The Effectiveness of Swearwords in Advertisements for Bilinguals.
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Previous research has demonstrated that the use of swearwords in advertisements can have a positive effect on the attitude towards the advertisement. Additionally, previous research has shown that one’s L1 is perceived as more emotional than one’s L2. Therefore, this study focused on the effectiveness of swearwords in advertisements in L1 compared to L2, by measuring the attitude towards the ad, attitude towards the product, emotional response, purchase intention, recall of the product and recall of the brand. The experiment consisted of two independent variables, namely: the use of swearwords (yes/no) and language version (L1/L2). The languages used in the advertisements were English (L2), and Dutch or German (L1), as the nationality of the participants was either Dutch (130) or German (135). The results showed a significant effect for the use of swearwords on emotional response, meaning the use of swearwords in ads evokes an emotional response towards an ad. However, language version and the use of swearwords did not have an effect on attitude towards the product, attitude towards the brand, purchase intention, recall of the product or recall of the brand. Key words: swearwords, advertising, shockvertising, L1 vs L2, attitude towards the ad, attitude towards the product, emotional response, purchase intention, recall of the product, recall of the brand.
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