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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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Bilingualism and the Emotional Intensity of Advertising Language

Stefano Puntoni, Bart de Langhe, Stijn M. J. van Osselaer
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/595022 1012-1025 First published online: 1 April 2009


This research contributes to the current understanding of language effects in advertising by uncovering a previously ignored mechanism shaping consumer response to an increasingly globalized marketplace. We propose a language-specific episodic trace theory of language emotionality to explain how language influences the perceived emotionality of marketing communications. Five experiments with bilingual consumers show (1) that textual information (e.g., marketing slogans) expressed in consumers' native language tends to be perceived as more emotional than messages expressed in their second language, (2) that this effect is not uniquely due to the activation of stereotypes associated to specific languages or to a lack of comprehension, and (3) that the effect depends on the frequency with which words have been experienced in native- versus second-language contexts.

  • Advertising
  • Language
  • Affect/Emotions/Mood
  • Memory
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