This research was designed in order to explore the gender differences in Chinese consumers’ responses to sex appeal advertising.
Experiments were conducted at a university in South China with a total of 157 commerce students. Four advertisements, designed for the same fictional brand but featuring different genders and different levels of sex appeal, were tested in the experiments. Data analyses were conducted using t‐tests and ANOVA tests.
When comparing the male and female differences in the responses to the ads, it was found that males and females only differed significantly when they were exposed to the ad featuring a male model with the low level of sex appeal. No significant differences were found between male and female consumers regarding the other three ads featuring the male model with the high level of sex appeal or featuring the female model with the low or high level of sex appeal. Further analyses on male or female consumers’ responses to the four ads found that females had significantly different attitudes towards the ads, whereas males did not.
Using a convenient sample and testing only one product category were two major limitations of this study. Future research should adopt a more representative sample and test different product categories.
The findings of this study suggest that international advertisers need to take careful consideration if they are going to use sex appeal in their advertising to the Chinese consumers. Particularly, they must first take into account whether an ad targets a male or female audience.
This article is the first empirical study on mainland Chinese consumers’ responses to sex appeal advertising. It provides significant insight into gender differences among Chinese consumers regarding different sex appeal advertising strategies.
Liu, F., Li, J. and Cheng, H. (2006), "Sex appeal advertising: gender differences in Chinese consumers’ responses", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 19-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/13555850610641064Download as .RIS
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