Spanish advertisements in the Netherlands: How does slogan complexity as a consequence of the use of cognates and slogan length affect slogan comprehension and purchase intention?

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Understanding how to make efficient slogans can impact a company’s profits, their brand image, and the consumer’s purchase intention. Several studies, especially with English slogans, have found that the use of foreign languages in slogans affect their complexity and that slogan complexity can affect the overall efficiency of a slogan. However, there is a clear research gap about which factors affect slogan complexity, as well as a lack of studies that analyze foreign language slogans other than English. The present study consists of a questionnaire and aims to analyze Dutch respondents’ reactions to Dutch advertisements containing Spanish slogans. To manipulate slogan complexity, the researchers varied slogan length and cognate presence. To test for slogan efficiency, the researchers measured perceived and actual comprehension, as well as purchase intention. This study suggests that perceived comprehension is affected by slogan length and actual comprehension is affected by both slogan length and by the use of cognates. Moreover, the study found a positive correlation between perceived and actual comprehension, and perceived comprehension and purchase intention. However, further research is needed to understand which linguistic factors may or may not affect a consumers’ purchase intention. Keywords: slogan efficiency, slogan comprehension, slogan complexity, foreign language advertisements
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