‘Consumer attitudes towards Basque and Spanish advertisements in the Basque Country’ – an experimental study into the effects of language choice in advertising to bilingual communities.

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This study aimed to investigate the influence of language choice in advertisement in the Basque Country. Companies operating in bilingual regions have the complex choice either to adopt a standardized marketing strategy or to adapt to the language of the minority group in the region. Adapting to the local, minority language is seen as being sensitive towards the audience but on the other hand not very profitable because of the small target group and the extra time and costs it takes to translate the advertisements. The current study applied these questions to the Basque Country, an autonomous region of Spain with a complex sociolinguistic situation. The main objective was to compare advertisements in Basque, Spanish and mixed language in this region, in terms of consumer attitudes towards the advertisements, products advertised and intention to buy. Although various differences between Spanish, mixed language and Basque! advertis ements were expected with regard to aforementioned factors, the conditions did not differ significantly and contrary to previous research mother tongue, ethnocentrism, language attitudes and language competence did not predict the evaluation of the Basque or Spanish advertisements either. Further research should focus on the interaction of product type and language choice in advertisements in the Basque Country.
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