Stereotypes in Retail Print Advertising: The Effects of Gender and Physical Appearance on Consumer Perceptions
Description: The retail sector spends millions of dollars each year advertising to consumers. This is a considerable investment for companies seeking effective ways to inform and persuade the consumer. Consequently, retailers need to develop creative message strategies and tactics that will positively affect consumer attitudes. One particular tactic available to retailers is the use of a spokesperson in the advertisement. Salespersons are used in numerous advertisements and can provide key benefits to an advertiser. However, to maximize these benefits, retailers need to carefully select the spokesperson that will be most effective for their store and product. This purpose of this research is to examine the characteristics that influence consumers' perceptions of print advertisements that include a spokesperson in the advertisement. Most of the past literature concerning spokespersons has concentrated on the consumer perspective of meeting and interacting with a living, breathing person. This research seeks to use the past research on salespeople to examine the spokesperson as a cue in a print advertisement. In this perspective, the consumer views the spokesperson from a visual-only perspective. The proposed experiment will utilize print advertisements from two retail businesses. More specifically the study will investigate how consumers react if the individual viewed in the advertisement is typical (matches with their preconceived stereotype) or if the salesperson is atypical (does not match with their preconceived stereotype). This research also examines how men and women are viewed differently in the spokesperson role and how changes in physical appearance may impact consumers' perceptions. The research also studies the influence of spokesperson stereotypes on consumers' cognitive responses.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Allen, Charlotte
Partner: UNT Libraries