This study compared American and Japanese youth preferences for information sources and advertising content within the context of their respective cultures’ relationship and communication values. It found larger parental involvement and smaller media use for Japanese students. In an interesting reversal from cultural expectations, Japanese students ranked advertising as the most important information source and family as considerably less important, while American students did the opposite. Friends, not family, were the important interpersonal information source for the Japanese. Japanese consumers of the ‘90s may be ‘holonic': able to be both individualistic and in harmony with groups important to them. The Japanese youth preferences for advertising contentindirect, symbolic, visual, emotional, with infrequent brand identificationwere more in line with expectations.
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