The Cross-Cultural Effects of the Use of Intensifiers in Web-Advertisements on English and Dutch Consumers’ Attitudes Towards the Advertisement, Brand and Purchase Intention.

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An increasing number of companies are using the limited spaces of social media sites to advertise their services and products. In order to stand out, companies frequently use intensifiers to trigger attention from web-users, yet the effects of these intensifiers in online web-advertisements had not been investigated to date. This study investigated the cross-cultural effects of different types of intensifiers in web-advertisements on Dutch and English consumers’ attitudes towards the advertisement and brand and their purchase intention. A between-subjects design was employed existing of three participant groups, each counting 90 participants: Dutch participants subjected to Dutch advertisements, Dutch participants subjected to English advertisements and English advertisements. Each participant was subjected to 5 web-advertisements in either one of three conditions: web-advertisements without intensifiers, with lexical intensifiers or with semantic intensifiers. Results showed that English participants scored significantly higher on attitude towards the advertisement, brand and purchase intention than Dutch participants, irrespective of the types of intensifiers used. A common found trend was that advertisements without intensifiers often yielded more favourable attitudes and purchase intention than advertisements with lexical intensifiers. For the Dutch participant groups, semantic intensifiers also evoked more positive attitudes towards the brand and purchase intention than lexical intensifiers, irrespective of the language of the advertisement. For the English participant group semantic intensifiers yielded a more positive attitude towards the advertisement and a higher purchase intention. It can be concluded that companies evoke more favourable attitudes and a higher purchase intention when refraining from using lexical intensifiers in web-advertisements and instead use semantic intensifiers or no intensifiers at all. Future experimental studies could focus on the relationship between intensifiers in web-advertisements and the credibility of the advertisement and brand to investigate whether this affects consumers’ attitudes.
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