International Advertising Research: A Literature Review 1990-2010

Article excerpt

Many argue that global marketing and its surrounding issues are critical in determining performance for firms in the international marketplace. For several decades, international advertising research has sought to address issues surrounding the ever-increasing globalization of business. However, the last decade has seen fewer international advertising articles in the highest ranked marketing and advertising journals. The authors investigate 198 empirical international advertising articles from the leading journals in marketing, advertising, international marketing since 1990. Developments in the literature are noted by summarizing topics, findings, and methodology. Specific recommendations to aid the continued development and impede the decline of international advertising research in premier marketing and advertising journals include: more advances in theory development and methodology as well as addressing underserved topic areas such as campaign management.

World markets are moving toward globalization as companies expand into international markets. Cross cultural issues are more important in determining firm performance (Levitt 1983; Zou and Cavusgil 2002). Kotier (2003) states, "with faster communication, transportation, and financial flows, the world is rapidly shrinking (p. 383)." Kotier goes on to state that "since 1969 the number of multinational corporations in the world's 14 richest countries has more than tripled." Others have noted the growing attention academic institutions are placing on international issues within the curricula of business schools (Samiee and Jeong 1994).

Differences in consumer's responses to marketing efforts and strategies have long been recognized to vary across people of different countries (e.g., Stridsberg 1962). Among global marketing topics, international advertising has maintained a strong volume of research (Jeannette and Hennessey 1992) and has covered a myriad of issues. Specifically, international advertising has a history of over 40 years dedicated to understanding the differences in practices and results in cross cultural advertising (Zinkhan 1994). We take this opportunity to comprehensively review the topics, findings, data collection, samples, analysis techniques, and geographic regions studied in this literature. Overall prescriptive advice for the field and specific recommendations based on topical areas within international advertising are presented. These are targeted at reversing the precipitous decline of international advertising literature in premier marketing and advertising journals.

International Advertising since 1990

There have been a significant number of empirical studies published in the past two decades on international advertising. The volume of literature and representation in premier academic journals serves as testimony to the importance the international advertising research. Despite a long and extensive history, some authors suggest literature in this domain has fallen short in advancing theoretical knowledge (Taylor 2002).

Thus, we comprehensively review the literature to offer some direction. Furthermore, we note a trend in this literature. While the quantity of empirical international advertising research articles has remained steady, there is a decline in the number of articles published in premier marketing journals (see Figure 1). We label "Marketing A"; Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science (e.g. Lehmann 2005; Tellis, Chandy, and Ackerman 1999). "Advertising A" includes what many consider as the most prestigious advertising specific journals; Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, ana. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising.

The Study

This paper is a synthesis of the empirical advertising research over the last two decades. This includes the topics, findings, data collection, samples, analysis techniques, and geographic regions studied in the empirical international advertising research from 1990 to 2010. …