is about preventing tanning, and bringing sun-damaged skin
back to its normal skin color. Numerous skin products with whitening effects promise to
cover all skin flaws, control pigmentation, have ingredients that reflect light or produce a
chemical change in skin, or turn "yellow" and "dark" skin to white (Johanson, 1998). The
most promising line of skin care is the whitening product which was first introduced by
,'\//\.'//, in 1993. These products focus on lightening complexion of women's skin. The
"whitening" concept has become extremely popular among female consumers in Taiwan
and was later emulated by international brands (Chou, 1998). For sunscreen products, the
underlying theme is that UV protection yields skin lightening due to the protective role in
skin darkening or tanning by UV radiation. The efficacy is claimed and expressed as SPF,
indicating how long consumers can be exposed to the sun without getting as tanned as not
applying the product. Beauty editorials in women's magazines elaborate on how to
obtain, preserve and enhance fair and smooth skin. In the summer season, many beauty
editorials describe how the sun's radiation will darken and roughen the skin, providing
information of how skin can survive the burning heat. They are always followed by
cosmetics advertisements that stress their protections of preserving a fair skin so that
costumers can turn the threatening sunshine into joyful bathing.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to discuss how cultural differences influence
advertising messages for cosmetic products in Taiwan, especially the unique beauty idea
of pale skin. By comparing advertisements of three product category-personal care,
whitening product, and cosmetics-in the western magazine, Elle U.S, and in local
magazines, Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong, the study is expected to find out how
international marketers adapt to the local beauty culture in Taiwan into their advertising
messages, and to what extend international marketers employ adaptation strategy.
Significance of the Study
Rising national income along with changes in consumption pattern, the cosmetics
and toiletries market in Taiwan grew 8.6% to $1.8bn in 2000, showing a strong growth
potential (A Mixed, 2001). Besides its impressive purchasing power, many multinational
companies regard Taiwan as a "laboratory" where they assess whether their products
could be successful in China. The approval of Taiwan's WTO accession will make this
small island a much more competitive market, which increases the importance of
effectively conveying product information to target audiences. In addition, as the skin
care and make up market continues to expand, an increasing demand for high-quality
imported products provides great opportunities for global brands.
However, few research studies have discussed about the influence of cultural
differences on advertising appeals of female products in Taiwan. Despite many research
studies on cross-national differences of advertising messages, few studies compare the
differences of advertising appeals between western and Asian countries other than Japan
(Chang, 1991). Although there are studies that have examined the eastern beauty idea of
pale skin, rarely has the implication of this idea been applied to advertising practice.
By combining the understanding of the beauty idea of pale skin in Taiwan with
different advertising strategies employed by three magazines, this study can provide
insights to international marketers on how to make their advertising more effective to
Taiwanese female consumers.
Background of International Advertising
As the world is becoming one big marketplace, how to develop an effective
strategy for delivering advertising messages to consumers of various cultures is more and
more important to global advertisers. International marketers are usually faced with the
problem of whether or not and to what extent, should their advertising strategy adapt
cultural factors in different countries. With the increasing attention given to international
marketing, the choice between standardization and adaptation has been widely discussed.
The debate between support for standardization versus localization mainly deals with the
issue of whether consumers in different cultures are alike in their preferences and
A standardized approach is suggested due to the assimilation and homogenization
of consumer motives and purchasing behavior across national borders (Levitt, 1983). It is
founded on the premise that human wants and needs have a number of similarities despite
of cultural differences. "People identify less with nations and more with groups,
professions, and subcultures" (Vardar, 1992). Standardization focuses on the regularity in
consumer demand and develops global advertising campaigns, diminishing the need for
adaptation to local conditions (Harich & Zandpour, 2000). Levitt (1983) believed that the
convergence of technological advancements and telecommunication systems would lead
to the globalization of markets that would greatly demand standardized advertising across
It has also been widely acknowledged that standardization of advertising strategy
would allow marketers to build global brand awareness through repetition and maintain a
consistent brand image, a desirable asset where the product appeals to a universal need
(Levitt, 1983). Therefore, many international brands tend to develop their brand identities
and formulate advertising strategy at their corporate headquarters and apply them to local
markets (Chen, 2002). According to Schooler's (1971) study, females usually value
foreign products higher than males. This favorable attitude is further enhanced when the
products fall into fashion industry, such as cosmetics (Wall, 1986).
The standardization approach is mostly criticized by its insufficient ability to
account for the specific characteristics in each market and its target audiences (Buzzell,
1968). Empirical studies provide strong evidence suggesting the necessity of adapting
international advertising to local markets (Chang, 1991). Ricks et al. (1974) considered
that most international advertising blunders came from ignorance of different culture and
local lifestyle. In addition, political factors, legal restraints, economic difference,
infrastructure and industrial development in each market might cause standardized
advertising campaign to be unsuccessful (Britt, 1974; Unwinn, 1974; De Mooij, 1994).
International advertisers should notice the local cultural diversity among markets
and recognize the benefits of localization. Standardized advertising strategies are only
appropriate for some brands/product categories or specific conditions, as suggested by
Harris (1984). Product attributes are rated differently from one country to another,
(Green, Cunningham & Cunningham, 1975) and localized advertising themes are viewed
sometimes more favorable by consumers (Hornik, 1980). As cultural uniqueness is
emphasized, localization allows international marketers to create messages particularly
tailored to local markets. To be effective, advertising has to reflect the needs, wants,
values, traditions, language and economic variables (Harich & Zandpour, 2000).
Because few markets are exactly alike, researchers proposed a "mixed" approach-
partly standardized and partly localized (Peebles, Ryans & Vernon, 1977). International
marketers should learn about the consumers and their backgrounds, define the market
segments as precisely as possible, and scrutinize motivational factors in detail before
launching an advertising campaign (Leo, 1964; Buzzell, 1968; Miracle, 1968; Boddewyn,
1986). Adaptation is necessary in order to ensure that consumers' needs and wants are
satisfied effectively so that sales are maximized.
Peebles, Ryans, and Vernon (1977) advocated "prototype standardization" where
the same campaign would be applied in multiple markets with the only differences of
appropriate translation and idiomatic changes. Norton B. Leo (1964) called for a need to
consider the degree to which advertisements can be standardized. The degree of
standardization depends on the product or service being advertised, conditions in each
market, and the strategic intent of the advertisers. Other factors should be considered
when determining the level of standardization (Buzzell, 1968; Miracle, 1968; Boddewyn,
*. Industrial conditions such as level of competition, product life cycle;
o. Economic factors necessary degree of standardization;
** Homogeneity of markets;
*. Marketing institutions such as advertising media, legal restrictions; and
o* Cultural and behavioral factors and their influences on the foreign market's
perception of the product.
Even though consumers may have the same needs and wants among different
markets, the needs and wants still need to be addressed according to "different
communication patterns that will have a strong influence on the effectiveness of
marketing communications" (Wang, Jaw, Pinkletion & Morton, 1997, p. 51). For
example, Tai's (1997) study showed that among 87 multinationals advertisements in
China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Honk Kong, 31 percent of the advertisements are the
same as those in their home markets, while 68 percent applied a different strategy.
Kirpalani et al. (1988) also suggested that environmental factors should be put into
consideration when deciding advertising tactics such as layout and media selection.
Therefore, either standardized or localized strategies are only one of several possible
strategies, depending on situation in each market.
In short, international advertising strategy is considered situation-specific. Today's
question that global marketers should ask is "in what situation and to what extent should
multinational advertising be standardized?" (Duncan & Ramaprasad, 1995, p.57).
Advertising and Culture
The relationship between advertising messages and cultural values of a society has
been acknowledged by researchers (Cho, 1993). Many studies showed that culture affects
the perception and practices of advertising, and therefore advertising reflects cultural
values in which it exists. (Unwin, 1974; Holbrook, 1987; Mueller, 1987; Frith and Frith,
1990). Culture can be defined as a set of fundamental ideas, practices and experiences of
a group of people that are "symbolically transmitted generation to generation through a
learning process" (Chen & Starosta, 1998, p. 23).
Advertising is a significant tool that functions as imparting product information to
consumers. However, how people interpret advertisements is determined by culture
codes. Research shows that different cultures seem to stress different advertising appeals,
which are carried in the illustration and headlines of the ad and are supported by the ad
copy (Zhang & Gelb, 1996). Domzal and Keman (1992) said in their work that "products
serve as markers; they have consensual what-implies-what meanings, which we learn
from a variety of sources, not the least of which is advertising" (p.9). When consumers
encounter an advertisement, their reaction "depends on the meaning they assign to it, and
in turn depends on characteristics of both the advertisement and the individual consumer"
(Grier & Brumbaugh, 1999). The characteristics of individuals are greatly shaped by their
cultures, and cultural differences are one of the most influential factors opposing
standardized advertising. Proponents of localization pronounced that cultural influences
on consumer decision-making could be understood in terms of an underlying metaphor
that "cultural knowledge is a lens that colors people's perception of objects and messages
in the environment." (Briley, Morris & Simonson, 2000, p.164).
However, much of consumer research on culture shows inconsistent findings
concerning about the content of marketing communications. Some research suggests that
advertising appeals have asymmetric effects across cultures; while other research implies
that some persuasion approaches yield similar attitudinal results in different cultures. One
explanation is that only when cultural based norms were salient, cultural differences in
attitude emerged (Aaker, 2000). Mueller (1989) concluded her study that "advertisements
of each country exhibit some degree of sensitivity to the cultural uniqueness of the
particular consuming market. Cultural sensitivity is portrayed through the varying usage
of these same appeals" (p.130).
Another explanation is offered by the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty &
Cacioppo, 1986). ELM suggests that when people are highly motivated to process an
advertisement, they tend to form attitudes based on attentive consideration of the
attributes of the product that is advertised. On the other hand, when people are not
motivated to process an advertisement, they would use simple decision rules or heuristics
as a shortcut to assess the product "without extensive cognitive effort" (Leach & Liu,
1998). Based on ELM, Leach and Liu's research (1998) showed that when advertising
messages are consistent with cultural norms, consumers will automatically process them
through a peripheral route. Briley et al. (2000) also emphasized on the "dynamic" role of
cultural knowledge, saying that culture is influential when "individuals need to provide
reasons for their judgment or decision" (p. 160). In other words, they recommended that
cultural knowledge is a "tool" which exerts its influence on individual perceptions only
when it is brought into use. Therefore, in some product categories, consumers may have
similar needs and wants among different markets, indicating that there should not be
"systematic differences" in decision-making. (Briley, Morris & Simonson, 2000).
Nature of Product
Studies show that international advertising strategies vary with the nature of
product. Three product aspects are important when considering advertising approaches,
they are: product category, product involvement and product positioning.
