Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Michael Minor
Dr. Vern Vincent
Dr. Chiquan Guo
Written language is the core of culture and central to marketing communications. The differences in language processing exhibited by Eastern/Western bilingual consumers are of great concern for global and multinational companies wishing to effectively promote their products through the Internet. Advergaming is a promotional method consisting of the delivery of advertising messages through electronic games. Despite recent scholarly interest, no previous research has compared brand memory across groups of bilinguals of different writing systems or scripts in the advergaming context.
The dissertation investigated differences in brand memory of bilinguals of languages based on different scripts. Specifically, a logographic-based language (Chinese), a biscriptal language (Korean), and alphabetic-based languages (English and Spanish) were investigated. The purpose was to compare differences in brand recall and recognition across groups of bilinguals from China, Mexico, South Korea and the United States. Since high arousal levels might negatively influence cognitive capacity as generated by emotional intensity, the effect of arousal was also examined.
The data collection procedure involved a series of international experiments. The experimental stimuli consisted of designated exposure to selected advergames. Following the gameplay in experiment 1, data was collected through translated surveys. In experiment 2, data was collected during the gameplay with aid of an electrocardiogram machine, and after the gameplay via self-reported measures of arousal.
Four hundred subjects participated in experiment 1. Contrary to expectations, results indicated that alphabetic and biscriptal participants outperformed logographic participants. The main finding confirmed that second language proficiency is a key concept that should be included when comparing East/West bilingual consumers' memory. Familiarity with brands was also a factor affecting both recall and recognition scores, indicated by significant differences among groups.
Thirty additional subjects representing the script groups of interest participated in experiment 2. Triangulation of measures indicated that the physiological (heart rate) measures impact was the most salient. The most robust finding was the negative effect of physiological measures on recall scores.
In sum, the effect of script, second language proficiency, prior brand familiarity and arousal in short-term brand memory was uncovered, in order to provide guidelines for an effective use of brand placements in advergames.
University of Texas-Pan American