The motives of advertisers for the use of foreign languages in advertising.

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Advertisers often make use of a special country-of-origin marker, foreign languages, in advertising. Academic literature has studied the effects of this COO marker. Foreign languages are believed to attract attention, enhance product evaluations and evoke associations with the country-of-origin (Hornikx, Starren & van Heur, 2004; Roth & Romeo, 1992). However, they only seem to work as an effective COO marker when the fit between product and language (Hornikx et al., 2013) and the language comprehension of the consumer are considered (Hornikx, Starren & van Heur, 2004). No research has been done yet in the practical field to investigate the motives of advertisers for the use of this COO marker. In ten semi-structured interviews, advertisers were asked on their motives for using foreign languages in advertising. The motives most frequently mentioned were evoking associations and internationality. Advertisers unconsciously use two of the motives identified by scholars and base their choices for a foreign language on their intuition. Furthermore, advertisers are aware of the importance of product congruence and language comprehension and mostly take this into account. This study is of relevance to advertisers as it can help with the targeted improvement of advertising and supports existing academic literature and theory building.
Faculteit der Letteren