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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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Source and Nonsource Cues in Advertising and Their Effects on the Activation of Cultural and Subcultural Knowledge on the Route to Persuasion

Anne M. Brumbaugh
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/341575 258-269 First published online: 1 September 2002


This article examines how ads with different combinations of source and nonsource cues activate culture-bound cognitions among members of a dominant culture and members of a subculture within that dominant culture. As participants in both the dominant culture and their own subculture, members of subcultures are posited to possess knowledge of both groups. As such, their reactions to mainstream advertising are expected to be similar to those of members of the dominant culture. However, because members of the dominant culture are not as familiar with the subculture, their reactions to cues contained in subculture-targeted ads will differ from those of members of the subculture. Results of an experiment show that dominant culture source cues activate highly internalized dominant cultural models for all participants, leading to self-referencing and favorable ad attitudes. However, subculture source and nonsource cues interact to activate subcultural knowledge, induce self-referencing, and enhance ad attitudes only among members of the subculture.

  • Advertising
  • Cultural Theories and Analysis
  • Persuasion
  • Source Effects
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