Message Strategies of Chinese Award-Winning Print Advertisements

Huan Chen (1) , Ron Taylor (2)
(1) Department of Communication School of Humanities & Social Sciences Penn State Erie, The Behrend College , United States
(2) Penn State Erie, The Behrend College & University of Tennessee – USA , United States


This study analyzes the content of 2,598 award-winning print advertisements from the China Advertising Festival website from 1982 to 2009. The results indicate that ration and sensory strategies are the two leading message strategies of Chinese award-wining print advertisements. Message strategies of Chinese advertising manifested a general shift from an informational approach (transmission view of communication) to a transformational approach (ritual view) during the study period. The study also finds a relationship between message strategies and product categories.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Ang, S. H. (2002). Effects of metaphoric advertising among mainland Chinese consumers. Journal of Marketing Communications, 8 (3), 179-188. DOI:

Carey, J. W. (1975). A cultural approach to communication. Communication, 2, 1-22. DOI:

Chan, K. K. W. (1995). Information content of television advertising in Hong Kong and China. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 6(4), 231-244.

Chan, K. K. W. (1996). Chinese viewers’ perception of informative and emotional advertising. International Journal of Advertising, 15, 152-166. DOI:

Chan, K. K. W. (1999). Cultural values in Hong Kong print advertising, 1946-96. International Journal of Advertising, 18, 537-554. DOI:

Chan, K. K. W., & Chan, F. (2005). Information content of television advertising in China: An update. Asian Journal of Communication, 15(1), 1-15. DOI:

Chan, K. K. W., & McNeal, J. U. (2003). Parental concern about television viewing and children’s advertising in mainland China. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 15, 151-166. DOI:

Chan, R. Y. K., & Lau, L. B. Y. (2000). The effectiveness of environmental advertising: The role of claim type and the source country green image. International Journal of Advertising, 19, 349-375. DOI:

Cheng, H. (1994). Reflections of cultural values: A content analysis of Chinese magazine advertisements from 1982 and 1992. International Journal of Advertising, 13, 167-183. DOI:

Cheng, H. (1996). Towards an understanding of cultural values manifest in advertising: A content analysis of Chinese television commercials in 1990 and 1995. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 74, 773-96. DOI:

China Statistical Book 2008. Retrieved from

Cunningham, A., & Jenner, E. (2003, August). Advertising theory beyond the context of advertising: Taylor’s six-segment message strategy wheel offers an integrated model of political behavior. Paper presented at the national conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Kansas City.

Golan, G., & Zaidner, L. (2008). Creative strategies in viral advertising: An application of Taylor’s six-segment message strategy wheel. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication,13, 959-972. DOI:

Gong, W., & Maddox, L. M. (2003). Measuring web advertising effectiveness in China. Journal of Advertising,43, 34-49. DOI:

Frazer, C. (1983). Creative strategy: A management perspective. Journal of Advertising, 12, 36-41. DOI:

Ho, S., & Sin, L. Y. M. (1986). Advertising in China. International Journal of Advertising, 5, 307-16. DOI:

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hu, Y. (2010, January 30th). Ad rises 13.5% in 2009. China Daily. Retrieved from

Ji, M. F., & McNeal, J. U. (2001). How Chinese children’s commercials differ from those of the United States: A content analysis. Journal of Advertising, 30 (3), 79-92. DOI:

Kim, J., McMillan, S. J., & Hwang, J. (2005). Strategies for the super bowl of advertising: An analysis of how the web is integrated into campaigns. Journal of Interactive Advertising,6(1), 59-78. Retrieved from DOI:

Kwan, Y. K., Ho, Y. N., & Cragin, J. P. (1983). Contemporary advertising attitudes and practices among executives in the People’s Republic of China. Journal of Marketing Research Society, 25 (1), 59-71.

Lancaster, A. (2010, April). Can Taylor’s six-segment message strategy wheel be applied to public service advertising? Paper presented at the national conference of the American Academy of Advertising, Minneapolis.

Laskey, Henry A., Ellen Day and Melvin R. Crask (1989), “Typology of Main Message Strategies for Television Commercials,” Journal of Advertising, 18 (1), 36-41. DOI:

Laroche, M., Toffoli, R., Zhang, Q., & Pons, F. (2001). A cross-cultural study of the persuasive effect of fear appeal in messages in cigarette advertising: China and Canada. International Journal of Advertising,20, 297-317. DOI:

Lee, J., Tae, K., Nam, J., & Hwang, J. (2001). Message strategies of American and Korean television commercials. Proceedings of the 2001 Conference of the American Academy of Advertising, Charles R. Taylor, ed., Philadelphia: American Academy of Advertising, 29-30.

