Horizontal and vertical cultural differences in the content of advertising appeals

Sharon Shavitt, Timothy P. Johnson, Jing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The distinction between vertical (emphasizing hierarchy) and horizontal (valuing equality) cultures yields novel predictions regarding the prevalence of advertising appeals. A content analysis of 1211 magazine advertisements in five countries (Denmark, Korea, Poland, Russia, U.S.) revealed differences in ad content that underscore the value of this distinction. Patterns in the degree to which ads emphasized status benefits and uniqueness benefits corresponded to the countries' vertical/horizontal cultural classification. These and other patterns of ad benefits are analyzed, and the predictions afforded by the vertical/horizontal distinction versus the broader individualism/collectivism distinction are compared and tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International Consumer Marketing
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Advertising appeals
  • Content analysis
  • Cultural differences
  • Denmark
  • Horizontal culture
  • Individualism-collectivism distinction
  • Korea
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • USA
  • Vertical culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing

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