Goade gij eik veur lokoal? A study on the effects of Noord-Brabant regional accent strength and localness cues in Dutch TV commercials.

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The use of nonstandard accents such as regional or foreign accents in commercials is a well-known advertising strategy that advertisers use with the goal of drawing more attention to their service or product via recognizable cultural cues. Research on this topic has culminated into varying positive and negative effects of nonstandard accents (Hendriks et al., 2015; Lalwani et al., 2005; Morales et al., 2012). The use of local origin markers (localness) in advertising is closely related to accent use in commercials as both transfer stereotypical characteristics of a culture onto a product/service (Aichner, 2014; Haarman, 1984). Effects of localness have, however, not been studied in combination with accentedness. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of regional accent strength and localness on viewers’ attitude towards the commercial, speaker competence, speaker likability and product and purchase intention, recall and comprehensibility. 270 Dutch participants took part in an experiment with a 3 (accent: weak regional/strong regional/standard) x 2 (localness: presence/absence of origin markers) design. The viewers evaluated a TV-commercial via an online Qualtrics questionnaire. The results showed significant effects of accent for Speaker likability and Brand recall. The weak regional accent was evaluated as significantly less likable. For Brand recall, the standard accent scored significantly lower. Overall, no significant effects of localness were found.
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