Culture, cognitive style and consumer response to informational vs. transformational advertising among East Asians : evidence from the PRC

Geng CUI, Hongyan LIU, Xiaoyan YANG, Haizhong WANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

14 Citations (Scopus)


Existing literature suggests that people's cognitive styles vary significantly across nations and cultures, and that East Asians emphasize holistic information processing and are more receptive to transformational advertising than people in the West. Yet, both theoretical rationale and empirical evidence of the effect of cognitive style on consumers' advertising responses are lacking. This study proposes a congruency-activation model and adopts a three by two experimental design to examine Chinese consumers' attitude towards different advertisements. The results indicate that Chinese consumers prefer transformational and integrated ads to informational ads under both low and high involvement conditions. Protocol analysis shows that Chinese consumers engage in more affective processing than cognitive thoughts. Thus, marketers should consider the effect of the cognitive style of indigenous consumers when devising international advertising strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalAsia Pacific Business Review
Issue number1
Early online date27 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Asia
  • China
  • advertising
  • cognitive style
  • consumer attitudes
  • international marketing

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