Survey Says: Native Languages Best for Ads

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Indian marketing firm Ozone Media has a message for companies doing business there: Translate your ads into local languages for best results. That’s the takeaway from a new survey the company just released that compares the response rates of online ads in English versus ads in local languages –  at least for most products and services.

The exception to this rule, oddly enough, was in the “matrimony” category. The study found that resident Indians, Indians still living and working in India, were more responsive to English-language ads for matchmaking services. Meanwhile, non-resident Indians, those living and working outside the country, were more responsive to ads in their local languages. Perhaps this is due to homesickness and nostalgia?

But when it came to banking, insurance and other financial products, consumers’ preferences were reversed. Non-resident Indians responded well to English-language ads, probably because they had become accustomed to banking in English while living abroad. Resident Indians were far more comfortable responding to ads in their own languages. According to the Times Of India, the difference in response between ads presented in English and ads presented in local languages was almost 30 percent. Tamil and Telugu drove the most conversions.

Ozone Media Solutions CEO and Founder Kiran Gopinath explained the significance of the results to the Times of India:

“Internet media, like Television and Radio is moving towards being a mass media. This is exhibited through the high response that language ads generate compared to English ads. Consumption of regional language ad signifies the emerging trend in online marketing campaigns of the kind of spread and specific targeting brands adopt to reach their desired audience.”