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Taboo advertising - Response to taboo in advertising - A study of the influence of age and gender
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Tabureklam: Respons på tabubelagd reklam : En studie av kön och ålders påverkan (Swedish)
Abstract [en]


Consumer characteristics have proved to be important influencers in how advertisements are perceived among consumers. Researchers have started to investigate if this assumption is valuable also in special and uncommon marketing strategies. A new field of research regarding advertising is the study of taboo themes. Researchers have so far mainly investigated how consumer respond to advertisements containing themes of taboo, but less research examines the influence of consumer characteristics. The questions is to which degree, characteristics like age and gender affect the response consumers have towards taboo advertising. This question is of importance, as it will impact the strategy marketers can use when deciding which consumers to target.


The purpose of this study is to investigate how age and gender of Swedish consumers influence how they respond to sexual appeal and violence within advertising. To add further depth to the study, three research questions have been constructed.


In order to draw a conclusion that gives answers to our purpose, a quantitative research approach has been employed. The data was collected through a questionnaire among Swedish consumers, with 190 respondents. This primary data collection was performed over an online survey tool and the result was later investigated in SPSS. The questionnaire included advertisements that contain themes of sexual appeal and violence, in a way to measure consumers response.


The conclusion succeeds to answer the purpose of the study as well as the three research questions. The main findings are that the characteristics age and gender have an influence on the response most of the times. However, this influence seems not to be the only factor, but instead other characteristics and aspects seem also to contribute to the response of consumers. Two cases which both affect the outcome is if a product is of highor low-involvement or if the taboo used is congruent with the product. The influence is different depending on investigating age or gender.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 97 p.
Keyword [en]
Taboo advertising, age, gender
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-26856ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20150057OAI: diva2:815372
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-05-30 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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