Persuasion Knowledge in individualistic and collectivistic cultures: A cross-cultural analysis of differences in response to the use of persuasion tactics in advertising.
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In marketing, persuasion strategies (e.g. commitment, scarcity, reciprocity) are a common tool in advertising used to enhance an individual’s purchase intention for products or services as a driver for sales, brand recognition or market growth. Hereby, the key to success is a fond un- derstanding of effective communication and persuasion techniques, tailored to one’s target audience. Whether implemented persuasion tactics are successful or perceived as deceiving, is directly linked to the level of Persuasion Knowledge (PK) individuals hold. Persuasion Knowledge differs individually according to various factors such as age, educational back- ground, profession and is linked to norms, values and beliefs. One way to assess PK is by measuring Inferences of Manipulative Intent (IMI), the extent to which a persuasion attempt is perceived as manipulative. The present study investigated differences in PK measured by IMI comparing an individualistic (Netherlands) to a collectivistic culture (Vietnam). A total of 230 participants, (115 Vietnamese, 115 Dutch) evaluated three advertisements, each with a different persuasion appeal (scarcity, reciprocity, neutral) using IMI scales. Findings showed that subjects of collectivistic culture (Vietnam) scored lower in all three conditions of IMI and thus perceived advertisements of all tactics as more manipulative than the subjects from an individualistic culture (Netherlands). Furthermore, an increased score of IMI influenced atti- tude towards the ad (Aad) and purchase intention (PI) negatively. Generally, the findings sup- port the hypothesis, that Persuasion knowledge differs across cultures. It was found that col- lectivistic cultures have an overall higher score of Persuasion Knowledge.
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