A very prominent feature of the Korean language is its extensive honorifics system, where the speaker is obliged to adopt a level of speech (deferential vs. informal) befitting the status of the target audience. As the context for using deferential (informal) speech parallels the setting for prevention (promotion) focus, we set out to examine whether the Korean honorifics system itself functions as a natural prime for regulatory orientation. In Study 1, we find that deferential (informal) speech style activates prevention (promotion) focus in the addressee. Accordingly, we show that ad copies in deferential (informal) speech style resulted in regulatory fit with utilitarian (hedonic) products. In Study 2, we demonstrate that individuals experienced construal fit when deferential (informal) speech style was matched with lower (higher) level of construal. Finally, we provide a discussion on the findings and theoretical contributions, followed by managerial implications and directions for research.
honorifics, regulatory fit, utilitarian, hedonic, construal
Advertising and Promotion Management | Asian Studies | Marketing
Springer Verlag (Germany)
HAN, Jin K.; Sohn, Yong Seok; and Yoo, Kun Woo.
The Korean Language and the Effects of its Honorifics System in Advertising: Deferential vs. Informal Speech as Regulatory Prime on Persuasive Impact. (2005). Marketing Letters. 26, (3), 321-333. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/4351