The effect of linguistic complexity on the effectiveness of a foreign language slogan in advertising.

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The purpose of the current study was to examine factors that affect the linguistic complexity of a foreign language (FL) slogan and to evaluate to what extent these factors influence the effectiveness of an advertising slogan in the eyes of consumers. Specifically, this study examined the effect of slogan length and cognate presence on perceived comprehension and actual comprehension of a Spanish slogan by Dutch consumers and their purchase intention concerning the advertised product. Moreover, the study evaluated the relationship between perceived comprehension, actual comprehension and purchase intention. The results showed that slogans containing cognates were better understood than slogans without cognates, independent of slogan length. Additionally, it was found that short slogans were better understood than long slogans, independent of cognate presence. Furthermore, higher perceptions of understanding were associated with higher levels of actual understanding and higher purchase intentions of the advertised product. These results suggest that there is a relationship between comprehension of a FL slogan and purchase intention. The findings of the present study contribute to a better understanding of linguistic complexity in slogans, and thus what makes a FL slogan more comprehensible. This is useful information for marketing practitioners when creating effective slogans.
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