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  1. 1. Content analysis in crosscultural advertising research: insightful or superficial? Dawn Lerman Fordham University Michael Callow Morgan State University Historically, cross-cultural researchers have used content analysis as their primary method for comparing ads. Recently, however, content analysis has been criticised for being a purely descriptive method that provides the researcher with little if any insight regarding advertising effectiveness. To address this methodological limitation, we argue that researchers should incorporate consumer interpretation into their cross-cultural advertising studies. More specifically, we explicate a variation of content analysis that is predicated on consumer interpretation of the advertising under study and test it against the traditional content analytic approach. The results of our study and the implications for future cross-cultural advertising research are discussed. INTRODUCTION Interest in cross-cultural advertising research has led to several empirical studies that examine similarities and differences in advertising content between various countries. It is generally assumed, rightly or wrongly, that advertisements reflect the target market’s values and beliefs (Zhang & Gelb 1996). Researchers have therefore tried to predict the relative frequency of certain advertising appeals and techniques employed in two or more countries based on cultural stereotypes. For example, Biswas et al. (1992) found that French ads tend to rely on sex appeal to a greater extent than American ads, which is consistent with the perception that the French consumer is more sexually liberated and sensual than the American consumer. International Journal of Advertising, 23, pp. 507–521 © 2004 Advertising Association Published by the World Advertising Research Center, Farm Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 1EJ, UK 507
  2. 2. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) Cross-cultural studies of this kind typically use content analysis as the primary method for comparing ads (Samiee & Jeong 1994). Content analysis is a technique used to classify text or objects into predefined categories for the purposes of comparing basic components (i.e. content) of that text or those objects (Krippendorff 1980). Content analysis was originally devised to quantify qualitative data through capture of the presence, or frequency, of a word or object. In advertising, this would include the presence (or absence) of a particular gender (Wiles et al. 1996), of black and white versus colour images (Cutler & Javagli 1992), or of a visual portrayal of the product (Cutler & Javagli 1992). However, content analysis has also been used in a cross-cultural context to capture more complex meanings such as humour (Biswas et al. 1992) and emotions (Graham et al. 1993). Despite its widespread usage, content analysis has been criticised for providing description without prescription (Samiee & Jeong 1994). That is, content analysis tells us what advertising is (i.e. ad content) rather than what it does (i.e. how it effects consumers and society), thus limiting the contribution of such research for both theorybuilding and marketing practice (Kover 2001). This limitation is reflected in the call for and shift towards incorporating consumer interpretation in advertising research (McQuarrie & Mick 1999). Methods such as textual analysis, for example, recognise ‘densely convoluted webs of meaning’ (Stern 1996, p. 62) and the effects of such meaning on consumers. Similarly, application of reader-response theory has helped to refocus the attention of advertising researchers to the response side (Scott 1994). Obvious appeal notwithstanding, there is a dearth of cross-cultural research that focuses on the target audience’s interpretation of ads. In this paper, we argue for a shift towards consumer interpretations in cross-cultural advertising research in order to uncover truly interesting and relevant insights that are useful for both academics and practitioners. The paper begins with an exploration of embedded meaning in advertising and its associated methodological implications. We then explicate a variation of content analysis that is predicated on consumer interpretation of the advertising under study (Lerman & Callow 1999) and test it against the traditional approach. The results of our study and the implications for future cross-cultural advertising research are discussed. 508
