Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Master’s Thesis in Media and Communication
Title: See me, buy me – A study of how women and men are exposed in commercial advertisements for beauty products
Author: Annelie Eliasson
University: University of Halmstad
Course: Media and Communication
Term: Spring 2013
Supervisor: Ebba Sundin
Examiner: Ingegerd Rydin
Purpose: This studys purpose is to examine how women and men are exposed in commercial advertisements for beauty products. To examine this purpose two main questions have been formulated:
- What differences and similarities are there in the representation of women and men in the commercial advertisements?
- Are there any differences in the representation regarding the target audience in the commercial advertisements?
Method: Quantitative content analysis
Material: 443 commercial advertisements for beauty products in the Swedish lifestyle magazines Plaza Kvinna and Café Magazine from 2008 to 2012
Main results: The result of the study shows that women and men, presented in the commercial advertisements for beauty products, were very much alike in most aspects. For example there were only insignificant differences regarding how much of the person’s body that was included in the advertisement, the body position and the activeness of passiveness of the person in question. But there were also significant differences regarding a few aspects like nudity, colors and smiles for example.
The differences in the representation of women and men regarding the target audience were also insignificant. In almost every commercial advertisement that was directed to women, a women featured, and the same for men.
The conclusion of the study is that women and men are exposed in different ways in commercial advertisements for beauty products but not as different as many theories for commercials and gender claim. It is possible that commercial for beauty products are more “gender equal” than other commercials despite the fact that the products, in most cases are, addressed to only one gender. This may be the result of the changing exposure of men where they are showed more like women, which means in color, gazing at the viewer and dressed for success in formal wear.
Keywords: Gender, commercial advertisements, women, men, beauty products.
2013. , 54 p.