The importance of product category has been emphasized recently due to the
insufficient explanation of cultural influence on international advertising. Product
categories "shown independently affect creative strategy, information content, form and
format of advertising messages" (Chen & Starosta, 1998, p. 37). Product category is
important because it "constitutes the core around which brand positioning is effected; a
brand whose meaning violates the limits of this core might not be regarded as plausible
by consumers" (Domzal & Kernan, 1992, p. 56).
Developed by Newell and Simon (1972), "consumer means-end chains" theory
(MECs) establishes the relationship between product attributes, the benefits of product
use, and consumers' values: "product attributes yield particular benefits upon
consumption, which contribute to value satisfaction" (Hofstede, Steenkamp & Wedel,
1999). The key idea of MECs is that "product attributes are means for consumers to
obtain desired ends, namely, values, through the benefits yield by those attributes"
(Hofstede, Steenkamp & Wedel, 1999). Therefore, products that are not culture-bounded
are more appropriate to employ the standardization strategy (Quelch & Hoff, 1986;
Domzal & Kernan, 1993).
Product involvement can be defined as "commitment to a position or concern with
a specific stand on an issue" (Rothschild, 1987, p. 28). It basically concerns about
whether the "brand" is important to consumers' purchasing decisions. A low-involved
consumer represents a passive audience to advertising: they would not actively search
information but rather randomly learn it. They only seek "some acceptable satisfaction"
and buy products based on a few attributes and least likely to cause them a problem
(Rothschild, 1987). Their attitude toward the product is formed after using it. Low
involvement may also indicate that consumers learn more slowly and forget more
quickly. As a result, advertising messages should be shorter, have less information, and
repeated more frequently (Rothschild, 1987). Examples for low-involvement products in
fashion industry are clothing, cosmetics, and accessories.
For high-involvement products, consumers tend to seek and process information.
They look for maximized product satisfaction, and therefore, they would "compare
brands to see which provide the most benefits related to needs," and their purchase is
based on "multi-attribute comparison of brands" (Rothschild, 1987). Products most likely
to draw high levels of involvement are usually durable goods, high cost, complex,
"related to consumer's central value," or "have dissimilar brand choice alternatives"
(Rothschild, 1987). Because consumers are concerned about the decision, they form an
attitude toward the brand as well as the product before they make a purchase. As a result,
advertising is the key tool in building awareness for high-involvement products.
Advertisements for high-involvement products require providing more factual and
detail information to consumers. For example, adaptation strategy may be necessary for
skin-care products in Taiwan because it would allow consumers easily understand the
attributes that products carry. It is important for western brands to establish their
distinctions from local and Japanese products that Taiwan consumers have been used to
and familiar with. In addition, advertising messages for high-involvement products are
delivered primarily through print media because it allows consumers to digest the
information at a self-controlled pace (Rothschild, 1987).
"Positioning" can be defined as the product design to fit a given place in the target
consumer's mind. It separates a brand from its competitors by associating the brand with
a specific set of consumer needs, which are ranked high on the consumer's priority list. If
a product is positioned the same in other markets as at home country, standardization
would be feasible (Jain, 1989). With the widespread power of mass media, fashion trends
are considered universal, with some adjustments that are culturally important or unique.
Therefore, some products are suggested to employ standardized advertising strategy, such
as cosmetics, while in other product categories, international advertisers might need to
create their own characteristics and differentiate their products from local ones. Mueller
(1996) proposed that there are several products suitable for standardized advertising
** Products that can be promoted via image campaign:
These products have strong visual effects which enable standardized advertisement
break through country boundaries. Cosmetics are one of these products.
** Products for consumers who are essentially similar:
Target audiences among different markets have similar characteristics. (pp. 23-24).
Alden, Steenkamp, and Batra (1999) proposed a new concept of "global consumer
culture positioning" (GCCP), which is defined as a strategy that "identifies the brand as a
symbol of a given global culture" (p.77), such as modernity and cosmopolitanism. GCCP
associates a brand with "globally shared and consumption- related symbols that signal
membership in global consumer segments" (Alden, Steenkamp & Batra, 1999, p.79).
They suggested that advertising applying GCCP will be more effective if it
"communicates in a subtle, indirect, and abstract fashion" due to the rapid change of
global consumer culture and the "linkages between the brands and the imagined
membership in a global consumer segment" (Alden, Steenkamp & Batra, 1999, p.79).
Alden, Steenkamp and Batra's (1999) study shows that a soft-sell approach is more
suitable for GCCP than a hard-sell approach. Soft-sell ads use more visual imagery and
are more subtle and ambiguous. Hard-sell approaches are relatively more informative and
focus on tangible product attributes. Furthermore, soft-sell ads are more image-oriented.
They are usually more abstract than informational hard-sell ads, and the messages tend to
be more implicit (Alden, Steenkamp & Batra, 1999). In addition, GCCP is more
appropriate for products that symbolize modernity rather than tradition, and for products
consumed in similar patterns, instead of for those consumed in locally idiosyncratic ways
(Alden, Steenkamp & Batra, 1999).
Past research on cross-cultural advertising has generally looked at dissimilarity in
advertising styles and varying levels of informativeness across markets. Different
cultures may require different advertising creative strategies and levels of
informativeness. By analyzing and identifying these two elements of advertising
messages, international marketers can develop appropriate and effective advertising
approaches in different countries.
Creative strategy can be defined as "the means selected to achieve desired audience
effect over the term of the campaign" (Frazer, 1983, p.36). Creative strategy is
considered to be the policy or directing principle guiding the general nature and character
of advertising messages (Frazer, 1983; Zandpour et al., 1992). It may differ across
markets and their effects may be different because of cultural disparity.
Simon's Creative Strategy System
Various product/brand require different approaches to activate audiences' purchase
through advertising exposure (Simon, 1971). After studying the works of well-known
copywriters, Simon (1971, p.169) introduced a classification system, which consists ten
creative strategies, called "activation methods." This scheme is based on the assumption
that "various product-brand characteristics demand different methods of activating the
consumer to buy" through advertising exposure (Simon, 1971, p.170). Simon describes
how creative strategy directs advertising creation:
The product-brand characteristics dictate the activation method that the ad should
use, and the activation method, in turn, dictates what the copy and headline should
aim to say, what the illustration should show, and the proportions of the ad that
should be devoted to copy and illustration. (p. 193)
Simon's creative strategies include the following:
(1) Information: Presentation of plain facts, without explanation or argument, only
"news about" the product concerned.
(2) Argument: Providing facts and "excuses" (reason why) for purchasing the
advertised product or service that consumers may have already been interested in;
copy is especially significant.
(3) Command: "Non-verbal" reminders influence consumer's favorite; may be
strengthened by authoritative figures.
(4) Imitation: Providing testimonials by a celebrity, by "hidden camera" participantss,
or by individuals) unknown but consumers can readily identify with or they
respect due to specified characteristicss. This strategy employs the communication
source as the reasons) for purchasing the product.
(5) Obligation: Offering free gifts or information, or a moving sentiment; some attempt
to make consumers feel appreciative.
(6) Habit-starting: Offering a sample or decreasing price to initiate a "regular practice
or routine;" product usually "featured."
(7) Repeated Assertion: Hard-sell repetition of one basic piece of information: often a
"generality" unsupported by factual proof.
(8) Brand Familiarization: Exercising a friendly, conversational feel; few or no "selling
facts" but suggestion of "loyalty" to and "trustworthiness" of the brand; keeping
brand name exposed to the public.
(9) Symbolic Association: Providing subtle presentations linking the product to any
positive symbol, such as a place, event, or person; sales pitches are usually implicit
and minimal, and copy is usually minimal and products are generally not
(10) Motivation with Psychological Appeals: Explicit statement of how consumers will
benefit from products; using emotional appeals to self-interest in creating desires
not formerly readily obvious; a framework of "especially for you" when
interpreting facts (pp. 174-183).
Advertising Information Level
In modern society, consumers look for information about products in
advertisements to make better purchasing decisions. The higher information level an ad
carries, the less uncertainty viewers will have toward the advertised product (Abernethy
& Franke, 1996). Many studies use a scheme of measuring advertising information
developed by Resnik and Stem. Resnik and Stern (1977) introduced the fourteen
information cues that represent factors "identified as information cues which could
potentially be used in intelligent decision making" (p. 51). They asserted that an
advertisement can be considered as informative when it contains at least one of the
The fourteen information criteria are:
(1) Price: How much does the product cost?
(2) Quality: What are the product's characteristics that differentiate it from competing
products based on evaluations of workmanship, engineering, durability, excellence
of materials, structural superiority, attention to detail, or special services?
(3) Performance: What is the use of product and how well does it do what it is
designed to do in comparison to alternative purchases?
(4) Components: What is the product composed of? What ingredients does it contain?
(5) Special Packaging or Shape: What special package or shape is the product available
in which makes it more appealing than alternatives?
(6) Safety Features: What are the product's safety features compared to competing
(7) Availability: Where can the product be acquired? When will the product be able to
(8) Special Offers: What limited-time non-priced deals are available with a particular
(9) Taste: Is evidence presented that the taste of a particular product is perceived as
superior in taste by a sample of potential consumers?
(10) Guarantees and Warrantees: What post-purchase assurances accompany the
(11) New Ideas: Is a totally new concept introduced? Are its advantages presented?
(12) Independent Research: Are results of identified research presented?
(13) Company research: Are results provided by a company through comparing
(14) Nutrition: Are specific data given comparing the nutritional content of a particular
product, or is a direct specific comparison made with other products?
The level of information content can be influenced by the product that is advertised,
the medium carrying the ad, and the country where the ad is placed (Abernethy & Franke,
1996). Many studies apply Resnik-Stern's information classification to examine the
information level of international advertisements in different countries. Generally
speaking, research has shown that with magazine advertisements, more information is
provided in advertisements in Asia countries than in the U.S., based on Resnik-Stern's
information system (Chang, 1991). Rice and Lu (1988) used this system to conduct a
content analysis of 472 Chinese consumer magazine advertisements and found a large
amount of information was contained in those ads. Furthermore, 100 percent of the
Chinese advertisements could be seen as informative according to Resnik and Stem's
definition. Chang (1991) also found that in Taiwanese TV commercials, performance
information is more likely to be employed for personal care-cosmetics-drugs products.
Zandpour and his colleagues (1992) conducted a study using Simon's creative
strategy and Resnik-Stern information cues to exam similarities and differences between
U.S., French, and Taiwanese TV commercials. They found that U.S. commercials usually
address specific consumer personal needs and problem and frequently employ celebrities,
credible sources, and users of products to convey specific product benefits (Zandpour et
al, 1992). U. S. commercials provide explicit conclusions, supported by data-based
arguments, why consumers should choose the advertised product, and products are
constantly displayed aggressively in the ad (Zandpour et al., 1992). On the other hand,
Taiwanese TV commercials tend to utilize more subtle appeals through symbols and
metaphors (Zandpour et al., 1992). They are more abstract and generally do not address
specific consumer personal needs (Zandpour et al., 1992). An ideal that can be reached
through the product usage is often promised, though is seldom linked to the product
attributes (Zandpour et al., 1992). Unlike U. S. ads, commercials in Taiwan tend to
provide fewer reasons or explicit conclusions (Zandpour et al., 1992). If there is
information contained in the ad, it is often presented as straight and unrelated facts
(Zandpour et al., 1992). Another frequent strategy in Taiwan is immediate rewards in the
form of free offers and special deals through hard-sell approaches (Zandpour et al., 1992).
