The Persuasiveness of Foreign Language Use in Informational and Emotional Meat Reduction Advertisements.

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Bilinguals have frequently reported that messages feel more emotional in L1 than in L2. The experienced reduction of emotional resonance is called the foreign language effect (Caldwell-Harris & Aycicegi-Dinn, 2016; Keysar et al., 2012). Whether this effect also plays a role in emotional social advertising is investigated in the present study. The influence of L1 (Dutch) and L2 (English) use and informational, positive emotional and negative emotional message appeals on the perceived emotionality, attitude towards the issue and behavioural intention of meat reduction ads were investigated. This was done by using a between-subjects design of 2 (language) X 3 (message appeal), administered through an online questionnaire among students. While message appeal did occur to affect the perceived emotionality, an effect of language was not found. Moreover, meat reduction ads did not emerge to be more persuasive in L1 than in L2, nor did the valence of the emotion appear to have created a significant difference. Further research, preferably longitudinal and ideally focused on a different population, needs to be done to gain more insight into how to create effective and persuasive social advertising.
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