  3. 3. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH MEANING IN ADVERTISING The interpretation of ads requires more than just semantic understanding. The meaning of an ad is often found in metaphors that are expressed by words and/or pictures (Cook 1992). According to Fraser (1993, p. 332), a metaphor is ‘an instance of nonliteral language in which the intended prepositional content must be determined by the construction of an analogy’. In language, many idiomatic expressions convey metaphors, as is the case with the expression ‘goes over your head’, which Americans and many other English speakers would interpret as signifying ‘incomprehensible to you’ (Cook 1992). Such expressions can appear in ad copy or they can be suggested by the visual elements of an ad. An example of the latter case appears in an ad for Ultra Bold laundry detergent showing money pouring down the drain and in an ad for an insurance firm which shows a competitor literally stealing the shirt from someone’s back (Cook 1992). An understanding of metaphors such as those contained in advertising can also benefit from Saussure’s view that linguistic signs are arbitrary. Cook (1992) exemplifies how this description of the sign can be extended to describe the metaphor ‘the heat is on’. In this example, ‘heat’ is the signifier (i.e. vehicle) and ‘difficulty’ is the corresponding signified (i.e. concept). In Saussure’s semiology, the connection between a signifier and a signified only holds because it is known to hold by the people who use the system. As such, by making appropriate choices and combinations, a person who knows the system encodes his or her thoughts into words and transmits them to another person who is familiar with the same system. Rhetorical theory expresses it this way: a sender ‘crafts a message in anticipation of the audience’s probable response, using shared knowledge of various vocabularies and conventions, as well as common experience’ (Scott 1994, p. 252). The common thread in the various approaches to language and meaning is that metaphors are culturally determined (Fiumara 1995). In advertising, this is the case whether they are expressed through the ad copy or through the visual elements of the ad (Scott 1994). The implication is that an ad appearing in one country may very well be misinterpreted or meaningless in another, since the consumers from these countries do not operate within the same system and do not share the same knowledge. This possibility has methodological 509
  4. 4. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) consequences in cross-cultural advertising research. It is to these consequences that we now turn. CAPTURING MEANING IN ADVERTISING THROUGH CONTENT ANALYSIS As suggested earlier, content analytic studies have become increasingly complex, particularly in the type of content they seek to capture. Although classification based on meaning poses a more challenging task for the coder than does the traditional count, coders are likely to agree on such classifications if they share the knowledge required to interpret the predetermined categories, extract meaning from ads, and relate that meaning to the categories (Eco 1979). In a within-culture (i.e. one country) analysis, judges presumably share the language and cultural systems required for such agreement. Interjudge reliability should therefore be high, provided that the researcher devised coding categories with care and properly trained the judges (Kassarjian 1977). However, cross-cultural content analysis, by its very nature, requires interpretation of material created within two or more language and/or cultural systems. Thus interjudge reliability is not only a function of the coding scheme and judge training, but also of the judges’ understanding of the relevant systems. Cross-cultural researchers often address this issue by selecting bilingual judges. BILINGUAL JUDGES The methodological advantages of judge bilingualism are perhaps best understood by considering the methodological limitations associated with monolingual judges. In using monolingual judges, the researcher must restrict the material coded by each judge to advertisements from the judge’s own country, assuming that ads from the other countries are in a different language. It would also be questionable whether, say, American judges should code Australian or English ads, despite sharing a ‘common’ language. This means that in most cases the material from each country is content-analysed by a separate pair of monolingual judges and that there is no measure of interjudge reliability between the sets of judges. 1 Footnote. 510
