Branding Cultural Products in International Markets: A Study of Hollywood Movies in China

  • Weihe Gao (Contributor)
  • Li Ji (Creator)
  • Yong Liu (Creator)
  • Qi Sun (Creator)



Cultural products are a major component of the world economy and are responsible for a growing share of U.S. exports. The authors examine brand name strategies when cultural products are marketed in foreign countries. Incorporating the unique characteristics of these products, the authors develop a theoretical framework that integrates similarity, which focuses on how the translated brand name relates to the original brand name, and informativeness, which focuses on how the translated brand name reveals product content, to study the impact of brand name translations. The authors analyze Hollywood movies shown in China from 2011 to 2018. The results show that higher similarity leads to higher Chinese box office revenue, and this effect is stronger for movies that perform better in the home market (i.e., the United States). When the translated title is more informative about the movie, the Chinese box office revenue increases. The informativeness effect is stronger for Hollywood movies with greater cultural gap in the Chinese market. Moreover, both similarity and informativeness effects are strongest when the movie is released and reduce over time. This research provides valuable guidance to companies, managers, and policy makers in cultural product industries as well as those in international marketing.
Date made available2020
PublisherSAGE Journals

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