Cosmetics advertisements in women's magazines: A cross-cultural analysis of China and Korea

Seung Yeob Yu1, Eun-A Park2, Minjung Sung3
1Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Namseoul University, Republic of Korea
2Department of Psychology, Daegu University, Republic of Korea
3Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Yu, S. Y., Park, E.-A., & Sung, M. (2015). Cosmetics advertisements in women's magazines: A cross-cultural analysis of China and Korea. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(4), 685-704.

Volume 43 Issue 4 | e4524 | Published: May 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.4.685

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We analyzed the content of cosmetics advertisements in women’s magazines published in China and Korea and compared the Chinese ideal of beauty and psychosocial values to those of Korea. Our analysis of 341 advertisements showed that 62% of Korean advertisements were for domestic brands, and 46.2% depicted Korean models, with 19.3% depicting white models, whereas 75% of the Chinese cosmetics advertisements were for international brands, and 26.5% of them featured Chinese models, with 32.7% depicting white models. The results indicate that advertisers in the Chinese magazines more strongly presented Western images as ideals of beauty than did advertisers in Korean magazines. We also found that a high number of cosmetics advertisements in the Chinese magazines contained price information and emphasized psychosocial values, such as activeness and self-confidence, which were less common in advertisements in the Korean magazines. The results imply that Chinese consumers expect concrete product benefits and are more likely to aspire to Western-type beauty than are Korean consumers.

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