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Report
Effects of Sexualization in
Advertisements
Alyssa Zaid and Phillip Walker
Hanover College
Advertising
• Advertising is the non-personal communication of
information usually paid for and usually persuasive in
nature about products, services or ideas by identified
sponsors through various media (Bovee, 1992)
• Commonly include brand, product, and how product could
be beneficial to entice consumers
• Companies use a variety of methods to promote
products/services in order to influence and appeal to a
broad range of consumers (Keller, 1987)
Persuasion
• Symbolic process in which ads try to convince
consumers to change their attitudes or behaviors
(Perloff, 2003)
• Advertisements have shifted from central focus of
product to having a model represent the benefits of a
product as a means of persuasion (Beasley & Danesi,
2002)
• Sexualized models can be used as persuasion techniques
(Lynn, 1995)
Importance of Memory
• Time difference between view advertisement and
purchasing product
•
The placement of advertising retrieval cues increase
likelihood to recall information from advertisements (Keller,
1987).
• Promotional messages impact information already stored in
LTM based upon the retrieval cues present
• Viewing advertisements strengthens memory of product and brand
• Stored information allows for the connecting links to have a
stronger association (Keller, 1987)
How Sexualization is Used in Ads
• Sexualized ads depict women with either alluring behavior or
wearing provocative clothing as a means to promote products
and services (Monk-Turner et al., 2007)
• Viewing sexualized images tend to elicit a variety of sensations
that lead one to making an association of possible pleasurable
outcomes for him/herself (Adams 1916)
Research on Sexualization in Advertisements
Lynn, 1995
• Sexualization is least effective when it is used on a product
which is not normally associated with sex
• The sexualized content in advertising must be appropriate
to the product category and have a proper underlying
message
• Direct/indirect promotion of sex in advertisements
• If sex is perceived as irrelevant to the product, it may
have a negative effect on attitudes and purchasing
intention
Print vs. Video Advertisements
Print
• Example: newspapers,
magazines, billboards
• Printed advertisements
yielded greater recall
compared to televised
(Buchanan 1964)
– Familiarity
– Able to review
information in ad
Video
• Example: television
commercials, internet
commercial
• Television advertising has
become the most effective
contemporary medium
(Beasley & Danesi, 2002).
– Demonstration of the
benefits
Hypothesis
• Expect to find lower memory retention for brand
and product information in sexualized than non
sexualized advertisements for non sexual products.
• Expect to find a higher memory retention for brand
and product information in video than in print
advertisements for non sexual products.
Participants
• N=37 (24 Females, 13 Male)
• 18 in the sexualized condition (6 Male)
• 19 in the non-sexualized condition (7 Male)
• 98% Caucasian; 2% Other
Stimuli
Brand
Hermes
Hermes
Meltin Pot
Oliver Peoples
Product
Scarves
Purses
Jeans
Glasses
•
Had sexualized and non sexualized versions
• As well as print and video
•Print ad as shown for the same length as video ad
Stimuli: Advertisements
Sexualized
Non-sexualized
Procedure
• Participants viewed two advertisements
• Both were either sexualized or non sexualized
• One print, one video
• Different products and Brands
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Sexualized Print 1
Neutral print 2
Sexualized Video 2
Neutral Video 2
Sexualized Video 2
Neutral Video 1
Sexualized Print 1
Neutral Print 1
Table 1: Condition possibilities for study and the basis of procedure in which
participants will be exposed to the advertisements.
Procedure Continued
• After advertisements they viewed an
episode of Doug ( Doug takes a hike/Doug
Rocks)
• Then took a survey over the advertisements
Questions
• What was the product being advertised?
• What was the product’s brand?
• What do you remember about the
advertisement?
• How confident are you in your memory about
the advertisements shown?
• How much did you like the advertisement
• How attractive is the model
Analysis
• Purchasing intentions, attitudes, and memory:
2 x 2 mixed ANOVA
• IV 1: Sexualized or Non sexualized
• IV 2: Print and Video
• DV’s: Attitudes, recall, purchasing intent
Rating of Model’s Attractiveness
6
Models Attractiveness
5.5
5
4.5
4
3.5
Sexualized
Nonsexualized
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
Print
Interaction: Media typexsexualization
F (1,35) = 4.442, p = 0.042
Video
Attitude about ad
6
5.5
5
Rating of ad
4.5
4
Sexualized
3.5
Nonsexualized
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
Print
F (1,35) = 4.86, p = 0.034
Video
Items recalled
4
# of Items Recalled
3.5
3
2.5
Sexualized
2
Nonsexualized
1.5
1
0.5
0
Print
Main effect: Media type
Video
F (1, 35) = 0.4928, p=.033
Items recalled: Model and Product
2
2
Video
1.8
Model
Product
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
# of Items Recalled for Print
# of Items Recalled for Video
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0
Non
Sexualized
Model
Product
1.6
0.2
Sexualized
Print
Sexualized
Non
Sexualized
Media type: F (1,35) = 19.16 p <.001
Main effect: Model product: p<.001
Interaction: Model productxsexualization: p =.007
Discussion
•
•
•
•
Print out performed video for some items
Video out performed print for other items
Other items had large error
NO statistically significant main effects for
sexualization.
Discussion
• Reasons for why sexualized models look better
in video and non-sexualized model look better
in print
– In sexualized video movement could play a part in
the attractiveness
– In sexualized print the participant would have a
longer time to notice flaws or picture modification
Discussion
• Connection between attention recall and
purchasing.
• Sexualization allures attention (Lynn, 1995)
• Participants are less likely to recall information
from sexualized advertisements
• Sexualized images may serve as distraction when
processing ad information (Darke, 1988)
Discussion
• Video vs. Print
• Televised information is being processed visually as well
as auditory
• Printed information is processed only visually
• Involvement as a factor in the ability to recall/recognize
information
• Ads that have no lasting effects will have no lasting
impact
• Must be deeply processed if effect is going to take
place
• But
Discussion
• Overall more items recalled in video
– But, fewer of those items deal with product or
brand.
– Effect greater in sexualized video advertisements
• Video distracts attention from brand and
product.
– Sexualization is particularly distracting
Limitations
• Unfamiliarity with brands
• Exposure allows for greater recall and familiarity
• Ads only presented once
• In real world ads presented many times
Future Directions
•Using advertisements targeted for participant
pool
• Using products and brands participants may be
familiar with
•Having participants view advertisements more
than once
Questions

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