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Promising Happiness in Advertising in Light of International Standardization: Religiosity and Religious Priming Overshadow Cross-Cultural Factors

Jamel Khenfer
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Jamel Khenfer: Excelia Group | La Rochelle Business School

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Abstract: Advertising campaigns that explicitly claim that the advertised product can bring about happiness in the consumer's life are often standardized across national markets. While the notion that most people—if not everyone on the planet—want to be happy and might respond favorably to calls for happiness seems intuitive, the literature offers little to no evidence to support this common managerial practice. Through two studies conducted in cultural settings as different as the United Arab Emirates and the United States, this research shows that cross-cultural factors matter less than personal and situational factors such as religiosity and religious priming, respectively. Specifically, the author found that lower (higher) religiosity levels led to worse (better) ratings for happiness-based ( vs. control) claims. Moreover, exposure to religious cues flipped the relationship between higher religiosity levels and liking for ads featuring happiness-based claims because of altered perceptions of the brand's control over the claim. This research sheds light on the interactive role of religiosity and religious priming on consumer response to standardized secular advertising.

Keywords: Advertising; Cross-cultural; Happiness; Religiosity; Religious priming (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-01-18
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Published in Journal of International Marketing, 2023, pp.1069031X2311544. ⟨10.1177/1069031X231154469⟩

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DOI: 10.1177/1069031X231154469

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