Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Female Bareness in Print Advertisements: Do Religiosity and Gender Matter?

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

Female Bareness in Print Advertisements: Do Religiosity and Gender Matter?

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper studies Tunisian respondents' reactions to female bareness according to their gender and their level of religiosity. The purpose of the study is to construct a model describing the effect of the provocation, through female bareness, on viewer's reactions. The investigation is conducted in Tunisia. The results emphasize the moderating role of the gender and the positive impact of religiosity on negative emotions during an exposure to female bareness. The theoretical contributions of this research involve the mediating effect of the emotions; the survey shows that negative emotions play a mediator role in the persuasive processes.

Keywords: advertising, bareness, attitude, gender, religiosity, emotions

1. Introduction

Provocation attracts individuals' attention. Accordingly, it resolves saturation issues. Provocative advertising strategies use bareness, sexual images and insinuation. A large range of products takes advantage of this commercial stratagem in order to create a persuasive advertisement (Reichert, 2002; Reichert, Heckler, & Jackson, 2001). Female bareness is used more than masculine bareness in advertising (Dudley, 1999; Soley & Kurzbard, 1986; Reid, Salmon, & Soley, 1984; Reidenbach & Mc Cleary, 1983). The literature focuses essentially on the provocative aspect of bareness (Manceau & Tissier-Desbordes, 2005; Pope, Voges, & Brown, 2004), its attractive and emotional power (Judd & Alexander, 1983; LaTour, 1990; Simpson, Horton, & Brown, 1996), and its effects on the attitude (Dianoux & Linhart, 2010; Duddley, 1999; LaTour & Henthorne, 1993). Some deontological approaches raise issues about the morality of using bareness by advertisers. They examine how some individual differences (religiosity, ethical judgment, and sexual experience) affect the perception of bareness in TV commercials (Gould, 1994). Teleological approaches highlight the advantages and the disadvantages of advertisements including bareness sequences and their effects on consumers. In this perspective, two types of investigation are used; the first is qualitative and is based on analyzing the semiotic content of the stimulus. The second is quantitative and confirmatory; it integrates several demographic and individual variables such as age, gender, personality, and implication (Gould, 1994).

This paper questions the impact of using female bareness in commercials on consumers' emotions and attitudes, and investigates how gender and religiosity interfere in this relationship. It analyzes respondents' reactions toward female bareness according to their gender and their level of religiosity. The purpose of the study is to elaborate a model that highlights the effect of provocation, by means of female bareness, on viewers' reactions. The integration of religiosity allows a better understanding of the acceptance, or the disapproval, of advertisements containing female bareness scenes. Knowing the effect of religiosity, managers may avoid unsuitable choices and consider adapting the content of their commercials to the audience for a more efficient advertising strategy.

2. Conceptual Framework

2.1 Female Bareness in Advertising: A Source of Provocation

Bareness content in advertising is a provocative approach of creativity (Pope et al., 2004; Smith, Haugtvedt, Jadrich, & Anton, 1995; Soley & Kurzbard, 1986). It aims to catch viewers' attention by transcending social taboos (Sabri, 2012; Joannis, 1995). The type of feminine bareness in advertisements depends on the style of garment wore by the actors (Alexander & Judd, 1983; Belch, Barbra, George, & Koppman, 1981; Judd & Alexander, 1983; Peterson & Kerin, 1977; Sciglimpaglia, Belch, & Cain, 1979; Simpson et al., 1996; Stedman 1969). In commercials, the bareness is presented according to two scenarios; the first is suggestive, with models wearing outfits that show only some parts of the body (short skirts, short shirts or t-shirts, tight or low-waist jeans, small beachwear, etc. …

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