  5. 5. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH Suppose, for example, that American judges code ads from the United States and German judges code ads from Germany. Since the researcher cannot calculate interjudge reliability between the American and German judges, s/he would not know whether they applied the set of categories in a consistent fashion. It would be unclear, then, whether the greater frequency of a given appeal, such as humour, in one country versus the other is due to any real difference between the two countries in advertising content or instead to systematic differences in how the German and American judges identified humour. As a result, researchers who are concerned with the validity of their findings often use bilingual judges to content-analyse all ads from the two countries under study. By using bilingual judges, researchers can determine whether a consistent standard has been used to classify material from across the selected countries. One must be careful, however, when selecting ‘bilinguals’ – especially when the codes are complex in nature – to ensure that these judges are truly bilingual in a cultural as well as a linguistic sense. This might imply that the bilingual judge should have spent considerable time residing in both countries and that s/he is familiar with not only the literal elements of the language but also the non-literal elements that are used to build analogies within each culture. In other words, the bilingual judge should also be fluent in the ‘silent language’ (Hall 1959). BILINGUALISM AND THE CAPTURE OF MEANING The use of bilingual judges to code material from the two countries under study enables the researcher to determine whether the codes have been applied consistently to the ads from both countries. In other words, it allows the researcher to calculate an interjudge reliability measure within-country as well as across-countries. However, consistent application of a coding scheme does not guarantee validity, nor does it guarantee that this code is being used in a manner that is relevant to the hypotheses under question. It also ‘in no way indicates that the codings reflect a popular or widespread interpretation of the texts’ (Ahuvia 2001, p. 147). In fact, Ahuvia (2001) argues that forcing coders to agree, as is done in content analysis, eliminates much of the cultural context within which consumers come to understand ads and thus reduces the relevance of the research. 1 Footnote. 511
  6. 6. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) These issues suggest that the researcher should be concerned with selecting judges that are both bilingual and cultural translators. Unfortunately, cultural translators are not always readily available and, when they are, it is difficult to ascertain statistically whether or not the bilingual judges are indeed assigning codes across countries in a culturally relevant fashion. For instance, it would be difficult to know whether a German person who has lived in Spain for a lengthy period of time and speaks Spanish fluently would necessarily think like a Spaniard when interpreting a Spanish ad. As a remedy, Lerman and Callow (1999) suggest developing narratives from native consumers for each ad and then coding these culturally relevant narratives rather than the ads themselves. AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO CROSS-CULTURAL CONTENT ANALYSIS The Lerman and Callow (1999) approach has subjects from the target audience (not the judges) interpret the messages themselves in the form of narrative texts. In other words, subjects from the American target audience would interpret American ads and subjects from the Spanish target audience would interpret Spanish ads. Subjects would be instructed to base their interpretations on a set of questions established by the researcher. Obviously, the goals of the research project would determine the nature of the questions. At this stage, however, the subjects are not acting as judges of the material but are instead being asked to provide a written account of their interpretation. The purpose of this stage is to convert any implicit messages in the material into explicit information. Lerman and Callow recommend using at least three consumer subjects to interpret each ad in order to gauge the level of similarities in interpretation. This means that researchers can determine whether each subject’s interpretation of an ad is idiosyncratic or in line with other members of the target audience. If, say, three subjects developed narrative texts for an ad and all three indicate that the ad is sexy, then we could assume that the ad in question has a strong sexual appeal. If, on the other hand, only one of the subjects finds the ad to be sexy, then the researcher would assume that this is a personal rather than cultural interpretation. This allows for greater variability in scores for 1 Footnote. 512
