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Journal cover: European Journal of Marketing

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Marketing

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Foreign women in Japanese television advertising: Content analyses of a cultural convergence paradigm

Document Information:
Title:Foreign women in Japanese television advertising: Content analyses of a cultural convergence paradigm
Author(s):Drew Martin, (College of Business and Economics, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, Hawaii, USA)
Citation:Drew Martin, (2012) "Foreign women in Japanese television advertising: Content analyses of a cultural convergence paradigm", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 46 Iss: 1/2, pp.157 - 176
Keywords:Acculturation, Advertising effectiveness, Content analysis, Culture, International marketing, Japan
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03090561211189275 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The author is grateful for the valuable comments given by two anonymous reviewers and Arch Woodside for his comments and editing of the manuscript.

Purpose – Acculturation theory shows how foreign actors have evolved in Japanese television commercials. If advertising mirrors culture, foreign businesses trying to advertise products in Japan need to be aware of societal changes and tailor their messages to the preferences of the local population. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – Content analysis explores the changing role of foreign female actors in Japanese television advertising for the years 1992 and 2002. Advertisements' setting, roles, appeals, and verbal and nonverbal communications are tested by chi-square analysis.

Findings – Ads from the 2002 data set show increases in both traditional and modern themes in regards to the location of the ads, roles foreign females play, the advertising appeals, and the use of Japanese communication modalities. The findings suggest that advertisers are consciously or unconsciously incorporating cultural assimilation when ads include foreign actors.

Research limitations/implications – Acculturation theory is useful for explaining cultural shifts to develop more effective advertising messages. Differences in portrayals of foreign people in advertising reflect changes in cultural values that appear to be changing more rapidly due to global trade and communication technology innovations.

Practical implications – Recognizing shifts in cultural norms allows marketers to more effectively communicate with target audiences. Advertisers employing foreign actors may find their messages more effective if local cultural assimilation is used.

Originality/value – This paper identifies and examines changes in communication modalities to show foreign actors displaying Japanese mannerisms. The evidence suggests cultural norms evolve sometimes quickly over time. Even advertisers using a localized approach must carefully monitor changes in cultural norms to assure message effectiveness.

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