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Research Project: Martin Eisend

Martin Eisend: "Explaining Cross-Cultural Variations in the Use and Effects of Humor in Advertising."

German Research Foundation (DFG) & Polish National Science Center (NCN): "Beethoven Classic 3": Polish-German Funding Initiative, Volume: 190.633 €

Humor is one of the most effective tools in advertising, but people with different cultural backgrounds apply humor to varying degrees, use different types of humor, and respond to humor differently. Previous research has failed to explain cross-cultural differences, In this project, we provide an answer to the question of how and why the use and effects of humor in advertising vary across cultures. We explore alternative theoretical explanations and test them using a large database of different countries. The empirical part covers (1) a content-analytic study that addresses differences in the use of humor in advertising across several countries, (2) a meta-analytic study that addresses the influence of country differences on the effects of humor in advertising, and (3) an experiment that corroborates the causal effects of humor. The findings contribute to humor research (by explaining cross-cultural variations in humor), to advertising research (by explaining and predicting cross-cultural differences in the use and effects of humor), and to practice (by providing guidelines on how to use humor in advertising efficiently when it is applied in different cultural contexts).