Advertising and Fashion
Fashion mirrors lifestyles. It can be defined as "the model style of a particular
group at a particular time...the style which is considered appropriate or desirable"
(Lauer, 1981). Fashion develops in all contexts as the result of the assertion of self-
identity and social comparison. It reflects not only individuals but also social values and
believes. Long before clothing fashion existed in the form of tattoos, paintings, or
intentional scars (Rogers & Gamans, 1983). People use visual media to "indicate
themselves and others whether they think they belong with another individual or group,
or whether they consider themselves another's equal or superior" (Cannon, 1998, p. 26).
Need represents "a longing for, or lacking of, something that people do not have"
(Rogers & Gamans, 1983, p. 46). Needs may spring from physical or psychological
reasons, whether consciously or unconsciously. When awakened by internal or external
factors, needs then turn into wants. It is especially true that people desire more than they
actually need in fashion products and the whole process of "wanting" is a continuing
process (Rogers & Gamans, 1983). People's motivations for fashion may come from
emotional need, their hunger for praise, the desire of being fashionable or attractive, the
longing of being unique or acceptance by peer groups, or they simply tend to become
tired of sensations that are experienced constantly (Nystrom, 1928; Frings, 2001).
Collins (1977) presented the "Juliet Principle" drawn from Shakespeare's line
spoken by Juliet to Romeo, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by another
name would smell as sweet." This principle suggests that "the verbal form "rose" does
not matter; it's what we have come to associate with that verbal form that determines the
meaning of the name" (McDonald & Roberts, 1990, p. 11). This can perfectly explain the
phenomena in fashion industry; only the "verbal form" here is replaced by "brand name".
A brand name does not simply signal a product's "utilitarian attributes", it can also have a
particular meaning, which "makes the product personally meaningful and intrinsically
relevant for the consumer" (Ligas, 1999, p. 611).
According to Bocock (1993), "all consumption is always the consumption of
symbolic signs." Fashion provides models and materials for individuals to construct their
identity. It offers choice of clothes, makeup, style, and image through which people can
build their characteristics (Kellner, 1994). Individuals use fashion to express their
personalities, define their status, create an identity for themselves, or to "role-play certain
situations in life" (Rogers & Gamans, 1983). For instance, one may want to give others
an impression that she is stylish and can keep up with the trend by putting on the
cosmetics of this season. In addition, people purchases are not always based on actual
personal needs or product attributes, but the implied meaning behind the brand name of
their purchases. A brand name does not simply signal a product's "utilitarian attributes",
it can also have a particular meaning, which "makes the product personally meaningful
and intrinsically relevant for the consumer" (Ligas, 1999, p. 610). For example, carrying
a branded product may imply the buyer's tastes or her social and financial status. The
implied meaning behind the branded product can come from marketing environment such
as advertising, social environment such as how other people interpret the meaning of the
product, and individual environment-how the consumer wishes to present himself or to
be perceived by others (Ligas, 1999).
Advertising in Beauty Industry
The beauty industry considers the target segment as the main determining factor in
applying advertising strategy in different markets. Therefore, as beauty brands meet the
trend of self-expression and can create similar perception towards the brand, a
standardized approach is more likely to be applied (Tai, 1997). For instance, Anna Sui,
the New York based cosmetics company, targets the same group internationally- young,
trendy, and self-expressive consumers. The visual images in its ads attract consumers in
Tokyo, Taipei, and New York, with the only modification of language translation, or
even without it.
Domzal and Kernan (1993) also believe that some beauty products are qualified for
"global" advertising. By "global" advertising, they referred to international
advertisements that "are addressed to multinational audiences" and it implies "a
uniformity, not necessarily an exact replication" (Domzal & Kernan, 1993, p. 18).
Therefore, global advertisements are not "absolutely standardized ones", and local
language might be adopted in many cases (Domzal & Kernan, 1993, p. 18).
It is very common that celebrities or famous models endorse beauty products. It is
because marketers acknowledge that many purchasing decisions of beauty goods are
made based on consumers' identity or projective image to the celebrity or model in the
advertisements. As Bocock (1993) stated, "people try to become the being they desire to
be by consuming the items they imagine will help create and sustain their ideas of
themselves, their image, and their identity" (p. 23). In addition, Tai (1997) pointed out
that the major benefits of a standardized advertising strategy in Asia markets include "the
creation of a stronger international identity through consistent positioning and image
across markets over time and cost reduction through economies of scale in advertising
production, sharing of experience and effective use of advertising budget" (p. 53).
Few media possess the power to influence fashion trends more than magazines.
For cosmetics marketing, magazines play a crucial role to the advertising mix. As
consumers become more aware of the latest fashion styles through magazines, the more
desire they want to catch up with it (Frings, 2001). Consumers also seek for beauty
information and advice for their styling and buying decisions from fashion magazines.
Fashion magazines provide readers the bridge that links the "real" and the "fantastic." By
looking at the photographic images in advertisements, readers can gain the pleasure of
"re-creating the body and the pleasure of masquerade" (Rabine, 1994).
Advertising Practice in Taiwan
Tai's (1997) research showed that most multinational firms apply an adaptation
strategy by using the same positioning and main theme as in home country, while using
different creative executions in Taiwan market. Many Taiwanese advertising studies
showed that "traditional values have not been reflected as much as expected" and "the
link between traditional culture and advertising content is not that obvious" (Shao,
Raymond & Taylor, 1999). The frequent use of the "hard-sell" approach that focuses on
special product attributes and information on product availability in Taiwanese
commercials is also less consistent with traditional culture (Zandpour et al., 1992).
Based on the concept of "Simon's creative strategies", Chang (1991) suggests that
the most informative commercials tend to be for personal care cosmetics drugs products.
In addition, this product category was most likely to utilize information and imitation
strategies, and brand-familiarization and symbolic association were less likely to be
applied (Chang, 1991; Cho, 1993). Cho (1993) pointed out that cultures with higher
levels of uncertainty avoidance and little tolerance for ambiguity, such as Taiwan, were
more likely to employ the argument strategy, which provides explicit information. Wang
et al. (1997) found that more western appeals, such as individualism, youth, modernity, or
independency, than eastern appeals, such as traditional approaches, "soft-sell" or group
consensus appeals, were used in Taiwanese magazine advertisements. The high
frequency of western appeals and themes in Taiwan may result from an adoration of
western brands, "its history of acceptance of foreign cultures, the impact of global
advertising agencies, and the training background of Taiwanese advertising industry
personnel" (Shao et al., 1999, p.66).
The employment of English language and foreign models in advertisements is very
common in Taiwan (Neelankavil et al., 1995). Shi's (2000) research on 1263
advertisements in Taiwan magazines (577), newspaper (544), and TV (142) found out
that English language appeared most frequently in product and company names.
Clothing, cosmetics and accessories were three of the top ten product categories that
employed English in the advertisements. Approximately 92% advertisements that carried
English language were used with Chinese. Shi (2000) pointed out that "English mixing in
advertisements in Taiwan serves as an attention gather, symbolizing internationalism,
fashion, quality guarantee, and highly developed industrial innovations." (p. 5).
This chapter has reviewed research most relevant to the comparing cosmetic
advertising practices in Taiwan by pointing out how culture, product nature, and the
special beauty idea of pale skin may affect international advertising strategies. Based
upon previous research, the next chapter will now discuss the methodological approach
and present the operational definitions used in the study.
The methodology for this study is designed to explore the advertising appeals in
Taiwan. In order to find out whether the project hypotheses are supported, a research
method of content analysis will be used.
Content analysis originated in the 1950s as a quantitative approach to make valid
inferences from media text through a set of procedures (Riffe et al., 1998), which
facilitates the production of core constructs from textual data through a systematic
method of reduction and analysis and is increasingly undertaken through computerized
software (Priest et al., 2002). Holsti (1968) defined content analysis as a technique for
"making inferences by systematically and objectively identifying specified characteristics
of messages" (pl4). It is a method for "determining the values, themes, role prescriptions,
norms of behavior, and other elements of a culture" from collecting and analyzing
messages in communication process (Engel, Kollat & Blackwell, 1968). Content analysis
is widely used by exploratory studies because it is particularly helpful to researchers for
finding answers to the question where the method is applied (Priest et al., 2002).
Quantitative content analysis is the "systematic and replicable examination of
symbols of communication, which have been assigned numeric values according to valid
measurement rules, and the analysis of relationship involving those values using
statistical methods, in order to describe the communication, draw inferences about its
meaning, or infer from the communication to its context, both of production and
consumption" (Riffe et al., 1998, p. 20). To have objectivity, the research has to be
designed to obtain the same results from the same documents when carrying out by other
people (Holsti, 1968). A consistently applied criterion of selection allows a systematic
analysis to include and exclude of content or categories so that we can avoid the
possibility that only materials supporting the researchers' hypotheses are examined
(Holsti, 1968). Another important element of content analysis is generality. Generality
means that findings must have theoretical relevance so that the study results are of
scientific values (Haggarty, 1996).
When categorizing content, researchers have to make sure that the categories
represent the elements of their theories (Holsti, 1968). Analyzed text will be coded into
established categories to support the generation of ideas (Priest et al., 2002). Each time
when a similar piece of text or idea unit attributed to a particular category appears, it will
be counted. Categories have to be exhaustive so that every item relevant to the study will
be grouped (Holsti, 1968). In addition, they have to be mutually exclusive, so that each
item will only be counted once within a category set (Holsti, 1968).
Quantitative content analysis has been criticized for some drawbacks. Kerlinger
(1973) suggests that most content analysis is used simply to "determine the relative
emphasis or frequency of various communication phenomena" and not infer to theoretical
concepts (p. 525). It is criticized for stressing too much on comparative frequency of
different symbols' appearance so that sometimes even the presence of a single
particularly important symbol may bring significant impact to a message (Riffe et al.,
1998). Holsti (1969) also pointed out that quantification leads to trivialization, and
problems may be selected due to their quantifiability and therefore become more
significant than reality. Kracauer (1953) argued that quantifying text may lose meaning
through radical reduction.
