Surprise, Sorpresa, Verrassing! An eye-tracking study on the extent to which different foreign languages (English and Spanish) are effective and able to hold attention compared to the native language Dutch in pop-up advertisements versus static advertisements.

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Advertisements are everywhere nowadays, and because of this, consumers need to filter the more important or interesting things while surfing the web or scrolling through social media. Previous research has suggested that salient characteristics stand out and thus attract attention, and that foreign languages and pop-up advertisements can be seen as salient characteristics. Previous studies claimed that pop-up advertisements attract attention and foreign languages then hold the attention because of a longer processing time. The processing time was expected to be longer for foreign languages in which consumers have a lower proficiency (Spanish) than a more common foreign language (English). Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effects of foreign languages and pop-up advertisements on the effectiveness, which was measured through attention, attitude and curiosity towards the advertisement, and recognition. The attention was measured in the eye tracker, in which participants were shown different news webpages where a static advertisement or a pop-up advertisement was shown in either Spanish, English, or Dutch. Afterwards, participants filled in an online questionnaire about the attitude, curiosity evoked, and recognition; regarding the effectiveness of the different advertisements. The findings do not suggest a significant role for foreign languages in getting and holding the attention in advertisements. The findings do suggest an influence of pop-up advertisements, which seem to attract relatively more first fixations than static advertisements. Moreover, pop-up advertisements also seem to positively influence attitude and curiosity. Furthermore, the language part of the advertisement, the slogan, was not looked at more often when a particular language was used.
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