The Osborne Bull vs. the Catalan Donkey

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Building on the Accommodation Theory, the effect of minority language use in advertising on the bilingual consumer market in Catalonia was explored. It was hypothesized that a positive language effect would occur in a way that advertisements which are partially or fully in Catalan language would generate more positive attitudes towards the advertisement, product and the advertising company, and would result a higher intention to buy the product than advertisements which are completely in Castilian language. An experiment was conducted in which young bilingual Catalans evaluated three different language versions of advertisements fromfictitiousMNCs: Catalan only, Castilian only and a mixture of both languages. This was done for three product categories: a low, medium and a high luxury product. Contrary to what was hypothesized, the results indicated that advertisements with a mixture of both Catalan and Castilian languag! e generat ed more negative attitudes toward the advertisement than when the ad was completely in Catalan or Castilian language. This study attributes to the discussion about minority language use in advertisingwith special attention to the socio-economic and cultural status of both the minority and the majority language in a bilingual region. Although both languages are associated with different feelings, this did not lead to more positive attitudes toward advertising for one language over the other.
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