As the purpose of this study is to exam advertising messages, content analysis
serves as a propitiate approach which allows the quantitative observation of advertising
contents of print commercials in magazines to be analyzed systematically and reliably so
that we can make generalizations from them in relation to the categories in this study. A
second male coder whose native language is also Mandarin will code 10% of the samples
to establish intercoder reliability. The coder will attend a training cession, and sample ads
will be provided to assist in using the instrument. The level of acceptance (R) will use
Hosti's (1963) formula:
R= 2(C1,2) / C1+C2
Where C1,2= number of category assignments both coders agree on
Ci+C2= total category assignments made by both coders
Unit of Analysis
The units of analysis for this study were advertisements chosen from three
magazines-Elle U.S., Elle Taiwan, and a local women fashion magazine Nong-Nong,
from July 2001 to August 2002. Each advertisement of a one-third page in magazines or
more, which included personal care products (moisturizer, facial cream, facial mask,
toner, essence, lotion, and sun-care products) and cosmetics (lipsticks, foundation,
mascara, and eye shadow) was analyzed.
The reason Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong were selected because they were in the top
ten effective advertising magazines in Taiwan in 2000, according to Advertising
Magazine (2001). The international-oriented images and styles of Elle Taiwan attract
western advertisers more than local magazines (Kao, 2002), while the local-oriented
magazine, Nong-Nong, with a strong female readership, attracts both western and local as
well as Japanese advertisers. In addition, Nong-Nong is the only women magazine that
can compete in readership with other international magazines. Its readership is urban
working females ages from twenty to thirty-five. Unlike Elle Taiwan, which is more
imagery and visual oriented, Nong-Nong is more Japanese style oriented, namely more
content of useful daily beauty information that teach readers how to make-up and dress
An even number was randomly chosen, and the months of October 2001,
December 2001, February 2002, April 2002, June 2002, and August 2002, were selected.
Approximately 350-450 of ads will be derived from these magazines. The ads will
represent both personal care product ads and cosmetic ads. Fifteen ads will be randomly
chosen in each magazine per month. If there are less than fifteen ads in a single
magazine, all ads qualified to research categories will be selected. The number of seven
was randomly picked and will be where the first sampling ad starts.
Coding Categories and Variables
There will be 22 variables categorized in this study. The origin of the ad (magazine
and month) and its size (one-third page, half page, one page, double page spread, more
than two pages, or other) will be coded. Product origin (Taiwan, Japan, U.S.A, France,
other European countries, or other) and brand name will also be coded. Products in the
ads will be categorized into personal care with or without whitening effects, cosmetics
with or without whitening effects, and other. Ads will be categorized into editorial, pure
product, or promotional ad (with samples, coupons or declaration of beauty seminar or
special offers, such as discounted price, special packages for a limited time).
The advertisement layout will be categorized into visual only, copy only, or visual
and copy. Those ads that only have brand name, product line, and/or small headline will
be coded as visual-only ads. The visual size will be coded depending on its percentage in
the ad (25%, 33%, 50%, 66%, 75%, or 100%). The copy size will be examined in two
ways: whether it is headline only, headline with paragraph(s) (one paragraph, two
paragraphs, or more than two paragraphs), or other; how much percentage the copy size
is in the ad (headline and/or brand name only, less than 25%, 25%-33%, 34%-50%,
51%-66%, 67%-75%, or more than 75%). Product promotional/ trial device in the ad
will be recorded when it carries coupon, entry level form (ex: contest, seminar), sample,
announcement of activities (ex: make-up shows), or there are special offers in the ad,
such as discounted price, special packages for a limited time, or non-priced deal with a
particular purchase; otherwise, ads will be coded as no trial/ promotional device.
The origin (eastern, western, both, or can't code) of models in ads will be coded.
The researcher went to a department store and consulted with a .h/ne/J,, sales personnel
about what foundation shade would be considered as medium skin tone in Taiwan. The
degree of models' "whiteness" will be determined by comparing models' complexions
with the foundation shade and will be coded as light, medium, dark, or not applicable if
the model is presented as black-and-white or only body part presented in the ad. Product
presence and the arrangement of products and models (model dominated, product
dominated, or equal presence) in the ad will also be coded.
This study will apply some of Resnik-Stern's information cues (1977) to examine
copy information: price, quality, performance, components, special packaging or shape,
safety features of products, availability, special offers, results of independent research,
company research. Taste, guarantees and warranty, new idea, and nutrition will be
excluded from this study because personal care products and cosmetics are not related to
the information classification. Copy information for ads which feature their products as
specially tailored for Asian women will be coded as "quality." Copy information for ads
which claim their products are mild and/or not stimulating (suitable for sensitive skins),
100% natural ingredients, no fragrance, or no antiseptic will be coded as "safety
features." Ads that carry information of future beauty seminar will be also coded as
"special offers." Each ad may be coded more than once if applicable to the categories.
Ads will be examined whether they carry information of product attributes, product
benefits, or both; or there is no product attribute and product benefit in the ad (visual-only
ads or not visual-only ads). Whitening effects features in ads will be coded as with
"whitening effect" (mei-bai), or "pale" (bai) wording, with sun block or UV features
only, with "whitening effect" or "pale" wording and sun block or UV features, using
wording other than "whitening effect" or "pale" wording and sun block/UV features,
product without whitening effects, or other.
Presence of language in the ad will be categorized as Chinese, Japanese, English,
French, Chinese and English, Chinese and Japanese, Chinese and French, or other. Ads
that have brand name and product components in foreign language and copy is presented
in Chinese will be coded as "Chinese." Language adaptation for headline will be
examined whether there is Chinese translation or it is a Chinese-only eastern product ad,
an eastern product ad but with English and Chinese translation, or a Chinese-only western
product ad. For this category, even the brand name is presented as foreign language and
without translation will not be considered as "without Chinese translation."
Advertising creative strategy will be scrutinized based on Simon's (1971) creative
strategy. Ads may have multiple categories if applicable to the classification:
information, argument, command, imitation, obligation, habit-starting, repeated assertion,
brand familiarization, symbolic association, and motivation with psychological appeals.
For editorial ads that have models to demonstrate how to use cosmetics or take care of
one's skin with a specific brand product line will be coded as "imitation." For those only
have visual layouts will be coded as "visual only."
Based on previous studies (Rice & Lu, 1988; Chang, 1991) that used Resnik-
Stern's (1977) information classification to determine the information level of
advertisements, this study proposes the following hypothesis:
HI: Advertisements in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain a greater level of
information content than copy for ads in Elle U.S..
H2: Elle U.S. will contain less editorial advertisements than Elle Taiwan and
The study assumes that magazines issued in Taiwan will be more adapted to local
culture and reflect the special beauty idea of pale skin. Hence, the study proposes that:
H3: Advertisements in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will carry more promotional
devices than ads in Elle U.S..
H4: Advertisements in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain more eastern
models than ads in Elle U.S..
H5: Advertisements in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain more light-skinned
models than ads in Elle U.S..
H6: Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain more advertisements of product with
whitening effects than Elle U.S..
Though previous research suggests that more western appeals than eastern appeals
were used in Taiwan magazine advertisements (Wang et al., 1997; Shao et al., 1999), the
study would like to modify it and propose that this phenomenon is more applicable to
Taiwan editions of international periodicals than local Taiwanese magazines and that
local Taiwanese magazines will be more adapted than Taiwan editions of international
periodicals. Therefore, the study will explore with the following hypotheses:
H7: Advertisements in Nong-Nong will contain a greater number of eastern models
than ads in Elle Taiwan.
H8: Nong-Nong will have a higher percentage of local and Japanese product
advertisements than Elle Taiwan will have.
H9: Elle Taiwan will have a higher percentage of western product advertisements
than Nong-Nong will have.
H10: Advertisements of products with whitening effects in Nong-Nong will use
more wording of "whitening effects" (mei-bai) or "pale" (bai) than ads in Elle
H11: Advertisements in Nong-Nong will have a greater number of language
adaptations than advertisements in Elle Taiwan.
H12: Advertisements in Nong-Nong will contain a greater level of information than
ads in Elle Taiwan.
Because of the differences in product category (Harris, 1984; Quelch & Hoff, 1986;
Domzal & Kernan, 1993; Chen & Starosta, 1998), product involvement (Rothschild,
1987), and product positioning (Jain, 1989; Mueller, 1996), the level of standardization
varies (Leo, 1964; Buzzell, 1968; Miracle, 1968; Peebles, Ryans, and Vernon, 1977;
Boddewyn, 1986) in order to reflect cultural uniqueness in the local market (Harich &
Zandpour, 2000). In other words, as cosmetic products can create similar perception
towards the brand and are consistent with cultural norms, a standardized approach is
more likely to be applied (Domzal & Kernan, 1993; Tai, 1997; Leach & Liu, 1998;
Briley, Morris & Simonson, 2000). Previous research also pointed out that ads of
personal care-cosmetics-drugs products in Taiwan tend to be more informative (Chang,
1991) and frequently use argument strategy (Cho, 1993). Therefore, the study proposes
H13: Personal care product ads will have a greater number of language adaptations
than cosmetic ads will have.
H14: Cosmetic ads will use more western models than ads of personal care products
Based on Alden, Steenkamp and Batra's (1999) concept of "global consumer culture
positioning", the study proposes that:
H15: Personal care product ads will contain a greater number of product attributes
than cosmetic ads.
H16: Personal care product ads will contain a greater level of information than
H17: Advertisements of products with whitening effects will contain a greater level
of information than ads of products without whitening effects.
H18: Cosmetic ads will use less argument strategy than personal care product ads.
H19 Cosmetic ads will use more visual imagery than personal care product ads.
H20: Cosmetic ads will have a greater level of implicitness than personal care
Descriptions of the Sample
There were a total number of 403 ads-67 from Elle U.S., 162 from Elle Taiwan,
and 174 from Nong-Nong. A hundred and ninety-six ads were pulled out from fall and
winter issues, and 208 ads came from spring and summer. Fifty-four percent of the ads
were personal care and 46% of them were cosmetics (see Table 4-1). Products with
whitening effects appeared in 22% of all the ads. Within each product category, 38% of
personal care product ads and 5% cosmetic ads had whitening effects. Ads that featured
whitening effects mainly came from April, June, and August issues (76%). More than
55% of ads in Elle U.S. and about 40% of ads in Elle Taiwan were one-page. More than
50% of ads in Nong-Nong were double-page spread or had an advertisement size of more
than two pages. However, there was no significant difference found between magazines'
advertising placement size. Ten percent of the sample was coded by second coder to
determine intercoder reliability. The intercoder reliability was found to be 81.8% using
Holsti's formula (1963), which satisfied the degree of acceptance.
Ads in Elle U.S. were mainly one page (56%), while more ads in Elle Taiwan and
Nong-Nong were two pages or more (see Table 4-2). The promotional ads with entry
forms appeared in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong were usually half-page ads. Ads that were
greater than two pages were usually editorial ads.
