Special Session: Examining the Effects of Multicultural Integrated Advertising Message Framing on Perceived Benefits of Multiculturalism: An Abstract

Eva Kipnis, Chris Pullig, Catherine Demangeot, Cristina Galalae, Julie Emontspool, Oscar Ybarra, Kimberly Rios

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A strategic shift towards multicultural marketing has manifested in an increase in multicultural integrated advertising (MIA), a type of advertising that aims to simultaneously engage consumers of diverse backgrounds through representations of multiple cultural cues within the material of one campaign (Johnson et al. 2010). In the current context of volatility in intercultural relations, organizations appear to make a concerted effort to promote the principles of cultural diversity through their brands’ voice (e.g., AirBNB – ‘We Accept’). Whether these campaigns have the desired positive effect remains unclear since heightened exposure to advertising portrayals of cultural diversity may lead to resentment among consumers from cultural majority groups (Johnson and Grier 2011).

Our experimental study examines the effects of different MIA appeals framing on perceptions of benefits of multiculturalism and attitudes to intercultural relations by consumers belonging to a market’s cultural majority. We hypothesize that by mobilizing multiple cultural cues to convey a brand’s positive stance towards cultural diversity and inclusiveness, MIA campaigns encourage mental simulations of experiencing multiculturalism, and have a conditioning effect on consumer attitudes towards cultural diversity. Recent studies (Rios and Wynn 2016; Yogeeswaran and Dasgupta 2014) indicate that framing of multiculturalism-related non-visual stimuli affects individuals’ stances on intercultural relations and perceived benefits of multiculturalism. Pro-multiculturalism scenarios framed in concrete versus abstract form can produce unfavorable outcomes among majority group members. We investigated whether consumer responses to MIA reflect the effects of pro-multiculturalism message framing, whereby concrete depictions of cultural diversity elicit lower perceptions of benefits of multiculturalism and higher threat cognitions.

We employed a single factor, three-condition design whereby cultural majority (white) participants were exposed to all-white (control) vs. concretely-framed multicultural (depicting a diverse, engaged group) vs. abstractly-framed multicultural (depicting a diverse, non-engaged group) visual appeals. Participants (n = 209) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions – control (n = 69), abstract (n = 64), or concrete framing (n = 76). Dependent variables included perceived benefits of multiculturalism, symbolic and prototypicality threat, and attitudes towards the ad and brand. Findings reveal significant differences in reactions to appeals’ framing. We discuss how examining the effects of multicultural appeals framing on pro-diversity/inclusiveness sentiment can inform MIA designs that promote positive attitudinal and behavioral changes to cultural diversity and intercultural relations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnlightened Marketing in Challenging Times
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 AMS World Marketing Congress (WMC)
EditorsFelipe Pantoja, Shuang Wu, Nina Krey
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-42545-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-42544-9, 978-3-030-42547-0
StatePublished - Sep 18 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


  • Multicultural integrated advertising
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Threat cognition
  • Perceived benefits of multiculturalism
  • Concrete vs abstract message framing Perceived benefits of multiculturalism Threat cognition


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