The Similarities and Differences of Cultural Values in Television Advertising: A Comparison of Malaysia and the United States

Open Access
Abu Bakar, Nabilah Husna
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Zinaida Taran, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Ronald Walker, Honors Advisor
  • Erdener Kaynak, Faculty Reader
  • Marketing
  • Global Marketing
  • Cultural Values
  • Advertising
  • Malaysia
  • United States
This study compares the cultural values in television advertising between Malaysia and the United States. Malaysia is a growing Muslim nation with a diverse population that has a number of ethnic groups with their own individual habits and traditions. United States is Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner. With the growing relationship between the two countries, it is important that companies and advertisers understand the cultural differences and similarities of both countries. This study used a content analysis method, where commercials were taken from television media channels of both countries during their prime time over the period of September 2014. Cheng and Schweitzer’s (1996) modified version of 32 cultural values are used for coding. The study indicated that Malaysia portrayed similar to cultural values from the American advertisements. Thus, the results showed no significant differences in cultural values of TV ads of both countries due to modernization of Malaysia in the last two decades. These findings are consistent with Khairullah and Khairullah’s (2013) results, where they concluded that the Indian society is adopting Western cultural values, thus suggesting modernization. The findings contribute to the debate of localization versus standardization in global marketing.