Multilingualism in advertising : a comparative study of Cameroon and South Africa
This study examines the current state of advertising in Cameroon and South Africa; two multilingual and multicultural societies with rich historical and linguistic backgrounds. Advertising in Douala, Cameroon, is not given enough attention and the inhabitants, not only of the city but the country as a whole, feel rejected and not taken on board in the discourse of advertising. The study identified personal characteristics of participants and their degree of satisfaction with the current state of advertising in Douala and Mafikeng. The research design is mainly qualitative with a minor supporting component from the quantitative approach. A purposive sampling approach was used to select fifty participants in Douala and fifty in Mafikeng as well as five interviewees (three in Douala and two in Mafikeng). Data collected was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The qualitative analysis involved presenting the findings in major themes using information provided by participants in the open-ended items of the questionnaire and verbatim quotations from the interviews. Excerpts from the questionnaires and interviews were used to support identified themes emanating from the participants. Quantitative data was captured and analysed through Excel. Descriptive statistics such as frequency distribution and percentages were used to identify important and relevant characteristics about participants. Descriptive statistics were also used to summarise, compare data and enhance readability of results. The study revealed that Douala city-dwellers are not satisfied with the dominant use of French and English in advertising as it deprives citizens of vital and useful information in their own languages. In Mafikeng, even though there is moderate use of Setswana, respondents apparently felt justified in recommending the exclusion of languages prevalent during the apartheid era (Afrikaans and English) in advertising. The researcher therefore suggests that policy and decision-makers, advertisers and stakeholders involved in advertising consider the local population in the selection of languages to be used in the sector and for Cameroonian advertising to take a leaf from the multilingual advertising practices of South Africa.
- Humanities