Humorous Advertising and Cultural Diversity: A Cross-cultural Study Between Italy and Germany

Ilaria Ballan

Student thesis: Master thesis


The goal of this paper is to analyze the existence of cultural differences in the perception of humorous advertisings. In particular, we will focus on the differences that exist between two societies that belong to an overall culturally homogeneous region such as the European Union: namely, the Italian and the German societies.
Our research question will be whether Italians display a different ads- related humor perception than Germans.
The first chapter will therefore relate to the main definitions of culture. Besides, it will also examine the concept of cultural diversity, especially focusing on the Hofstede dimensions in order to point out the main aspects that make two or more cultures different from the others.
The second chapter will analyze the concept of humor: it will be possible to discover its various definition and also point out that humor perception is deeply culturally determined. Furthermore, the chapter will also underline the issue of humor perception in the specific field of advertising, showing that, to be successful, marketers that create international campaigns must have a deep cultural awareness of the targeted countries.
Finally, the last chapter will be devoted to the description of the results of our empirical study, which show a slightly different perception of humorous advertisings between Germans and Italians. The above results were obtained by selecting a sample of Italians and Germans and observe - through a multiple-choice questionnaire - the reaction of the interviewees to four different humorous advertisements.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages130