Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research: Men respond negatively to depictions of ‘ideal masculinity’ in ads

02.08.2012
The male response to depictions of ideal masculinity in advertising is typically negative, which has implications for advertisers and marketers targeting the increasingly fragmented consumer demographic, according to research from a University of Illinois marketing expert.

Cele Otnes, a professor of advertising and of business administration who studies how marketing and advertising shapes consumption, says that men who compare themselves to the hyper-masculine or over-exaggerated male stereotypes in advertising and popular culture experience a range of emotions, including feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability.

“While partying and promiscuity are often depicted in advertising, some men find these images to be negative portrayals of their gender and are, in fact, turned off by them,” said Otnes, the Investors in Business Education Professor of Marketing at Illinois. “So it’s important to recognize that some men may react negatively or be adversely impacted by such images.”

According to the research, which was co-written by Linda Tuncay Zayer, of Loyola University, Chicago, six themes emerge from the analysis that reveal how men respond to ad depictions of ideal masculinity. Half of the themes – skepticism, avoidance and indifference – are negative, while the others – enhancement, striving and chasing – skew positive, with men seeing advertising as more of a motivational tool to enhance a certain aspect of themselves.

Although much research has examined the negative impact of advertising depictions on women and children, very little is known about the impact on men, Otnes says.

“The research is a first step toward developing an in-depth understanding of the responses and meanings appropriated to masculinity by Generation X consumers,” she said.

It also holds implications for advertisers and marketers, who can use the contributions from the research to “employ masculine themes in advertising more effectively and ethically,” Otnes says.

“As much as academics and some practitioners have called for responsibility in media messages targeting women and girls, attention also should be paid to men and boys,” she said.

According to Otnes, men’s responses to ads, as well as their consumer behaviors in general, are issues that are especially relevant in today’s marketplace. The main shopper in 32 percent of U.S. households is male, according to a study by Nielsen and the NPD Group, which is why it is more important than ever for advertisers and marketers to “find ways to appeal effectively to the male segment, and to do so in an ethical manner,” she said.

“People build up certain offensive and defensive strategies when they look at ads,” Otnes said. “If they feel threatened by an ad, it may actually bleed over into the way they feel about that product. So if a man is turned off by how males are portrayed in an advertisement, he’ll say, ‘I don’t want to be that guy’ ” – and that’s the end of his relationship with that brand. So teasing out what’s offensive from a sociological or cultural perspective is important.”

The male market demographic is “way, way more fragmented” than once believed, Otnes says.

“A lot of ads directed at males are still dominated by ‘The Player,’ ‘The Beer Drinker’ or ‘The Buddy,’ ” she said. “But those stereotypes don’t actually fit the vast majority of males. Advertisers and marketers need to broaden the spectrum, and create campaigns centered on more of the actual roles that men play – ‘The Dad,’ ‘The Husband’ and ‘The Handyman.’ Those types of ads weren’t easy to find at the time we were doing our research.”

The study was published in the book “Gender, Culture, and Consumer Behavior,” co-edited by Otnes and Zayer.

Phil Ciciora | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht High Number of Science Enthusiasts in Switzerland
05.02.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Between filter bubbles, uneven visibility and transnationality
06.12.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>