University of Twente Student Theses


A quantitative study on the effects of the use of English language in ads for Dutch brands on consumers' brand evaluation

Menkveld, E.M. (2015) A quantitative study on the effects of the use of English language in ads for Dutch brands on consumers' brand evaluation.

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Abstract:The integration of English into Dutch language is a current linguistic trend in The Netherlands. The Dutch regularly use English words and phrases in combination with their own language or speak English continuously during their work. It is essential in various kinds of businesses and heavily used in advertising and marketing. Mixing English words or phrases into a Dutch (marketing) message, which is called code switching, is increasingly common. This study aims to get insight in the effects of the use of English language in print advertisements for Dutch brands on consumers’ brand evaluation. The concepts of brand attitude, perceived product quality, identification with the brand and language preference are examined. A distinction is made between Dutch food brands that are perceived national (Bolletje and Unox) and Dutch food brands that are believed to hold a more international character (Heineken and Ola), according to participants. This distinction was made by using the results of a pretest. Besides, results for two generations are compared; generation Y (or Millenials) and Babyboomers. Therefore, two age groups are distinguished: younger (below 30) and older (above 50). The main study consisted of an experiment with a 3 (language: Dutch, mix, English) x 4 (2 national vs. 2 international brands) x 2 (age: young and older) between subject design. Participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire in Qualtrics, in which they got to see either a Dutch, code switched or English ad for each of the four brands. The language of slogans and product names was manipulated. Results of 205 respondents show that code switching in ads for Dutch food brands has little effect on the attitude toward the ad, identification with the brand and perceived product quality of Dutch consumers, both for (perceived) national and international brands. Some differences were found between age groups, such as more positive evaluations of ads and higher levels of identification with brands among younger participants in general. Dutch was obviously preferred most for all brands by both generations. Overall, it can be concluded that adding English language to the ads in this study did not contribute to positive evaluations. Therefore, it is advised to use Dutch language in advertising for Dutch brands, unless there is (scientific) proof English will have positive effects for a campaign in particular.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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