The Effects of Spokesperson Accent on Attitude Toward Advertising and Brand: A Hedonic Versus Utilitarian Perspective
Although spokesperson accent is one important communication component in changing consumers' attitude toward advertising and brand, academic research in the marketing literature has not yet put much importance in its multitude of theoretical and practical implications. The current paper conceptualizes a multidimensional construct of the advertisement's (and thus, the brand's) literal ‘voice’ as manifested by spokesperson accent, a variable with profound heuristic and persuasive qualities. By building upon country-of-origin (COO) research, we introduce the effects of two types of spokesperson accent (hedonic vs. utilitarian) on transformational/informational advertising appeals and brand attitude. We argue that consumers perceive countries on a continuum from a strong utilitarian image to a strong hedonic image. Similarly, we propose that consumers align spokespersons' accents with their perceived COO and transfer utilitarian or hedonic perceptions to the accent. In addition, we explore the moderating effects of accent intelligibility, consumer involvement and COO competence evaluations. A conceptual model is proposed by utilizing existing literature within psychology, marketing, language and communication, and education.