Culture and Metaphors in Advertisements: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States

Pamela K. Morris, Jennifer A. Waldman


Culture and language are intertwined. Metaphors, based on culture, are ubiquitous in thinking and communication. As social artifacts reflecting culture, advertising messages provide an opportunity to compare metaphors in different nations. Goals of this article are to understand how and why advertisers use metaphors and how they differ across countries, as well as how cultural characteristics are used to create compelling ad messages. Using a content analysis of 87 French, German, Italian, Dutch, and American magazine advertisements, this study examines metaphor usage and cultural attributes from four culture-bound product groups: food and beverage, automobiles, insurance/finance, and personal care.

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