Scholars have become increasingly interested in how organizations communicate with their external stakeholders, such as consumers. Recent studies have looked specifically at the response of consumers in a number of different European countries to the use of English in advertising texts, as part of a commonly used marketing strategy to standardize advertising campaigns, which builds on the assumption that English is not only neutral, but also widely understood. In this article, we discuss a survey of Emirati consumer attitudes to the use of English in advertising texts in the UAE on the basis of just over three hundred responses. We used a between subjects design and presented half of our respondents with an advertisement in English for a well known manufacturer of mobile phones and compared their responses to a similar number of respondents who were presented with an equivalent advertisement in Arabic. Respondents were asked a series of questions focusing on attitude towards the ad, attitude towards the product, comprehension of the corporate slogan in English, and their own knowledge and use of English. The findings indicate that the English ad was perceived as neutral and that attitudes towards the product and advertisement were not impacted by the language used. However, although most respondents reported high competence levels in English and a full understanding of the corporate slogan used, many of them expressed a preference for advertising in Arabic. Open-ended responses also suggested an underlying concern to preserve the Arabic language and cultural identity. The findings are discussed in terms of the unique social and cultural fabric of the modern-day UAE, as well as the Emirati community as an economically powerful Muslim population.

Business English as a Lingua Franca in advertising texts in the Gulf: Analyzing the attitudes of the Emirati community

Crawford Camiciottoli B.
2013

Abstract

Scholars have become increasingly interested in how organizations communicate with their external stakeholders, such as consumers. Recent studies have looked specifically at the response of consumers in a number of different European countries to the use of English in advertising texts, as part of a commonly used marketing strategy to standardize advertising campaigns, which builds on the assumption that English is not only neutral, but also widely understood. In this article, we discuss a survey of Emirati consumer attitudes to the use of English in advertising texts in the UAE on the basis of just over three hundred responses. We used a between subjects design and presented half of our respondents with an advertisement in English for a well known manufacturer of mobile phones and compared their responses to a similar number of respondents who were presented with an equivalent advertisement in Arabic. Respondents were asked a series of questions focusing on attitude towards the ad, attitude towards the product, comprehension of the corporate slogan in English, and their own knowledge and use of English. The findings indicate that the English ad was perceived as neutral and that attitudes towards the product and advertisement were not impacted by the language used. However, although most respondents reported high competence levels in English and a full understanding of the corporate slogan used, many of them expressed a preference for advertising in Arabic. Open-ended responses also suggested an underlying concern to preserve the Arabic language and cultural identity. The findings are discussed in terms of the unique social and cultural fabric of the modern-day UAE, as well as the Emirati community as an economically powerful Muslim population.
Nickerson, C.; Crawford Camiciottoli, B.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/159603
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