Does ethnic identity predict television commercial language preference among Hispanic audiences of Mexican descent?: The moderating role of gender and generation in the host culture
The growth of the U.S. Hispanic population and its increasing purchasing power over the past years has prompted marketers to examine this group’s language preference for television advertising. This study focused on the dominant mass-reach medium of television and explored if ethnic identity among Hispanic audiences in the U.S. predicts their television commercial language preference and if their gender and generation in the host culture moderate the relationship. The study used a questionnaire survey to collect empirical data from 291 Hispanic college students in a large public university in the Southwestern U.S. Although marketers often view Hispanic consumers as an undifferentiated market segment, our results show that self-identification as being bicultural, Mexican, or Anglicized predicts Hispanic audience’s language preference for television commercials. The more Anglicized Hispanics are found to prefer English-language television commercials while participants’ gender and generation in the host culture do not moderate the relationship between ethnic identity and language preference for television commercials. Discussion of findings and the study’s limitations are presented and the implications for future research are outlined.