Using language to make healthy food more attractive.

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Language is a substantial part of advertising and has been thought to influence the processing of information of consumers. Advertisements which are used in this study are food-related, and especially healthy foods. There are many factors that influence eating habits, but one of them might be the way we use language to describe food. We often describe unhealthy foods in a more appealing way than healthy foods. While the different uses of language on food menus and labels has been studied, this is not the case for advertisements. Since advertising is such a prominent topic nowadays, this study will research whether different types of language have an effect on the attitude towards healthy food advertisements. An added element to this study is the use of a bodily visual indicator, a hand, in the advertisements. It is hypothesized that this element can have a positive effect on the attitude of the participants. For six different types of healthy food, six different advertisements were made. The advertisements included a visual indicator, or not, and basic, nutritional or indulgent language. The participants were asked through an online questionnaire to answer questions about the advertisements. These questions measured their attitude using the variables desirability, persuasiveness and credibility. The results showed that the type of language did not influence desirability or persuasiveness. Also, using a bodily visual indicator did not have an effect on attitude. However, basic language was found to be significantly more credible than nutritional language. Health claims depend on how credible the claim is, therefore consumers might find nutritional language less credible than basic language. Although the results were different than hypothesized, this study contributes to research towards the effect of language use in food advertisements.
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