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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 14, 2011

The use of humor in television advertising in Hong Kong

  • Fanny Fong Yee Chan
From the journal HUMOR


The use of humor in advertising has been well researched in Western countries. However, the study of it in Chinese societies is still in its infancy. This study aims to investigate the utilization of humor in Hong Kong television advertising. A total of 356 television commercials shown between February and May 2004 were content analyzed. Using Kelly and Solomon's (Journal of Advertising 4: 31–35, 1975) classification of humor advertising, it was found that about 20 percent of the sample utilized humorous devices to some extent. A slight increase of utilization was recorded as compared to a similar study conducted a decade ago (Cheung et al., The use of humor in advertising: The case of Hong Kong, Business Research Center, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University, 1995). Results also indicate that commercials for durables tend to adopt humorous attempt less often. People expect that humor, as an attention getting means, is more likely to appear at the beginning of an advertisement. Nevertheless, the current study shows that advertisers/advertising practitioners tend to place humor throughout the commercial instead of just the first part of it.

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Published Online: 2011-01-14
Published in Print: 2011-February

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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