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Multilingua

Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid


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Volume 34, Issue 1

Issues

Does a Foreign Accent Sell? The Effect of Foreign Accents in Radio Commercials for Congruent and Non-Congruent Products

Berna Hendriks
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Communication and Information Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Erasmusplein 1, Nijmegen 6525 HT, The Netherlands
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/ Frank van Meurs
  • Department of Communication and Information Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Erasmusplein 1, Nijmegen 6525 HT, The Netherlands
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/ Els van der Meij
  • Department of Communication and Information Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Erasmusplein 1, Nijmegen 6525 HT, The Netherlands
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Published Online: 2014-08-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0048

Abstract

Commercials regularly feature foreign accents. This paper aims to investigate whether the use of foreign accents in radio commercials is more effective for congruent than incongruent products, and whether foreign-accented commercials are evaluated differently than non-accented commercials. In an experiment, a group of 228 Dutch participants rated non-accented and accented commercials for four different products in a between-subject design. The products were either congruent or incongruent with the foreign accent in the commercial (e.g. a German-accented commercial for sausage vs. olive oil). Foreign-accented commercials for congruent products were assessed more positively on a number of variables than foreign-accented commercials for incongruent products. Foreign-accented commercials were rated more negatively than commercials without a foreign accent.

Keywords: foreign accent; radio commercials; product fit; persuasion; language attitudes; language expectancy theory

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About the article

Received: 2013-11-01

Accepted: 2014-06-10

Published Online: 2014-08-22

Published in Print: 2015-01-01


Citation Information: Multilingua, Volume 34, Issue 1, Pages 119–130, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2013-0048.

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