Can Emerging Markets Tilt Global Product Design? Impacts of Chinese Colorism on Hollywood Castings

80 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017 Last revised: 9 Dec 2017

Manuel Hermosilla

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Fernanda Gutierrez-Navratil

Universidad Pública de Navarra

Juan Prieto-Rodriguez

Universidad de Oviedo

Date Written: October 3, 2017

Abstract

In various cultural and behavioral respects, emerging market consumers differ significantly from their counterparts of developed markets. They may thus derive consumption utility from different aspects of product meaning and functionality. Based on this premise, we investigate whether the economic rise of emerging markets may have begun to impact the typical “one-size-fits-all” design of many international product categories. Focusing on Hollywood films, and exploiting a recent relaxation of China’s foreign film importation policy, we provide evidence suggesting that these impacts may exist and be non-negligible. In particular, we show that the Chinese society’s aesthetic preference for lighter skin can be linked to the more frequent casting of pale-skinned stars in films targeting the Chinese market. Implications for the design of international products are drawn.

Keywords: Emerging Markets, Hollywood, Films, China, Natural Experiments, Policy Change, Innovation, Culture

JEL Classification: L7, M3, O3, O5

Suggested Citation

Hermosilla, Manuel and Gutierrez-Navratil, Fernanda and Prieto-Rodriguez, Juan, Can Emerging Markets Tilt Global Product Design? Impacts of Chinese Colorism on Hollywood Castings (October 3, 2017). Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Research Paper No. 17-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3047403 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3047403

Manuel Ignacio Hermosilla (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Fernanda Gutierrez-Navratil

Universidad Pública de Navarra ( email )

Campus Arrosadía
Pamplona, Navarra 31006
Spain

Juan Prieto Rodríguez

Universidad de Oviedo ( email )

Facultad de Economia y Empresa
Departamento de Economia. Avenida del Cristo
Oviedo, Asturias 33006
Spain
+ (34) 985103768 (Phone)
+ (34) 985104871 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unioviedo.es/juanprieto/index_e.html

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