Table 4-1 Product Categories by Magazines
Elle US Elle Taiwan Nong-Nong Total
Personal care with Count 0 38 42 80
whitening effect % within Product .0% 47.5% 52.5% 100.0%
Personal care w/o Count 27 48 58 133
whitening effect % within Product
20.3% 36.1% 43.6% 100.0%
Cosmetics with Count 0 4 5 9
whitening effect % within Product .0% 44.4% 55.6% 100.0%
Cosmetics w/o Count 39 65 67 171
whitening effect % within Product 22.8% 38.0% 39.2% 100.0%
Total Count 67 163 174 404
% within Product 16.6% 40.3% 43.1% 100.0%
X2 =24.4, df =6, p<.05
Table 4-2 Advertisement Size by Magazines
Less than 2 pages
1 page 1 page or above Total
Elle US Count 12 37 18 67
% within Magazine 17.9% 55.2% 26.9% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 28 63 72 163
% within Magazine 17.2% 38.7% 44.2% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 28 53 93 174
% within Magazine 16.1% 30.5% 53.4% 100.0%
Total Count 68 153 183 404
% within Magazine 16.8% 37.9% 45.3% 100.0%
X2=16.08, df=4, p<.05
Ads in all magazines usually displayed product attributes with explicit product
benefits (see Table 4-3). Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong carried more product-benefit-only
ads than Elle U.S.. Most product-attribute-only ads appeared in Elle U.S..
Table 4-3 Product Attributes and Benefits by Magazines
ATTRIBUTE & BENEFIT IN AD
Attributes only Attributes & benefits Benefits only Total
Elle US Count 5 53 6 64
% within Magazine 7.8% 82.8% 9.4% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 1 130 23 154
% within Magazine .6% 84.4% 14.9% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 1 155 13 169
% within Magazine .6% 91.7% 7.7% 100.0%
Total Count 7 338 42 387
% within Magazine 1.8% 87.3% 10.9% 100.0%
Most ads had product presence (98%). Elle U.S. and Nong-Nong had more model-
dominant ads than Elle Taiwan (see Table 4-4). However, no significant association was
found between magazine type and arrangement of model and product in ads.
Table 4-4 Arrangement of Model and Product by Magazines
Model dominant Product dominant Total
Elle US Count 35 21 56
% within Magazine 62.5% 37.5% 100%
Elle Taiwan Count 66 70 136
% within Magazine 48.5% 51.5% 100%
Nong-Nong Count 85 69 154
% within Magazine 55.2% 44.8% 100%
Total Count 186 160 346
% within Magazine 53.8% 46.2% 100%
2 =4.096, df =2, p
Based on Resnik and Stem's information classification (1977), the finding shows
that "product performance" was the most frequently used information cue in all three
magazines, followed by "product components or contents", "availability", and "quality"
(see Appendix A-i, p. 64). Only one ad in Elle U.S. mentioned "price", compared with
about 20% in Elle Taiwan and 30% in Nong-Nong. In addition, only one ad in Elle U.S.
mentioned "special packaging or shape" or "special offers", while more than 10% of ads
in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong carried these information cues. No statistical test of
association was run due to the number of empty cells counts of less than five.
Most ads in Elle U.S. contained no promotional devices (see Table 4-5). The
descriptive percentages show that special offers were the most frequently used
promotional devices in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong, followed by entry forms. However,
no statistical test of association between magazine and promotional device types was
found due to the high number of empty cells that counts of less than five.
Table 4-5 Promotional Device Type by Magazines
None Coupon form Sample Activity offer Total
Elle US Count 63 0 1 2 0 0 66
% within Magazine 95.5% .0% 1.5% 3.0% .0% .0% 100%
Elle Taiwan Count 128 5 8 2 4 13 160
% within Magazine 80.0% 3.1% 5.0% 1.3% 2.5% 8.1% 100%
Nong-Nong Count 128 5 11 2 6 16 168
% within Magazine 76.2% 3.0% 6.5% 1.2% 3.6% 9.5% 100%
Total Count 319 10 20 6 10 29 394
% within Magazine 81.0% 2.5% 5.1% 1.5% 2.5% 7.4% 100%
X2 =16.20, df =10, p
Based on Simon's creative strategy system (1971), this study shows that most ads
in all three magazines used only one creative appeal. Descriptive percentages in
Appendix A-2 (p. 65) show that "argument" (a strategy providing facts and reasons for
purchasing the product) was the most common appeal among the three magazines,
followed by "imitation" (testimonial by celebrities or by individuals unknown but
consumers can readily identify with due to specified characteristics), and "symbolic
association" (subtle presentations linking the product to positive symbols). Most
"symbolic association" ads appeared in Nong-Nong and Elle Taiwan. Like the other two
magazines, most ads in Nong-Nong employed the "argument" strategy. However, Nong-
Nong had more pure "imitation" appeals in ads. Elle Taiwan and Elle U.S. had more
"argument and imitation" appeals. In addition, Elle Taiwan appeared to contain more
"motivation with psychological appeal" and "symbolic association" strategies than the
other two magazines. Elle U.S. had a larger percentage of "information" and "argument
and imitation" appeal ads than did Nong-Nong and Elle Taiwan. Again, no statistical test
of association would be performed due to the high number of empty cells that counts of
less than five.
Elle U.S. vs. Elle Taiwan & Nong-Nong
HI: Advertisements in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain a greater level of
information content than copy for ads in Elle U.S..
The finding shows a significant difference in the number of ads in Elle Taiwan and
Nong-Nong regarding the level of information than did Elle U.S.. Most ads in Elle U.S.
were headline only or headline with one paragraph (see Table 4-6). About half the ads in
Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong contained a headline with two paragraphs or more. Most ads
inElle U.S. had copy size between 25-50%, and less than 15% of the ads had copy size
more than 50%.
On the contrary, there were more ads with copy size of more than 50% of the
layout in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong (see Table 4-7). In addition, ads in Elle Taiwan
and Nong-Nong carried more information cues than Elle U.S. (see Table 4-8). Elle U.S.
contained more ads with one to two information cues than did Elle Taiwan and Nong-
Nong. In addition, more than half the ads with four information cues or more appeared in
Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong. HI is supported.
Table 4-6 Advertising Copy Size by Magazines -1
Headline only or Headline with 2
with one paragraph paragraphs or above Total
Elle US Count 41 19 60
% within Magazine 68.3% 31.7% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 82 75 158
% within Magazine 51.9% 47.5% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 82 92 174
% within Magazine 47.1% 52.9% 100.0%
Total Count 205 186 392
% within Magazine 52.3% 47.4% 100.0%
X2=9.56, df =4, p<.05
Table 4-7 Advertising Copy Size by Magazines 2
Less than 25% 25%~50% More than 50% Total
Elle US Count 19 39 9 67
% within Magazine 28.4% 58.2% 13.4% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 39 78 46 163
% within Magazine 23.9% 47.9% 28.2% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 34 71 69 174
% within Magazine 19.5% 40.8% 39.7% 100.0%
Total Count 92 188 124 404
% within Magazine 22.8% 46.5% 30.7% 100.0%
X2=21.96, df=6, p<.05
Table 4-8 Number of Information Cues by Magazines
1-2 3 4 or above Total
Elle US Count 50 14 3 67
% within Magazine 74.6% 20.9% 4.5% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 83 39 41 163
% within Magazine 50.9% 23.9% 25.2% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 83 48 43 174
% within Magazine 47.7% 27.6% 24.7% 100.0%
Total Count 216 101 87 404
% within Magazine 53.5% 25.0% 21.5% 100.0%
X2=18.74, df=4, p<.05
H2: Elle U.S. will contain less editorial ads than Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong.
As Table 4-9 shows, Elle U.S. contained less editorial ads, and ads in Elle U.S.
were mostly pure product ads. In contrast, advertising strategies in Elle Taiwan and
Nong-Nong were more diverse; 17% ads in Elle Taiwan and 23% in Nong-Nong were
editorial ads. Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong also contained more promotional ads than Elle
U.S.. H2 is therefore supported.
H3: Ads in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will carry more promotional
devices than ads in Elle U.S..
As Table 4-10 shows, 22% of ads in Elle Taiwan and 26% of ads in Nong-Nong
had promotional devices, compared to 7.5% in Elle U.S.. Therefore, H3 is supported.
Table 4-9 Advertisement Categories by Magazines
Editorial Pure product Promotional Total
Elle US Count 0 66 1 67
% within Magazine .0% 98.5% 1.5% 100%
Elle Taiwan Count 27 108 28 163
% within Magazine 16.6% 66.3% 17.2% 100%
Nong-Nong Count 40 94 40 174
% within Magazine 23.0% 54.0% 23.0% 100%
Total Count 67 268 69 404
% within Magazine 16.6% 66.3% 17.1% 100%
2 =42.93, df =4, p<.05
Promotional Devices by Magazines
None With promotion Total
Elle US Count 62 5 67
% within Magazine 92.5% 7.5% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 127 36 163
% within Magazine 77.9% 22.1% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 128 45 173
% within Magazine 74.0% 26.0% 100.0%
Total Count 317 86 403
% within Magazine 78.7% 21.3% 100.0%
X2=9.99, df=2, p<.05
H4: Ads in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain more eastern models than ads
in Elle U.S..
The findings suggest a significant association between magazine type and models
shown in ads. Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong contained more eastern models than did Elle
U.S. (see Table 4-11). H4 is supported by the finding.
Table 4-11 Models by Magazines
MODEL (If shown in ads)
Western Eastern Total
Elle US Count 47 0 47
% within MAGAZINE 100.0% .0% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 46 44 90
% within MAGAZINE 51.1% 48.9% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 40 72 112
% within MAGAZINE 35.7% 64.3% 100.0%
Total Count 133 116 249
% within MAGAZINE 53.4% 46.6% 100.0%
2 =54.54, df =2, p<.05
H5: Ads in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain more light-skinned models than
ads in Elle U.S..
As H5 asserted, the finding revealed a significant association between magazine
type and the degrees of models' skin whiteness. Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong contained
more light-skinned models in ads than did Elle U.S. (see Table 4-12). Most models in
Nong-Nong and Elle Taiwan were displayed in a light skin tone; no matter whether the
model was western or eastern looking. On the contrary, Elle U.S. had the highest
percentage of medium and dark-skinned models in ads among the three magazines.
Table 4-12 Degree of Models' Whiteness by Magazines
Degree of Model's Whiteness
Light Medium Dark complexions Total
Elle US Count 17 18 9 23 67
% within MAGAZINE 25.4% 26.9% 13.4% 34.3% 100%
Elle Taiwan Count 76 7 4 29 116
% within MAGAZINE 65.5% 6.0% 3.4% 25.0% 100%
Nong-Nong Count 102 5 4 8 119
% within MAGAZINE 85.7% 4.2% 3.4% 6.7% 100%
Total Count 195 30 17 60 302
% within MAGAZINE 64.6% 9.9% 5.6% 19.9% 100%
X2=77.38, df =6, p<.0.5
H6: Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong will contain more product i/th whitening effects
advertisements than Elle U.S..
About 30% of the ads in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong were product with whitening
effects ads (see Table 4-1). No product with whitening effects ad appeared in Elle U.S..
Therefore, H6 is supported.
