The Role Of Language Codeswitching In Increasing Advertising Effectiveness Among Mexican-American Youth
Bishop, Melissa Maier
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Language codeswitching refers to the practice of alternating between two languages during any given conversation (Scotton 1988). Though there is a plethora of research on this practice among sociolinguistics and sociologists, a relative dearth of this topic exists among marketing academics, outside of several recent works by Luna and Peracchio (2005a,b) and Luna, Lerman and Peracchio (2005). Furthermore, previous research in marketing that has focused on bilingual language processing issues in advertising has generally only incorporated the traditional view of bilingual advertising, in which a single message being presented in its entirety on both languages. Codeswitching has received little attention. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to examine how language codeswitching interacts with the context language of the medium to influence specific outcomes related to advertising effectiveness. Specifically, it will be investigated how message recall, the perception of advertiser cultural sensitivity and expectations concerning empathy and responsiveness of a service provider can be enhanced through the use of codeswitching in communication among bilingual individuals. The interaction between the direction of language switching in an ad and the language context of the medium in which the codeswitched ad appears will be assessed for its ability to influence these constructs. Furthermore, the Spanish/English codeswitching that occurs among bilingual Hispanics living in the U.S. is investigated, with testing among Mexican-American youths. This population is receiving increasing attention by marketers as Hispanics in general compose the largest U.S. minority group with explosive projected growth rates and spending power. Thus, marketing practitioners should find results of this analysis timely and beneficial.