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What Matters More—Breaking Tradition or Stereotype Content? Envious and Paternalistic Gender Stereotypes and Advertising Effectiveness

Authors

  • Magdalena Zawisza,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Winchester
      Winchester, UK
      Magdalena Zawisza, University of Winchester, Psychology Department, Herbert Jarman Bld., Room 204, West Hill, Winchester, SO22 4NR, UK. E-mail: Magdalena.Zawisza@winchester.ac.uk
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    • Marco Cinnirella

      1. Royal Holloway, University of London
        London, UK
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    Magdalena Zawisza, University of Winchester, Psychology Department, Herbert Jarman Bld., Room 204, West Hill, Winchester, SO22 4NR, UK. E-mail: Magdalena.Zawisza@winchester.ac.uk

    Abstract

    The outcomes of 2 experiments investigating the effectiveness of advertisements that use (non)traditional stereotypes of women (Experiment 1) or men (Experiment 2) are reported. Effectiveness of the ads was tested in relation to perceivers' attitudes toward female or male gender roles, respectively. The main finding was that for both male and female versions of the advertisements, the paternalistic ad strategies were more effective than were the envious ones, supporting the predictions of the stereotype content model over the classic prediction of negative effects of nontraditional gender portrayals for advertising effectiveness. Moreover, attitudes toward gender roles played only a limited role in determining ad effectiveness. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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