Facebook ads not working in the same way: The effect of cultural orientation and message construals on consumer response to social media ads

Yoon Hi Sung, Dong Hoo Kim, Dongwon Choi, So Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The research examined the impacts of psychological distance and message type on social media by cultural orientation. This research assessed social media usage and construal levels on Facebook pages in two cultures (Individualism – the U.S. vs. Collectivism – South Korea). While the U.S. participants had different levels of construals in two Facebook pages (News Feed vs. Timeline), the Korean participants did not. Further, the results demonstrated that for U.S. Facebook users, the different distances from the two Facebook pages impact their evaluation of ad messages framed with different construal terms: In News Feed that U.S. users feel distant from, an ad message framed with high construal terms (vs. low construal terms) was more effective. In Timeline that U.S. users feel proximal to, an ad message focusing on low construal terms (vs. high construal terms) led to more favorable response. However, Korean Facebook users did not exhibit varying psychological distances from those two Facebook pages. Rather, they consistently preferred high-level construal messages regardless of where the ad messages were posted. The importance of this study is the suggestion that cultural orientation and social media usage need to be considered for the development of particular ad messages that engage social media users across the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101427
JournalTelematics and Informatics
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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