Cultural preferences for visual and verbal communication styles in sport advertisements

Won Jae Seo, Yongjun Sung, Seong Hee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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-tothe- 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-215
Number of pages17
JournalSouth African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Hankuk University’s Foreign Studies Research Fund of 2016.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, University of Stellenbosch. All rights reserved.


  • Cultural preference
  • Sport advertisement
  • Verbal communication
  • Visual communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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