Reasons for Using Foreign Language Display and/or Country-of-Origin Related Illustrations in the Genre of Advertisements: Insights from Interviews with Dutch Ad Writers.

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This study presents insights into Dutch ad writers’ motives for choosing to use linguistic and/or visual stimuli appealing to foreign countries. There has been extensive research on ‘country-of-origin’ (COO) strategies (i.e., ways of appealing to foreign countries) and their effects on consumers. However, there is a lack of insights from practitioners. Furthermore, current research focuses on the effects of foreign languages, without taking into account other ways of appealing to a foreign country (i.e., visual elements rather than linguistic ones). This study looks at both linguistic and visual COO stimuli and the combination of both by trying to answer research question number one. (1) What reasons do Dutch ad writers give for using foreign language display, visual stimuli relating to foreign countries, or a mix of both? In addition, a comparison will be made between motives given by Dutch ad writers and motives given by current research by answering the second research question. (2) To what extent do the reasons given by Dutch ad makers complement reasons mentioned in the literature review? In order to answer these research questions, interviews are held with 18 Dutch ad writers who are selected on the fact that they have used COO strategies in their portfolios. They were asked open-ended questions regarding the choices they make regarding the use of language in ads while designing them. The results show that motives given by Dutch ad writers greatly coincide with motives found in scientific research, even though they indicate not being familiar with it. Practitioners greatly mentioned the same motives as given in literature. Furthermore, three new motives are uncovered for the use of foreign languages (preservation of product name, bringing people together and increasing the likelihood of finding a product/brand) and one for the use of visual COO stimuli (newness).
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