Eccles School research: Sales go up when product is seen as exotic

As Oscar contenders are set to hit the big screen this month, understanding how well films will fare with an international audience is increasingly important.

With a global marketplace, it’s important for companies to understand how well their products will sell around the world and target their marketing to get the most value.

A new study co-authored by Sangkil Moon (UNC), Arul Mishra and Himanshu Mishra of the David Eccles School of Business, and Moon Young Kang (KAIST) researched movie ticket sales and found an interesting relationship between how well the culture of the movie matched that of its viewers.

“When there is a cultural match the influence of cultural distance on product sales is U-shaped. That is, when cultural distance is small, consumers understand the culture depicted in the movie and there is acceptance. As that cultural distance increases from small to medium, the culture is less understandable and the sales fall,” said Himanshu Mishra. “However, when cultural distance becomes very large an interesting reversal occurs and sales now go up because the product appears quite alien and exotic.”

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Media Contacts

Sheena McFarlandcommunications specialist, David Eccles School of Business
Office: 801-587-5796 Mobile: 801-510-5567

Brooke AdamsCommunications specialist, University Marketing & Communication
Office: 801-587-2130 Mobile: 801-673-0011