Analyzing Consumer Responses to Humane-oriented CSR Advertising Appeals in an Age of Corporate Social Responsibility: The Case of Japan vs. the U.S.

p.68-81. Barbara Mueller, Hirosi Morikazu, Sandra Diehl, Ralf Terlutter


This investigation seeks to explore the role of Humane Orientation (HO) – one of the cultural dimensions outlined in the GLOBE framework – in responses to advertisements containing corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages among consumers in Japan and the U.S. The academic literature examining Japanese consumer responses to CSR messages in marketing communications is particularly sparse. The model of cross-cultural consumer responses to HO appeals in advertising developed by Diehl, Terlutter, and Mueller (2015) is tested using structural equation modelling in the two countries. A non-student sample of 251 Japanese was compared with data previously collected in the U.S. Results revealed the model to be valid for Japan as well. The higher the perceived degree of HO in an ad, the more positive was the evaluation of the ad, and the more likely subjects were to evaluate the advertiser as being socially responsible. These two variables positively influenced attitude toward the product and subsequent purchase intention. Individual HO values were lower in Japan than in the U.S., and HO paths were found to be lower as well. In summary, despite the lower but still significant influence of HO on ad effects in Japan, results suggest that international advertisers may pursue a standardized campaign in multiple markets when incorporating humane-oriented ad appeals.

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