Nong-Nong vs. Elle Taiwan
H7: Ads in Nong-Nong will contain a greater number of eastern models than ads in
As Table 4-11 shows above, most models in Elle Taiwan were western, while more
than 60% of models in Nong-Nong were eastern. Therefore, H7 is supported.
H8: Elle Taiwan will have a higher percentage of western product ads than Nong-
Nong will have.
H9: Nong-Nong will have a higher percentage of local and Japanese product ads
than Elle Taiwan will have.
As H8 and H9 asserted, there was a significant difference between products' origins
in these two magazines. Elle Taiwan carried the most European product ads, while most
Asian product ads came from Nong-Nong (see Table 4-13). Furthermore, Elle Taiwan
had more western product ads that were not major brands than did Nong-Nong (see Table
4-14). Concluded from the above findings, H8 and H9 are supported.
Table 4-13 Product Origin by Magazines
Asian country USA European country Total
ElleUS Count 3 45 19 67
% within MAGAZINE 4.5% 67.2% 28.4% 100%
Elle Taiwan Count 52 40 71 163
% within MAGAZINE 31.9% 24.5% 43.6% 100%
Nong-Nong Count 78 38 58 174
% within MAGAZINE 44.8% 21.8% 33.3% 100%
Total Count 133 123 148 404
% within MAGAZINE 32.9% 30.4% 36.6% 100%
X2=6.07, df=2, p<.05
Table 4-14 Brands by Magazines
Major US Major European Major Asian Other western
brand brand brand brand Total
Elle US Count 27 37 3 0 67
% within MAGAZINE 40.3% 55.2% 4.5% .0% 100.0%
Elle Taiwan Count 24 70 52 17 163
% within MAGAZINE 14.7% 42.9% 31.9% 10.4% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 31 57 76 10 174
% within MAGAZINE 17.8% 32.8% 43.7% 5.7% 100.0%
Total Count 63 187 153 1 404
% within MAGAZINE 15.6% 46.3% 37.9% .2% 100.0%
H10: Ads ofproducts n ith whitening effects in Nong-Nong will use more wording of
"whitening effects" (mei-bai) or "pale" (bai) than ads in Elle Taiwan.
Descriptive percentages seem to support H1O-Nong-Nong contained more ads of
products with whitening effects that used wordings of "whitening effects" (mei-bai) or
"pale" (bai) than did Elle Taiwan (see Table 4-15). However, no statistical difference was
found. Therefore, H10 is not supported.
Table 4-15 Wording of Whitening Effects by Magazines1
WORDING OF WHITENING EFFECT
With whitening Other whitening
(mai-bai) only wording Total
Elle Taiwan Count 29 19 48
% within MAGAZINE 60.4% 39.6% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 34 18 52
% within MAGAZINE 65.4% 34.6% 100.0%
Total Count 63 37 100
% within MAGAZINE 63.0% 37.0% 100.0%
(2 =0.096, df=l, p
H11: Ads in Nong-Nong will have a greater number of language adaptations than
ads in Elle Taiwan.
As Table 4-16 shows, there was also a significant difference between language
adaptations in these two magazines. Most ads in Elle Taiwan were in both Chinese and
English (63%) or in Chinese only (23%). More than 50% of ads in Nong-Nong were
Chinese-only, followed by Chinese-and-English. In addition, Nong-Nong had more
Chinese-only ads than Elle Taiwan did. No matter whether it was a western-product ad or
an eastern-product ad. On the other hand, most ads in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong had
Chinese translation for the headline (see Table 4-17). However, Elle Taiwan had more
western product ads that had no Chinese translation for the headline than did Nong-Nong.
H11 is therefore supported by the above findings.
Table 4-16 Language in Ads by MagazinesO
1 Table 4-15 did not include Elle U.S. because there were no ads of products with whitening effects.
2 Table 4-16 did not include Elle U.S. because there were no ads containing Chinese.
Chinese English Chinese with Chinese &
only only other language English Total
Elle Taiwan Count 37 3 20 101 161
% within Magazine 23.0% 1.9% 12.4% 62.7% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 89 0 22 64 174
% within Magazine 51.1% .0% 12.6% 36.8% 100.0%
Total Count 126 3 42 165 335
% within Magazine 37.6% 9.0% 12.5% 49.5% 100.0%
X2=32.91, df=3, p<.05
Table 4-17 Language Adaptation for Headlines by Magazines3
LANGUAGE ADAPTATIONS FOR HEADLINES
Western Product Western Western
with Chinese product (No Eastern Product
Translation Translation) product (Chinese only) Total
Elle Taiwan Count 77 9 50 27 163
% within Magazine 47.2% 5.5% 30.7% 16.6% 100.0%
Nong-Nong Count 54 3 67 50 174
% within Magazine 31.0% 1.7% 38.5% 28.7% 100.0%
Total Count 131 12 117 77 337
% within Magazine 38.9% 3.6% 34.7% 22.8% 100.0%
H12: Ads in Nong-Nong will contain a greater level of information than ads in Elle
As H12 projected, there was also a significant difference in the number of ads
between the information levels in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong. Not only did ads in
Nong-Nong have greater copy size than ads in Elle Taiwan (see Table 4-6 and Table 4-7),
but also ads in Nong-Nong had more information cues than ads in Elle Taiwan (see Table
4-8). Fifty-two percent of the ads in Nong-Nong contained three information cues or
more, compared with 49% in Elle Taiwan. H12 is also supported.
Personal Care vs. Cosmetics
H13: Ads ofpersonal care products will have a greater number of language
adaptations than ads for cosmetics will have.
3 Table 4-17 did not include Elle U.S. because there were no ads containing Chinese.
As H13 asserted, there was a significant difference between language adaptations in
personal care product ads and cosmetic ads. The finding shows more Chinese-only
personal care product ads than cosmetic ads (see Table 4-18). More cosmetic ads were
presented in an English-only text. In addition, western personal care products ads
contained more Chinese-only ads than western cosmetic ads. In contrast, western
cosmetic ads had more ads with no Chinese translation for headlines than personal care
product ads did (see Table 4-19). H13 is supported.
Table 4-18 Language by Product Categories
Chinese English Chinese with Chinese and
only only other language English Total
Personal care Count 78 27 22 87 214
% within Product 36.4% 12.6% 10.3% 40.7% 100.0%
Cosmetics Count 44 41 19 73 177
% within Product 24.9% 23.2% 10.7% 41.2% 100.0%
Total Count 122 68 41 160 391
% within Product 31.2% 17.4% 10.5% 40.9% 100.0%
X2=8.995, df=3, p<.05
Table 4-19 Language Adaptation for Headlines by Product Categories
LANGUAGE ADAPTATIONS FOR HEADLINES
Western product Western Western
with Chinese product (No Eastern product
Translation translation) product (Chinese only) Total
Personal care Count 64 33 66 51 214
% within Product 29.9% 15.4% 30.8% 23.8% 100%
Cosmetics Count 63 45 46 25 179
% within Product 35.2% 25.1% 25.7% 14.0% 100%
Total Count 127 78 112 76 393
% within Product 32.3% 19.8% 28.5% 19.3% 100%
H14: Cosmetic ads will use more western models than personal care product ads
As H14 asserted, there was a significant association between product categories
and models shown in ads. A higher percentage of western models appeared in cosmetic
ads than appeared in personal care product ads (see Table 4-20). In addition, more
cosmetic ads appeared to contain models than personal care product ads. H14 is
Table 4-20 Models by Product Categories
Western Eastern No model
models models shown Total
Personal care Count 63 56 88 207
% within PRODUCT 30.4% 27.1% 42.5% 100.0%
Cosmetics Count 69 57 44 170
% within PRODUCT 40.6% 33.5% 25.9% 100.0%
Total Count 132 113 132 377
% within PRODUCT 35.0% 30.0% 35.0% 100.0%
X2=12.94, df=2, p<.05
H15: Personal care product ads will contain a greater number ofproduct attributes
than cosmetic ads.
Table 4-21 shows a significant association between product attributes in personal
care product ads and cosmetic ads. These ads carried a greater number of product
attributes than cosmetic ads. Most personal care product ads contained information of
product attributes and benefits (96%), while most of benefit-only ads came from
cosmetics. Therefore, H15 is supported.
Table 4-21 Product Attributes and Benefits by Product Categories
ATTRIBUTES & BENEFIT IN ADS
Attributes only Attributes & benefits Benefits only Total
Personal care Count 0 204 8 212
% within PRODUCT .0% 96.2% 3.8% 100.0%
Cosmetics Count 7 126 33 166
% within PRODUCT 4.2% 75.9% 19.9% 100.0%
Total Count 7 330 41 378
% within PRODUCT 1.9% 87.3% 10.8% 100.0%
H16: Personal care product ads will contain a greater level of information than
As H16 stated, there was a significant difference between information levels in
personal care product ads and cosmetics ads. More ads containing a headline with two
paragraphs appeared in personal care product ads than in cosmetic ads (see Table 4-22).
In addition, more personal care product ads had copy size more than 50% of the
advertising layout (see Table 4-23). Furthermore, personal care product ads contained
more information cues than did cosmetic ads (see Table 4-24). H16 is also supported.
Table 4-22 Copy Size by Product Categories 1
Headline only or Headline with 2
with one paragraph paragraphs or above Total
Personal care Count 90 121 211
% within PRODUCT 42.7% 57.3% 100.0%
Cosmetics Count 110 60 171
% within PRODUCT 64.3% 35.1% 100.0%
Total Count 200 181 382
% within PRODUCT 52.4% 47.4% 100.0%
Table 4-23 Copy Size by Product Categories 2
Less than 25% 25%~50% More than 50% Total
Personal care with Count 12 41 28 81
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 14.8% 50.6% 34.6% 100.0%
Personal care w/o Count 19 66 48 133
whitening effect % within PRODUCT
14.3% 49.6% 36.1% 100.0%
Cosmetics with Count 3 3 3 9
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 33.3% 33.3% 33.3% 100.0%
Cosmetics w/o Count 57 72 41 170
whitening effecy % within PRODUCT 33.5% 42.4% 24.1% 100.0%
Total Count 91 182 120 393
% within PRODUCT 23.2% 46.3% 30.5% 100.0%
X2=20.89, df=6, p<.05
HI 7: Ads ofproducts i/ ith whitening effects will contain a greater level of
information than ads ofproducts i iithIt whitening effects.
As Table 4-24 shows, ads of products with whitening effects contained more
information cues than ads of products without whitening effects. However, only
cosmetics with whitening effects ads contained more copy size than cosmetics without
whitening effects ads (see Table 4-23). No similar pattern appeared in personal care
product ads. Therefore, H1 7 is partially supported by these findings.
