Cultural preferences for visual and verbal communication styles in sport advertisements

  • Won Jae Seo
  • Yongjun Sung
  • Seong-Hee Park
Keywords: Sport advertisement, Visual communication, Verbal communication, Cultural preference


Culture is a key issue in the development of marketing communications in international markets as cultures develop distinctive preferences for visual and verbal communications. The individualistic nature of American culture lends itself to a preference for simple, direct visual communication and low-context verbal communication. Koreans are expected to prefer more symbolic communication like complex visuals and high-context verbal communication. This mixed-method study employed an experimental design to examine the effects of context on attitude-to-the-advertisement and attitude-to-the-brand. Sixty-four Korean international students and 64 U.S. American students participated. As hypothesised, Koreans reacted more favourably to advertisements with complex visuals and high-context text. Americans did not exhibit a strong preference for any specific advertisement type. A follow-up interview study examined the reasons for the quantitative findings.

Keywords: Sport advertisement; Visual communication; Verbal communication; Cultural preference


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069