Businesses engaging in multilingual search marketing may be interested in new research showing that consumers react most emotionally to ads in their native language.

Researchers at Erasmus University in the Netherlands studied bilingual and trilingual consumers’ reactions to ads in different languages and found that those in their native language elicited the most emotional responses.

Women were found to be generally more likely to react emotionally to such ads than men.

The authors of Bilingualism and the Emotional Intensity of Advertising Language – Stefano Puntoni, Bart de Langhe and Stijn van Osselaer – wrote in the Journal of Consumer Research that this could be down to the formation of personal memories in the context of a specific language.

"Because consumers usually have more personal memories with words in their native language than in their second language, marketing messages in their native language tend to be perceived as more emotional," they commented.

Officially multilingual countries include Canada, India, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg, among others.

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