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An examination of the influence of sexual appeal usage in fashion advertising on young adult females

Notaro, Ian (2013) An examination of the influence of sexual appeal usage in fashion advertising on young adult females. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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As some recent literature suggested there may be a change in women’s views on the use of sexual appeals in advertising, this study aimed to gain an insight into how young Irish women from Dublin viewed these types of advertisements. The study was also conducted because the majority of previous studies on the use of sexual appeals in advertising were executed in the United States and the author wanted to conduct the study in an Irish context.

The author used an Interpretivist philosophy when conducting this study and collected qualitative data. This was achieved through the method of interviewing. Sample advertisements were used as visual aids in order to examine the participant’s reactions to different levels and types of sexual appeals. The data was then analysed using open coding, axial coding and selective coding.

Based on the gathered during the interviews, it was found moderate to high sexual appeals helped gain standout, which corroborates with findings by Reichert (2002) and Dahl et al. (2003). Overall, sexual appeals had a negative impact on purchasing intention and brand image if the advertisements were highly sexual, which upholds findings by Ford et al. (1991) and Reichert (2002) respectively. A number of factors that affected how sexual an advert was viewed were also identified, such as visible cleavage and suggestive poses.

The author recommends that if other researchers are studying similar topics that the use of visual aids and the snowball sample framework would be particularly effective. It is also suggested that marketers use a moderate level of sexual appeal, as low levels do not gain standout, as also discussed by Berger (2007), while high levels have a negative effect, which was found by Ford et al. (1991).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Advertising
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Fashion Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 14:52
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2013 14:52

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