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Do you remember me? Women sexual objectification in advertising among young consumers

Lizardo Vargas-Bianchi (Escuela de Posgrado, Universidad de Lima, Lima, Peru)
Marta Mensa (Instituto de Comunicación Social, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 20 March 2020

Issue publication date: 15 April 2020

2872

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect on brand name recall in advertisements with varying levels of female sexual objectification content among young millennials and the effect of distraction on this recall effort. The question arises whether this group evokes those brands that appear in advertisements using different levels of objectification content.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a correlational design that includes two studies with different groups of subjects: an assessment of perceived female sexual objectification levels in a set of ads and a quasi-experimental study that used the assessed perceived levels of female objectification and brand name short-term recall scores of those ads, with and without the intervention of an attention distractor.

Findings

Results suggest that female sexual objectification content exerts a limited influence on brand name recall between participants. In addition, it is not men who remember brand names from ads using sexual objectified images, but young women.

Research limitations/implications

The study had an exploratory scope and used a small non-probabilistic sample. Subjects belong to a cultural context of Western world developing economy, and thus perceived female objectification may vary between different cultural settings. Results refer to graphic advertisements, though this cohort is exposed to other audiovisual content platforms.

Originality/value

Several studies have addressed female objectification in advertising and media, but few focused on young Latin American audiences and its impact on the recollection of advertised brands. Brand name retention and awareness is still a relevant variable that the advertising industry takes in account as one of several predictors toward buying decisions. Even less research has been made on Latin American social and cultural contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Vargas-Bianchi, L. and Mensa, M. (2020), "Do you remember me? Women sexual objectification in advertising among young consumers", Young Consumers, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 77-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-04-2019-0994

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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