Lin, C. A. (2001). Cultural values reflected in Chinese and American television advertising. Journal of Advertising, 30 (4), 83-94. DOI:

Liu, W. (2002). Advertising in China: product branding and beyond. Corporate Communications: An International Journal,7 (2), 117-125. DOI:

Lohtia, R., Johnston, W. J., & Aab, L. (1994). Creating an effective print advertisement for the China market: analysis and advice. Journal of Global Marketing,8 (2), 7-29. DOI:

Paek, H., Nelson, M. R. (2007). A cross-cultural and cross-media comparison of female nudity in adverting. Journal of Promotion Management, 13(1/2), 145-168. DOI:

Pollay, R. W. (1986). The distorted mirror: reflections on the unintended consequences of advertising. Journal of Marketing, 50 (2), 18-36. DOI:

Pollay, R. W., Tse, D. K., & Wang, Z. (1990). Advertising, propaganda, and value change in economic development. Journal of Business Research,20 (2), 83-95. DOI:

Rice, M. D., Lu, Z. (1988). A content analysis of Chinese magazine advertisements. Journal of Advertising,17 (4), 43-48. DOI:

Semenik, R. J., Zhou, N., & Moore, W. L. (1986). Chinese managers’ attitudes toward advertising in China. Journal of Advertising,15 (4), 56-62. DOI:

Sin, L. Y. M., Ho, S., & So, S. L.M. (2000). An assessment of theoretical and methodological development in advertising research on mainland China: A twenty-year review. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising,22(2), 53-69. DOI:

Tai, S. H. C. (1997). Advertising in Asia: Localize or regionalize? International Journal of Advertising,16, 48-61. DOI:

Taylor, R. E. (1999). “A six-segment message strategy wheel. Journal of Advertising Research,39, 7-17.

Vaughn, R. (1980). How advertising works: A planning model. Journal of Advertising Research,20 (5), 27-33.

Wei, R. (1997). Emerging lifestyles in China and consequences for perception of advertising, buying behavior and consumption preferences. International Journal of Advertising,16, 261-275. DOI:

Wolburg, J. M., & Venger, O. (2009). Regulation sin across cultures: A comparison of alcohol ads in Ukrainian and American Magazines. Journal of Advertising,38(4), 15-36. DOI:

Zhang, J. & Shavitt, S. (2003). Cultural values in advertising to the Chinese X-generation. Journal of Advertising,32 (1), 23-33. DOI:

Zhang, Y., & Neelankavil, J. P. (1996). The Influence of culture on advertising effectiveness in China and the USA. European Journal of Marketing,31 (2), 134-149. DOI:

Zhang, Y., Song, Y, & Carver, J. L. (2008). Cultural values and aging in Chinese television commercials,” Journal of Asian Pacific Communication,18 (2), 209 – 224. DOI:

Zhang, Y., & Harwood, J. (2004). Modernization and tradition in an age of globalization: Cultural values in Chinese television commercials. Journal of Communication, 54 (1), 156-172. DOI:

Zhou, N., & Belk, R. W. (2004), “Chinese consumer readings of global and local advertising appeals. Journal of Advertising,33 (3), 63-76. DOI:

Zhou, S., Zhou, P., & Xue, F. (2005). Visual differences in U.S. and Chinese television commercials. Journal of Advertising,34 (1), 11-119. DOI:

Zhou, N., Yau, O. H. M., & Lin, L. (1997). For love or money: A longitudinal content analysis of Chinese personal advertisements, 1984-1995. Journal of Current Issue and Research in Advertising, 19 (2), 65-77. DOI:


Huan Chen
Ron Taylor
(Primary Contact)
Author Biographies

Huan Chen, Department of Communication School of Humanities & Social Sciences Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Huan Chen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of communication at Penn State University, The Behrend College. She received a BA in advertising and a MA in communication from Wuhan University. In 2005, she relocated to the U.S.A., where she earned her second MA in advertising from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Tennessee. Her rearch interests include international and cross-cultural advertising, new media and advertising, and integrated marketing communication.

Ron Taylor, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College & University of Tennessee – USA

Ronald E. Taylor, Ph.D., is professor and former director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research interests include message strategy, especially in French advertising, and in the conduct of qualitative research in diverse cultures.

Chen, H., & Taylor, R. (2012). Message Strategies of Chinese Award-Winning Print Advertisements. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 12(3), 1–18.

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_
  • Abstract 80
  • Download PDF 47