  7. 7. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH each ad (if we were using three subjects, the range would be 3) than the binomial approach generally used in content analysis. Once the cultural interpretation has taken place, judges can be used to categorise the narratives. Since the material has been converted from an advertising format comprising both visual and verbal elements into a more explicit textual narrative, the judges can rely on language skills rather than interpretative skills to classify the material. Then, following completion of the coding, the researcher can determine, through an interjudge reliability measure, whether the judges have assigned the codes to the material from the two countries in a consistent fashion. Method The traditional and narrative approaches to content analysis were tested in a study comparing ads from Spain and the United States. Narratives were collected from consumers within the target market for the ads. One pair of bilingual judges coded these narratives and another pair coded the ads directly. Stimuli Ten ads for hard liquor and ten ads for cars were selected from each country. All ads appeared in either the American magazine GQ or the Spanish magazine Quo. These magazines were chosen based on the similarity of their content and the demographic profile of their readership. The hard liquor and car categories were chosen based on the frequency with which ads appear for such products in GQ and Quo and the high level of interest in such categories among readers of the two publications. Ten consumers in each country who fit the demographic profile of the magazine readership (male between the ages of 22 and 35) and thus are presumably in the target market for the ads served as ad interpreters and provided the narratives to be coded. Each consumer received a set of five ads from either GQ or Quo – depending upon their country – along with five sheets – one for each ad – that asked them the following questions: • In your own words, please describe the ad. • Ignore what the advertiser may have intended and describe your opinions and feelings about the ad. 1 Footnote. 513
  8. 8. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) • What do you think the advertiser was trying to communicate with the ad? • How do you know what the advertiser was trying to communicate with this ad? What makes you think so? These questions have been used as a framework by both Mick and Politi (1989) and Phillips (1997) in examining consumer’s inferences as evoked by an ad’s message and thus provide a useful precedent for interpreting the ads. The questions evoke both the descriptive and the interpretative aspects of the ads and are, therefore, useful for eliciting both strong and weak implicatures from consumers. The ad interpretation process should have yielded 100 narratives to be coded (10 ads/country × 2 countries × 5 consumers interpreting each ad). However, one American consumer failed to complete the task in its entirety, resulting in a total of 95 narratives. Coding scheme The coding scheme consisted of nine codes: traditional, modern, productivity, enjoyment, independence, status, affiliation, family and morality. These codes represent a subset of values that Pollay (1983) identified as expressed in advertising and recommends for use as a coding scheme in advertising research. This subset was not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to represent a range of values that appeared in the ad stimuli. Since the interest here is in the coding itself as opposed to the content of the coding, it was not necessary to develop an exhaustive coding scheme as is typically recommended (see Krippendorf 1980; Pollay 1983). In applying the coding scheme, judges were instructed to make decisions about each code separately so that the choice of one code would not preclude them from assigning any other code. Thus, for example, the presence of ‘traditional’ did not necessarily rule out the presence of ‘modern’. Judges were also not required to assign a code if none seemed applicable. As a result, any particular ad or narrative could be assigned anywhere from zero to nine codes. Judges were also instructed to assign a code as present regardless of the degree to which it is present in the ad or narrative. These instructions were provided in recognition that ads can contain both strong and weak implicatures (Phillips 1997). 1 Footnote. 514
  9. 9. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH Judge selection and training All four judges fit the demographic profile of the magazine readership (i.e. male, between the ages of 22 and 35). Judges were assigned to one of two coding tasks based on time available for the job (i.e. coding the ads required fewer hours than did coding the narratives). Judges were trained in pairs by one of the researchers and an assistant. Training sessions began with an overview of content analysis, judge responsibilities and the coding scheme. Judges were then given sample ads or narratives, depending on the task to be performed. The judges and trainers discussed the first two samples in order to arrive at a coding decision for those samples. Once judges confirmed that they were comfortable with the coding scheme and procedure, they coded the next three samples independently and then compared their assigned codes. Disagreements were discussed and reconciled. This process was repeated with another five samples or until the judges felt ready to begin coding the final set. Coding procedure Each judge completed the coding task independently and then met with his counterpart to compare assignments and reconcile disagreements. Disagreements were reconciled through discussion. On one occasion, the narrative judges could not reach agreement. In this case, the researchers heard the arguments posed by the two judges and made a final decision. RESULTS Assessment of interjudge reliability Interjudge reliability for the two sets of judges was assessed using both raw agreement rates and adjusted agreement rates (see Table 1). TABLE 1 INTERJUDGE RELIABILITY BY CODING APPROACH Ads (%) 69.4 36.4 62.3 Raw agreement Cohen’s kappa Perreault and Leigh’s I 515 Narratives (%) 82.7 29.6 80.9
