It is commonly understood that media consumption and responses to advertising around the world vary due to cultural differences (de Mooij & Hofstede, 2010). Despite this, some marketing authors continue to ignore how their research results may be interpreted differently across diverse cultural contexts limiting our understanding of marketing concepts and misrepresenting theoretical boundaries.
The purpose of our research is to replicate the work of Wilson and Till (2011), which found no significant outcomes when exploring whether consumers use information external to a billboard's advertising space when evaluating its advertised brand. We demonstrate that their null results were likely due to culturally based communication and cognitive-processing styles. We perform a differentiated replication study where we deliberately change one aspect of their methodological design and use an Eastern (Iranian) sample rather than a Western (U.S.) sample. Because of their high-context and holistic-processing styles, research suggests that Eastern cultures may be more apt to look beyond the actual billboard ad space to the larger environment when evaluating the advertised brand (Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, 2001).