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In Case You Missed It: Watch the Bilingual Brain Webinar

By Roberto Ruiz, EVP - Research, Insights and Analytics

Aug 11, 2014

Earlier this year, we worked with SMG Multicultural and Nielsen Neuroscience to conduct an exciting custom study posing the question: “What is the impact of language when advertising to young bilingual Hispanics?” Since presenting the findings this June at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference, we have received a flurry of questions from clients across all types of business categories; proving that many marketers believe that Bilingual Hispanic Millennials, or “Bi-llennials” as we like to call them, are integral in any growth marketing strategy.

For the first time, using Neuroscience technologies, EEG and eye tracking, we were able to gauge responses from Bi-llennials to advertising messages. This groundbreaking use of the technology with Hispanic consumers was able to provide valuable information about how the brain reacts to advertising at a second by second level, pinpointing what creative elements were driving consumer attention, engagement and memory activation. The study delivered insights on the impact of advertising language, programming language, and the effect of Spanglish in ads.

We shared the findings in the latest of our Hispanic411 webinar series: “The Bilingual Brain: Language Matters when Engaging Hispanic Millennials.”  For those of you who missed it, you can watch the recording above, and see some key findings we summarized below:

  • Spanish Ads Perform Better or at Parity: English and Spanish ads across different categories like Auto, QSR, CPG and Beer were tested in isolation against measures of attention, memory and emotion – all to assign an overall effectiveness score.  Results showed there was no instance in where English language ads performed better than Spanish on the aggregate effectiveness metric.
  • Spanish Language Makes Ads More Engaging and Relatable: Scenes showing human interaction had higher emotion and memory scores when presented in Spanish, and ads that included setup in Spanish, drove higher emotion over a sustained period of time.
  • Branding Scenes Are More Effective in Spanish:  Given the impact Spanish has on memory and emotion, it’s no surprise that the most important branding messages see higher effectiveness in Spanish than they do in English.
  • Spanglish—Use It, Don’t Abuse It: Testing the Spanglish ads in isolation revealed that language switching requires mental effort, thus attention is higher and more sustained when a new language is introduced. Since memory and attention are inversely related, every time language switches, the brain draws on attention but diminishes memory.
  • Language Consistency Is Better for Advertising: Utilizing the same language across the ad and the programming preceding delivered the best neurological results.  Language switching taxes cognitive resources, as I mentioned above, therefore decreasing the ad’s effectiveness.  Additionally, we actually saw that Spanish context can boost engagement: An already engaging Spanish ad saw higher emotion scores when viewed after a Spanish language program.

Is your brand armed with a strategy for Hispanic Millennials? We want to hear about it: @hispanic411.

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