  10. 10. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) Narrative coding yielded a higher raw agreement rate than did ad coding. Moreover, only the narrative coders demonstrated reliability at or above the acceptable cut-off level of 0.80 (Kassarjian 1977). The ad judges and narrative judges exceeded chance agreement by 36.4% and 29.6% respectively. Following reconciliation, the ad judges reached 100% agreement. The narrative judges reached a post-reconciliation agreement rate of 99.9%. 100% agreement was achieved following researcher intervention as described above. Ad versus narrative coding A chi-square analysis of codes (code presence or absence) by material coded (ads or narratives) was used. The analysis revealed statistically significant differences in the coding generated by the two approaches (ads versus narrative) for six of the nine codes: Modern (χ2 < 0.005), Productivity (χ2 < 0.0001), Independence (χ2 < 0.005), Affiliation (χ2 < 0.005), Family (χ2 < 0.01), and Morality (χ2 < 0.005) (see Table 2). In each of these cases, the ad judges applied the codes more frequently than did the narrative judges. Thus, in considering the direction of the observed differences, it appears that the ad judges may have ‘read into’ the ads more deeply than did the consumers who wrote the narratives. These statistically significant differences may or may not suggest that ad coding and narrative coding resulted in different substantive results. The effect depends on the pattern of differences. Thus, chisquare analysis was used to determine the degree to which differences TABLE 2 CODE COMPARISON BY MATERIAL Ads (frequency, %) Tradition Modern** Productivity*** Enjoyment Independence*** Status Affiliation** Family* Morality** Narratives (frequency, %) 7, 35.0 15, 75.0 10, 50.0 10, 50.0 8, 40.0 8, 40.0 8, 40.0 4, 20.0 3, 15.0 20, 21.3 37, 39.4 12, 12.8 40, 42.6 12, 12.8 29, 30.9 11, 11.6 4, 4.2 1, 1.1 * χ2 < 0.01 ** χ2 < 0.005 *** χ2 < 0.0001 516
  11. 11. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH TABLE 3 COMPARISON OF SUBSTANTIVE RESULTS BY CODING MATERIAL Ads (frequency, %) Code Spain Tradition Modern Productivity Enjoyment Independence Status Affiliation Family Morality 5, 50.0 5, 50.0 6, 60.0 4, 40.0 3, 30.0 2, 20.0 4, 40.0 4, 40.0 2, 20.0 USA 2, 20.0 10, 100.0** 4, 40.0 6, 60.0*** 5, 50.0 6, 60.0*** 4, 40.0 0, 0.0* 1, 10.0 Narratives (frequency, %) Spain 11, 22.5 7, 34.7 5, 10.2 19, 38.8 9, 18.4 18, 36.0 7, 14.0 4, 8.0 1, 2.0 USA 9, 20.0 20, 44.4 7, 15.6 21, 46.7 3, 6.7*** 11, 25.0 4, 8.9 0, 0.0* 0, 0.0 * χ2 < 0.05 ** χ2 < 0.01 *** χ2 < 0.10 in ad and narrative coding would change the conclusions drawn about Spanish and American advertising. More specifically, two chi-square analyses were performed, one comparing countries and codes in the case of ad coding and one comparing countries and codes in the case of narrative coding (see Table 3). These two analyses produced comparable results for Family (χ2 < 0.05 for both ads and narratives). Furthermore, they indicate no difference between Spanish and American advertising for Tradition, Productivity, Affiliation, Enjoyment and Morality. However, the approaches are inconsistent with regard to Independence (χ2 < 0.36 for ads, marginally significant at χ2 < 0.10 for narratives), Modern (χ2 < 0.01 for ads, χ2 < 0.33 for narratives), and Status (marginally significant at χ2 < 0.10 for ads, χ2 < 0.25 for narratives). These differences indicate a lack of convergent validity, thus preventing any conclusions from being drawn regarding the relative presence of particular values in Spanish and American advertising. DISCUSSION The above study compared traditional content analysis against the Lerman and Callow (1999) narrative variation. In this study, the two methods did not yield the same results (see Table 4). 1 Footnote. 517