Table 4-24 Number of Information Cues by Product Categories
1-2 3 4 or above Total
Personal care with Count 24 23 33 80
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 30.0% 28.8% 41.3% 100.0%
Personal care w/o Count 60 36 37 133
whitening effect % within PRODUCT
45.1% 27.1% 27.8% 100.0%
Cosmetics with Count 5 3 1 9
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 55.6% 33.3% 11.1% 100.0%
Cosmetics w/o Count 123 36 12 171
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 71.9% 21.1% 7.0% 100.0%
Total Count 212 98 83 393
% within PRODUCT 53.9% 24.9% 21.1% 100.0%
X2 =21.64, df =6, p<.05
H18: Cosmetic ads will use less argument strategy than personal care product ads.
As Appendix A-3 shows (p. 66), personal care product ads used more "argument"
appeals than cosmetic ads did. In addition, cosmetic ads used more implicit strategies of
"motivation with psychological appeals", "symbolic association", and "imitation" than
personal care ads. The descriptive percentages appear to support H18. However, no
statistical test of association could be determined due to the number of empty cells counts
of less than five. Therefore, H18 is only partially supported.
H19: Cosmetic ads will use more visual imagery than personal care product ads.
As Table 4-25 and Table 4-26 show, personal care product ads had less visual
imagery than cosmetic ads. Not only did most visual-only ads appear in cosmetic ads, but
also cosmetic ads had greater visual size in the advertising layout. In addition, only
products without whitening effects ads had visual-only layout. Though descriptive
percentages seem to support H19, no statistical difference was found between the
advertising visual size and personal care product ads and cosmetic ads. Therefore, H19 is
Table 4-25 Advertising Layouts by Product Categories
Visual only Visual & copy Total
Personal care Count 1 212 214
% within PRODUCT .5% 99.1% 100.0%
Cosmetics Count 10 169 179
% within PRODUCT 5.6% 94.4% 100.0%
Total Count 11 381 393
% within PRODUCT 2.8% 96.9% 100.0%
2 =10.58, df =3, p<.05
Table 4-26 Advertising Visual Size by Product Categories
50% or less 51%-75% More than 75% Total
Personal care with Count 9 23 48 80
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 11.3% 28.8% 60.0% 100.0%
Personal care w/o Count 26 42 65 133
whitening effect % within PRODUCT
19.5% 31.6% 48.9% 100.0%
Cosmetics with Count 1 3 5 9
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 11.1% 33.3% 55.6% 100.0%
Cosmetics w/o Count 16 54 101 171
whitening effect % within PRODUCT 9.4% 31.6% 59.1% 100.0%
Total Count 52 122 219 393
% within PRODUCT 13.2% 31.0% 55.7% 100.0%
2 =6.28, df =6, p
H20: Cosmetic ads will have a greater level of implicitness than personal care
Although there were more benefit-only layouts in cosmetic ads than in personal care
product ads, as H15 suggested, no statistical test of association could be determined
between the advertising appeals and personal care product ads and cosmetic ads (H18).
There were also no statistical difference found between the advertising visual size and
personal care product ads and cosmetic ads (H19). Therefore, H20 is only partially
As Briley, Morris, and Simonson (2000) pointed out, culture exerts its influence
only when "some aspect of the decision task requires that decision makers draw
knowledge structure that differ cross-culturally." In other words, although there are many
differences between western versus Chinese cultures, consumers' decision making would
be affected only when they need to provide rationale for their purchase. The cultural
similarity of countries indicates that local consumers may accept certain standardized
approaches as long as the advertised products are not culturally salient. Therefore, some
cosmetic product advertising appeals in Taiwan are similar, even the same as those in
their home markets.
Elle U.S. vs. Elle Taiwan & Nong-Nong
As a high-context culture, Taiwan society emphasizes non-verbal expression and
physical settings (Stove, 1974). Consequently, advertising messages in Elle Taiwan and
Nong-Nong are usually conveyed either in the physical context or internalized in the
model/ celebrity while less information is conducted explicitly in the ads. There were
more hard-sell appeals used in Elle U.S., while Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong employed
more soft-sell strategies, such as "motivation with psychological appeal" and "symbolic
association", which was particularly true in cosmetic ads.
On the other hand, previous research also suggests that ads in Taiwan's magazines
contain greater levels of information than ads in American magazines. Wang (1997) and
his colleagues found that hard-sell strategy is more prevalent than soft-sell one for high-
involvement products in Taiwan. In order to reduce risk, consumers tend to seek for more
information before purchasing a high-involvement product. The same pattern was also
found in this study. Not only did Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong contain more copy text in
the ads, but they also carried more information cues than Elle U.S. did. In addition, Elle
Taiwan and Nong-Nong tended to use editorial ads to deliver more product information
as consumers in Taiwan rely heavily on women magazines for the latest and useful
fashion and beauty ideas.
As previous research (Zandpour et al., 1992) suggests, ads in Taiwan frequently
employed immediate rewards in the form of free offers and special deals through hard-
sell approaches. It is because Taiwanese consumers are prone to products that have
promotions and are relatively less brand loyal. The findings also show that ads in Elle
Taiwan and Nong-Nong contained more promotional devices than ads in Elle U.S. in
order to draw consumer's attention.
Regarding models in the ads, ads in Elle Taiwan and Nong-Nong contained more
eastern models than ads in Elle U.S. in order to reflect local values. Owing to the embrace
of "pale is beautiful" in Taiwan, this study also reveals advertising approaches in Elle
Taiwan and Nong-Nong that emphasize the "whitening effects", which were rarely found
in Elle U.S.. Most models of dark complexion were coded from Elle U.S., while Elle
Taiwan and Nong-Nong had a much higher percentage of containing light-skinned
models in the ads. In addition, there were no whitening effect product ads in Elle U.S..
Elle Taiwan vs. Nong-Nong
As an international fashion magazine, Elle Taiwan is a mixture of western and
Taiwanese cultures. Instead of being purely standardized or localized, the findings of this
study revealed the mixed approach that Elle Taiwan employed. In general, most ads in
Nong-Nong were Chinese-only or with Chinese translation, while most ads in Elle
Taiwan were Chinese with another language, and some of them were without Chinese
Personal Care Product Ads vs. Cosmetic Ads
As Muller (1996) pointed out, cosmetics are one of the products that can be
promoted through imagery messages which allows standardized ads employed in
different countries. Considered as low-involvement products and less cultural-bound,
advertising strategies for cosmetics were less adapted than personal care products in Elle
Taiwan. In addition, cosmetics are more fashion-oriented, and perhaps purchases are
merely based on brand names instead of product performance. Because most cosmetics
are consistent with local beauty norms, they can be positioned the same in other markets
as at home country. The product nature also allows cosmetic ads to use more visual
imagery than do personal care product ads. These phenomena are also reflected in ads in
Elle Taiwan- more cosmetic ads were standardized than personal care product ads, and
there were less language adaptations, lower information levels, fewer eastern models, as
well as different advertising appeals used in cosmetic ads.
On the other hand, although personal care product ads in Elle Taiwan were more
adapted than cosmetic ads, those ads were still different from ads in Nong-Nong. The
findings showed that there were more personal care product ads that used "global"
strategies (Domzal & Kernan, 1993) in Elle Taiwan, while the same products in Nong-
Nong carried more information cues or used different advertising appeals. Nong-Nong
positions itself as a magazine that contains more useful daily beauty information than
more imagery and visual oriented, like Elle Taiwan.
Acknowledging the local "pale skin" concept, more than half of models in Elle
Taiwan were light-skinned. However, there were still some medium-to-dark-skinned
models in the ads because Elle Taiwan had western product ads that were standardized.
On the contrary, Nong-Nong carried more local and Japanese product ads, and
consequently, most models in Nong-Nong were light-skinned.
Elle Taiwan also carried ads of personal care products with whitening effects.
However, the ways the ads featured the product's functions were different from those in
Nong-Nong. Most ads of cosmetics with whitening effects in Nong-Nong used wordings
that directly pointed out whitening effects, while more ads in Elle-Taiwan used a more
implicit approach to deliver the message. One possible explanation for this might be that
readers of Elle Taiwan are less sensitive to the whitening features than readers of Nong-
Nong, who favor Japanese styles more than western trends.
Eastern Trends vs. Western Trends
Although almost one-third of ads in Elle Taiwan were Asian products, Elle Taiwan
had a higher percentage of containing western cosmetic product ads than Nong-Nong did.
In other words, Nong-Nong had more local and Japanese product ads as a result that
Japanese brands are favorable to consumers in Taiwan, while ads in Elle Taiwan targeted
consumers who are more into major global brands and are not as enthusiastic about
Japanese trends as other consumers are. As a result, ads in Nong-Nong had a higher
tendency of displaying eastern-looking models than in Elle Taiwan. Furthermore, there
were more ads of non-maj or European brands in Nong-Nong, as there are many retail
stores or beauty salons in Taiwan where local consumers also purchase beauty products
carrying those product lines.
An interesting finding was no matter in Elle Taiwan or in Nong-Nong, ads of
American products were more adapted than European products, as there were more
promotional and editorial ads of American brands, while most European product ads
were pure ads. In addition, less American brands in Elle Taiwan were pure product ads
than in Nong-Nong. One explanation for this is that American advertisers were aware that
consumers in Taiwan were less familiar with western brands than Asian brands, so it was
necessary to tell consumers more about their products in an editorial form or carry
promotional devices in the ads to promote product trial and purchase. On the contrary,
because most readership of Nong-Nong come from consumers who are more interested in
Asian styles, western product ads were more like introductions of products to the market,
instead of delivering more in-depth descriptions as Asian brands did in their ads.
Implications for International Advertisers
When creating ads of cosmetic products in Taiwan, the first thing international
marketers should consider is the nature of product. As the study showed, a standardized
approach is suitable for cosmetics without whitening effects, owing to the "universal"
desire so that no specific needs to be addressed in different markets. However, for
cosmetics with whitening effects, typically foundations, a mixed or a more adapted
approach is suggested in order to meet the needs and wants derived from the special
beauty ideas of pale skin.
Being a more uncertainty-avoidant culture, consumers in Taiwan tend to seek more
information when evaluating products, particularly when they are more involved in the
purchase. Therefore, personal care product ads need to be more aware of the culture
norms and thus, require more adaptation than cosmetics ads. Using direct and explicit
text to emphasize the whitening effects is strongly recommend for personal care product
ads because such wordings like whitening (mei-bai) or pale (bai) are eye-catching and
can attract consumers' attention and interest to process the advertising messages.
Owing to severe competition in Taiwan's beauty industry, western marketers
should come up with distinctive advertising messages that differentiate their products
from their competitors. However, unless consumers identify with the benefits and
attributes the product carries, they would rather purchase eastern products that they are
more accustomed to and have more confidence in. Therefore, when more culture
meanings inherited in the products, more adaptation, or at least mixed approach is
The major drawback of this study was the lack representativeness of ads from Elle
U.S.. Perhaps the economic recession after September 11 in 2001 may have resulted in
fewer cosmetic product ads being placed in Elle U.S.. However, other fashion magazines
in U.S. appeared to carry more cosmetic product ads than in Elle U.S.. This may have
hindered this study to code more completely the advertising patterns in the U.S..
