Handbook of Developments in Consumer Behaviour

Handbook of Developments in Consumer Behaviour

Elgar original reference

Edited by Victoria Wells and Gordon Foxall

Consumer research incorporates perspectives from a spectrum of long-established sciences: psychology, economics and sociology. This Handbook strives to include this multitude of sources of thought, adding geography, neuroscience, ethics and behavioural ecology to this list. Encompassing scholars with a passion for researching consumers, this Handbook highlights important developments in consumer behaviour research, including consumer culture, impulsivity and compulsiveness, ethics and behavioural ecology. It examines evolutionary and neuroscience perspectives as well as consumer choice.

Chapter 4: The Role of Culture in Advertising Humor

Marc G. Weinberger, Charles S. Gulas and Michelle F. Weinberger

Subjects: business and management, marketing, economics and finance, economic psychology


Marc G. Weinberger, Charles S. Gulas and Michelle F. Weinberger Humor has been studied by linguists, philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and advertising researchers (see Gulas and Weinberger 2006 for a review) and its use in advertising dates back to the very roots of the field. English pub signs dating to the 1500s used incongruity. Puns appeared in print advertising by the 1700s. With the advent of radio advertising in the 1920s and television in the 1950s the acceptance and use of humor became widespread. Virtually all cultures make some use of humor in advertising; however its usage often differs between countries and sub-cultural groups. Paradoxically, while found in every culture, humor is specific to time and context. As a result, the amount and nature of successful humor attempts might also undergo changes based on changing contextual meanings. The focus of this chapter is not only on how contextualized cultural meanings shape perceptions of humor in advertising but also how humorous advertisements reflect and potentially influence cultural norms. The use of humor in advertising represents an annual global investment of more than $167 billion in campaigns (ZenithOptimedia 2007) and as such it has commanded significant research attention by scholars over the past several decades. It is no surprise that in a world of CNN, Sky News, BBC, YouTube, Al Jazeera, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and ad campaigns designed to go viral, it is harder to compartmentalize the effects of advertising to the intended country or audience. Humor is a fundamental ingredient in...

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