The Use of English vs. Romanian in Advertisements for Luxury vs. Necessity Products and Consumer Ethnocentrism: Consumer’s Attitude and Intention to Buy in Romania.
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The aim of the present study was to investigate whether English or Romanian elicited more positive consumer responses, in Romanian consumers, towards advertisements for luxury products, with consumer ethnocentrism as a possible explanation for the resistance towards English advertisements. The study tested three hypotheses: (1) ads on luxury products in English will elicit a more positive consumer response than ads in Romanian, (2) irrespective of language, luxury products will have a more positive consumer response and (3) ads in English will elicit a more positive consumer response in consumers displaying low ethnocentrism, irrespective of the type of product. Four advertisements for fictional brands in English and Romanian for each type of product (i.e., luxury vs. necessity) were used in an online experiment. The results showed that language and level of consumer ethnocentrism do not have a main effect on consumer response. As well, advertisements for luxury products were not evaluated more positively than advertisements for necessity products. Finally, the study did not find any significant interaction between language and type of product, language and consumer ethnocentrism, and no significant interaction between type of product and consumer ethnocentrism. There was also no significant triple interaction between language, type of product and consumer ethnocentrism. According to the principles of the Markedness model (Myers-Scotton, 1993), in the present study, the less expected language (English) in comparison with the local language (Romanian) does not show any difference with respect to consumer response towards advertisements. This could be due to Romanians being exposed to more English since the inclusion of Romania in the European Union in 2007 (Ţirban, 2013), alongside the technological innovations that have diffused in the society (Pioariu, 2011), and the importance English has gained in the educational system (Condruz–Băcescu, 2013). Keywords: language choice in advertising, luxury products, consumer response, consumer ethnocentrism, standardization, adaptation, glocalization.
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