  12. 12. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) TABLE 4 SUMMARY OF SUBSTANTIVE RESULTS Ad Tradition Modern Productivity Enjoyment Independence Status Affiliation Family Morality Narrative – USA – – – USA – Spain – – – – – Spain – – Spain – The ad coding identified differences between Spanish and American advertising with respect to Modern, Status and Family, whereas the narrative coding identified differences with respect to Independence and Family. The question remains whether narrative coding is superior to ad coding as Lerman and Callow (1999) suggest. These differences raise the question as to which is better as coding material, ads or narratives. From a reliability standpoint, narrative coding appears superior. However, the choice of narrative or ad coding should not depend on reliability alone. If the researcher, for example, seeks to compare the proportion of Asians in a set of ads from the United States and Germany, then narrative coding would be entirely unnecessary since the judge need only rely on explicit (visual) messages. However, if the researcher is interested in determining the importance of minorities in those ads, a cultural interpretation of the ads is required for coding judgements (Wilkes & Valencia 1989). In this case, narrative coding may be more appropriate. Similarly, narrative coding may be more appropriate for identifying advertising themes or appeals. An advertiser may use the same ad or image (e.g. a well-dressed woman) across countries, but consumers in one country may differ in their interpretation of the ad theme (e.g. achievement) from those in another country (e.g. taking care of oneself). Thus, managers may find the results of narrative coding in cross-cultural studies particularly useful in revealing aspects of the underlying cultures. As discussed, ad coding raises serious methodological concerns, particularly when the study in question seeks to uncover the cultural underpinnings of advertising. Narrative coding appears to offer a 1 Footnote. 518
  13. 13. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH reliable alternative in this case. Of course, narrative coding has its own limitations, most notably that fewer ads can be coded with the same resources, due to the practical requirements of recruiting subjects. Additionally, coding is limited to what informants can or are willing to express. Again, however, the high reliability for narrative coding offers researchers greater flexibility in choosing judges with fewer concerns about cultural biases than would be the case in ad coding. It should be noted that the narrative approach differs significantly from traditional content analytic studies since what is being contentanalysed is the consumers’ interpretation(s) of an ad and not the ad itself. However, the underlying motivation behind much of crosscultural research in marketing is to identify cultural similarities and differences between groups of people. The narrative approach explicitly recognises the possibility that an ad with seemingly standardised content can be interpreted differently – be it by judges or consumers – from one culture to another. CONCLUSION AND DIRECTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH This paper examines the limitations of content analysis in crosscultural advertising research and tests a variation on content analysis designed to overcome these limitations. Based on a comparison of reliability measures and substantive results, it appears that narrative coding is a superior approach to ad coding in cross-cultural advertising research. These findings call into question the results of numerous cross-cultural studies. More specifically, they suggest that consumers may not derive the same meaning as that reported by researchers. If such research is intended to influence cross-cultural advertising research and practice, this is particular problematic because, as Ahuvia (2001, p. 152) points out, ‘texts only influence consumers through consumers’ understanding of the texts’. As such, researchers might consider returning to the ads used in prior cross-cultural content analytic studies, perform the two-step process required to generate and code texts, and compare the results to those originally obtained. Such comparisons would not only serve to validate the claims made here regarding the differences between the traditional and narrative approaches to content analysis, but would also aid in the refinement of specific guidelines for applying the two-step narrative version. These 1 Footnote. 519