Additionally, how the copy size is calculated may lead to different results. Another
limitation of this study is how the creative strategy defined may vary as different
researchers using the same system to verify which advertising appeals are employed in
Suggestions for Future Research
It is necessary that future study compare other magazines, such as Vogue and Marie
Claire, which carry more cosmetics and personal care product ads in both U.S. and
Taiwan and see if the results are similar to this study. In addition, future study should also
take magazines' readership into consideration, as different age groups and target
audiences may lead to different advertising strategies. Furthermore, owing to different
characteristics of print media, broadcast media, what was found in magazines may not
necessary true for television. Therefore, it is also beneficial to compare TV commercials
of cosmetic products in Taiwan and U.S. in order to determine better advertising
strategies for both media. This study should also be replicated with a larger sample size,
particularly personal care products with whitening effects, to identify variables not
reviewed in this study. More specifically, there should be a special section that compares
products with UV and sun block functions with products with whitening effects to
determine how ads for products of anti-radiate from sunshine can tailor themselves for
the local beauty culture while still featuring its core product attributes.
TABLES OF RESULTS
Table A-i Information Cues by Magazines
Elle US Elle Taiwan Nong-Nong Total
% within MAGAZINE
7 Count 2 4 4 10
% within MAGAZINE 3.0% 2.5% 2.3% 2.5%
11 Count 1 3 2 6
% within MAGAZINE 1.5% 1.8% 1.1% 1.5%
1-2-3-4-7 Count 5 2 7
% within MAGAZINE 3.1% 1.1% 1.7%
1-2-3-8 Count 3 6 9
% within MAGAZINE 1.8% 3.4% 2.2%
1-3 Count 7 13 20
% within MAGAZINE 4.3% 7.5% 5.0%
1-3-4-7 Count 5 6 11
% within MAGAZINE 3.1% 3.4% 2.7%
1-3-4-8 Count 1 5 6
% within MAGAZINE .6% 2.9% 1.5%
1-3-4-5-7-8 Count 4 11 15
% within MAGAZINE 2.5% 6.3% 3.8%
2-3 Count 8 2 5 15
% within MAGAZINE 11.9% 1.2% 2.9% 3.7%
2-3-4 Count 5 14 11 30
% within MAGAZINE 7.5% 8.6% 6.3% 7.4%
2-3-4-10 Count 2 3 3 8
% within MAGAZINE 3.0% 1.8% 1.8% 2.0%
2-3-4-6 Count 5 4 9
% within MAGAZINE 3.1% 2.3% 2.2%
2-3-4-7 Count 5 3 8
% within MAGAZINE 3.1% 1.7% 2.0%
1-2-3-4 Count 1 5 5 11
% within MAGAZINE 1.5% 3.0% 2.9% 2.7%
2-7 Count 7 7
% within MAGAZINE 10.5% 1.7%
3-4 Count 11 17 26 54
% within MAGAZINE 16.4% 10.4% 15.0% 13.2%
3-4-10 Count 3 5 3 11
% within MAGAZINE 4.5% 3.1% 1.7% 2.7%
3-4-7 Count 4 9 6 19
% within MAGAZINE 6.0% 5.5% 3.5% 4.7%
3-4-7-8 Count 5 4 9
% within MAGAZINE 3.1% 2.3% 2.2%
3-5 Count 4 5 9
% within MAGAZINE 2.5% 2.9% 2.2%
3-7 Count 7 17 7 31
% within MAGAZINE 110.4% 0.4% 4.0% 7.6%
% within MAGAZINE
Total Count 65 157 168 390
% within MAGAZINE 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Note: 1-Price, 2-Quality, 3-Performance, 4-Components or contents,
5-Special packaging or shape, 6-Safety features, 7-Availability,
8-Special offers, 9-Results of independent research,
10-Company sponsored research, 11-Visual only
Table A-2 Advertising Appeals by Magazines
Elle US Elle Taiwan Nong-Nong Total
1 Count 2 4 0 6
% within MAGAZINE 3.0% 2.5% .0% 1.5%
10 Count 3 13 9 25
% within MAGAZINE 4.5% 8.0% 5.2% 6.2%
2 Count 36 70 62 168
% within MAGAZINE 53.7% 43.0% 35.6% 41.6%
2-4 Count 11 17 13 41
% within MAGAZINE 16.4% 10.4% 7.5% 10.1%
3 Count 1 0 3 4
% within MAGAZINE 1.5% .0% 1.7% 1.0%
4 Count 1 9 37 47
% within MAGAZINE 1.5% 5.5% 21.3% 11.9%
4-7 Count 0 0 8 8
% within MAGAZINE .0% .0% 4.6% 2.0%
7 Count 0 11 18 29
% within MAGAZINE .0% 6.8% 10.4% 7.1%
8 Count 0 4 5 9
% within MAGAZINE .0% 2.5% 2.9% 2.2%
9 Count 7 19 18 44
% within MAGAZINE 4.5% 11.6% 10.3% 10.9%
Total Count 61 147 173 381
% within MAGAZINE 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
-Information, 2-Argument, 3-Command, 4-Imitation,
-Repeated assertion, 8-Brand familiarization,
9-Symbolic association, 10-Motivation with psychological appeals
Table A-3 Advertising Appeals by Product Categories
Personal care Cosmetics Total
% within PRODUCT
10 Count 5 20 25
% within PRODUCT 2.3% 11.1% 6.4%
1-4 Count 0 5 5
% within PRODUCT .0% 2.8% 1.3%
2 Count 125 36 161
% within PRODUCT 58.7% 20.0% 50.0%
2-4 Count 18 24 42
% within PRODUCT 8.5% 13.3% 10.7%
3 Count 5 2 7
% within PRODUCT 2.3% 1.1% 1.8%
4 Count 17 24 41
% within PRODUCT 7.9% 13.4% 10.6%
4-7 Count 2 6 8
% within PRODUCT .9% 3.3% 2.0%
7 Count 12 12 24
% within PRODUCT 5.6% 6.7% 6.1%
8 Count 1 8 9
% within PRODUCT .5% 4.4% 2.3%
% within PRODUCT
Total Count 213 180 393
% within PRODUCT 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
-Information, 2-Argument, 3-Command, 4-Imitation,
-Repeated assertion, 8-Brand familiarization,
-Symbolic association, 10-Motivation with psychological appeals
Case ID #
<1> US Elle
<1> October, 2001
<4> April, 2002
<2> Elle Taiwan
<2> December, 2001
<5> June, 2002
<1> One-third page <2> Half
<4> Double page spread <5>More
V4 Product Category
<1> Personal Care with whitening effects
<2> Personal Care without whitening effects
<3> Cosmetics with whitening effects
<4> Cosmetics without whitening effects
V5 Product origin
<1> Taiwan <2> Japan
<4> France <5> Othei
V6 Brand name
<1> Major U.S. brand <2> Majoi
<3> Major Asian brand <4> Othel
<5> Other eastern brand
V7 Advertisement category
<1> Editorial ad <2> Pure pro
V8 Advertising layout
<1> Visual only <2> Copy
V9 Advertising visual size
<1> 25% <2> 33%
<4> 66% <5> 100%
than two pages
r European country
r European brand
r western brand
<3> February, 2002
<6> August, 2002
<3> One page
<3> Promotional ad
<3> Visual and copy
V10 Product trial/promotional device
<1>None <2> Coupon <3>
<4> Sample <5> Special event <6>
Vila Advertising copy size
<1> Headline only
<2> Headline with one paragraph
<3> Headline with two paragraphs
<4> Headline with more than two paragraphs
V1 lb Advertising copy size
<1> Headline and/or brand name only <2> Less tha
<3> 25%-33% <4> 34%-5(
<5> 51%-66% <6> 67%-75
<7> More than 75%
V12 Copy information
<1> Price <2> Quality
<3> Performance <4> Compoi
<5> Special packaging or shape <6> Safety f
<7> Availability <8> Special
<9> Results of independent research <10> Comp,
<11> Visual Only <12> Not ap
V13 Explicit product benefits in the ad
<1> Information of product attributes only (without explicit benefits)
<2> Information of product attributes with explicit benefits
<3> Product benefits only without product attributes
<4> No product attributes and product benefits (visual-only ad)
<5> No product attributes and product benefits (non visual-only ad)
V14 Origin of model in the ad
<1> Western-looking <2> Eastern-looking
<4> Can't code <5> None
V15 Degree of model's "whiteness"
<1> Light <2> Medium <3>
<4> Mixtures of complexion if more than one models <5>
features of products
V16 Presence of Product
<1> Shown <2> Not shown
V17 Arrangement of model and product
<1> Model dominant <2> Product dominant
<3> Equal presence <4> Can't code
V18 Presence of language in the ad
<1>Chinese <2> Japanese
<3> English <4> French
<5> Chinese and Japanese <6> Chinese and English
<7> Chinese and French <8> Chinese, Japanese, and another language
V19 Language adaptation for headline
<1> With Chinese translation
<2> Without Chinese translation
<3> Eastern product (Chinese only)
<4> Eastern product (with English and translation)
<5> Western product (Chinese only)
V20 Whitening effects feature
<1> With "whitening effect" (mei-bai), or "pale" (bai) wording
<2> With sun block or UV features only
<3> With "whitening effect" or "pale" wording and sun block or UV features
<4> Using wording other than "whitening effect" or "pale" wording and sun block/UV
<5> Product without whitening effects
V21 Creative Strategy
<1> Information <2> Argument
<3> Command <4> Imitation
<5> Obligation <6> Habit-starting
<7> Repeated assertion <8> Brand familiarization
<9> Symbolic association
<10> Motivation with psychological appeals
<11> Not applicable
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Yu-Rong Pu is a current graduate student at the University of Florida and will graduate
in August 2003. She comes from Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. She has a younger
brother and has a blessed life with her family.
Yu-Rong graduated from Taipei First Girl's High and earned her bachelor's degree
in international relations from National Taiwan University, one of the most outstanding
universities in Taiwan. Yu-Rong has been active in extra-curricular activities and
frequently held positions in organizations. She was particularly interested in drama and
fashion and created a very successful stage play with her classmates within only two
weeks for the graduation performance. Studying abroad is always her dream, so she came
to the United States right after her graduation. She earned double master's majors in both
advertising and international business while she studied in UF. She is expecting to
publish her thesis in the near future.
She is a creative, humorous, self-disciplined, and well-organized person. She likes
new things and challenges; she learns experience from failures and feels triumphant
when solving the problem. She likes traveling a lot, and big cities are always her favorite
destinations. Therefore, working in a transnational corporation in big cities is her current
goal for the near future. Being a part of the entertainment or fashion industry is her life-
long dream. It would not be a bad idea for Yu-Rong to deliver her knowledge of
marketing and advertising in universities years later.