A Cross-National and Cross-Generational Study of Consumer Acculturation to Advertising Appeals

Publication Date


Document Type



Fernando R. Jimenez, John Hadjimarcou, Maria E. Barua, Donald A. Michie, (2013) "A cross‐national and cross‐generational study of consumer acculturation to advertising appeals", International Marketing Review, Vol. 30 Issue: 5, pp.418-439, https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-02-2012-0020


Purpose – Previous research on global marketing has typically focussed on marketing strategies across national markets. Yet, the cross-national mobility of individuals has increased heterogeneity within country markets. The purpose of this study is to examine how immigrant consumers perceive advertising appeals in the context of the consumer acculturation process. Specifically, our study focusses on the reactions of Mexican, American, and Mexican-American consumers to puffery-laden advertisements.

Design/methodology/approach – Using two-factor theory as our theoretical prism, the study offers salient hypotheses regarding consumer perceptions of puffery-laden advertising appeals, which are then tested in a cross-national experiment in the USA and Mexico.

Findings – The results show that Mexican consumers are more susceptible to puffery-laden claims than Americans. In contrast, American consumers are more susceptible to advertising that does not contain puffery-laden claims than their Mexican counterparts. Interestingly, the findings also reveal that Mexican immigrants are highly susceptible to both, puffery-laden and no puffery appeals. The mixed results show that recent Mexican immigrants struggle as they transition to the dominant American consumer culture. First and second generations of Mexican-Americans, however, react to puffery-laden advertisements just as typical American consumers.

Practical implications – The paper discusses relevant implications not only for the study of puffery and acculturation of immigrant minority groups, but also for companies engaged in global advertising campaigns in countries with diverse immigrant communities.

Originality/value – The paper offers a worthwhile and unique examination of consumer acculturation in an international cross-cultural setting and puts forward interesting insights regarding the application of international advertising strategies.