  14. 14. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2004, 23(4) studies, then, would provide an important step in overcoming the methodological problems which have so often been cited as hampering the development of and contribution made by crosscultural marketing and consumer research (Malhotra et al. 1996, Sin et al. 1999). REFERENCES Ahuvia, A. (2001) Traditional, interpretative, and reception based content analyses: improving the ability of content analysis to address issues of pragmatic and theoretical concern. Social Indicators Research, 54 (May), pp. 139–172. Biswas, A., Olsen, J.E. & Carlet, V. (1992) A comparison of print advertisements from the United States and France. Journal of Advertising, 21(4), pp. 73–81. Cook, G. (1992) The Discourse of Advertising. New York: Routledge. Cutler, B.D. & Javagli, R.G. (1992) A cross-cultural analysis of the visual components of print advertising: the United States and the European Community. Journal of Advertising Research, 32(1), pp. 71–80. Eco, U. (1979) A Theory of Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Fiumara, G. (1995) Metaphoric Process: Connections Between Language and Life. New York: Routledge. Fraser, B. (1993) The Interpretation of Novel Metaphors. In Ortony, A. (ed.), Metaphor and Thought. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 329–341. Graham, J.L., Kamins, M.A. & Oetomo, D.S. (1993) Content analysis of German and Japanese advertising in print media from Indonesia, Spain, and the United States. Journal of Advertising, 22(2), pp. 5–15. Hall, E.T. (1959) The Silent Language. New York: Doubleday. Kassarjian, H.H. (1977) Content analysis in consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 4 (June), pp. 8–18. Kover, A. (2001) Editorial: content analysis and bridges. Journal of Advertising Research, 41 (March/April), p. 5. Krippendorff, K. (1980) Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Lerman, D.B. & Callow, M.A. (1999) Content analysis in cross-cultural advertising research: limitations and recommendations. In Dubois, B., Lowrey, T.M., Shrum, L.J. & Vanjuele, M. (eds.) European Advances in Consumer Research. Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, pp. 13–16. Malhotra, N.K., Agarwal, J. & Peterson, M. (1996) Methodological issues in crosscultural marketing research. International Marketing Review, 13(5), pp. 7–43. McQuarrie, E.F. & Mick, D.G. (1999) Visual rhetoric in advertising: textinterpretive, experimental, and reader-response analyses. Journal of Consumer Research, 26(June), pp. 37–54. Mick, D.G. & Politi, L.G. (1989) Consumer interpretations of advertising imagery: a visit to the hell of connotation. In Hirschman, E. (ed.) Interpretive Consumer Research. Provo, UT: Association of Consumer Research, pp. 85–96. 1 Footnote. 520
  15. 15. CONTENT ANALYSIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL ADVERTISING RESEARCH Phillips, B.J. (1997) Thinking into it: consumer interpretation of complex advertising images. Journal of Advertising, 26 (Summer), pp. 77–87. Pollay, R. (1983) Measuring the cultural values manifest in advertising. In Martin, L. & Martin, C.R., Jr. (eds.) Current Issues and Research in Advertising. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, pp. 72–92. Samiee, S. & Jeong. I. (1994) Cross-cultural research in advertising: an assessment of methodologies. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 22(3), pp. 205–217. Scott, L. (1994) Images in advertising: the need for a theory of visual rhetoric. Journal of Consumer Research, 21 (September), pp. 252–271. Sin, L.Y.M., Cheung, G.W.H. & Lee, R. (1999) Methodology in cross-cultural consumer research: a review and critical assessment. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 11(4), pp. 75–96. Stern, B. (1996) Textual analysis in advertising research: construction and deconstruction of meaning. Journal of Advertising, 25(3), pp. 61–73. Wiles, C.R., Wiles, J.A. & Tjernlund, A. (1996) The ideology of advertising: the United States and Sweden. Journal of Advertising Research, 36(3), pp. 57–66. Wilkes, R.E. & Valencia, H. (1989) Hispanics and blacks in television commercials. Journal of Advertising, 18(1) pp. 19–25. Zhang, Y. & Gelb, B.D. (1996) Matching advertising appeals to culture: the influence of products’ use conditions. Journal of Advertising, 25 (Fall), pp. 29–46. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Dawn Lerman (Ph.D., Baruch College, City University of New York) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Schools of Business at Fordham University. Dr. Lerman’s research focuses on cross-cultural and language-related issues in consumer behavior, advertising and pricing. Her research has been published in a variety of academic journals including the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Advertising Research, the Journal of Product & Brand Management, and Psychology & Marketing. Michael Callow (Ph.D., Baruch College, City University of New York) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business in the Earl G. Graves School of Business & Management at Morgan State University. Dr. Callow’s research interests focus on cross-cultural issues relating to consumer behavior, advertising, and pricing. His work has been accepted at various refereed journals, including the European Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Product & Brand Management, the International Journal of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Marketing, and the Journal of Euromarketing. 1 Footnote. 521

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