Vanity and Advertising: A Study of the Impact of Appearance-Related, Sex, and Achievement Appeals

Watson, John J.; Rayner, Ruth S.; Lysonski, Steven; Durvasula, Srinivas
January 1999
Advances in Consumer Research;1999, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p445
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to determine if individual levels of vanity are related to consumer evaluations of advertising. Using three specific advertising appeals (i.e., appearance, sex, and achievement), attitudes toward the ad and thoughts elicited by the advertisement were measured and compared across high and low vanity groups. Findings indicate that consumers with high levels of vanity not only rate advertisements using achievement, sex, and appearance- related appeals more favorably than consumers with low levels of vanity, but the thoughts that these advertisements elicit are significantly more positive for consumers with high levels of vanity. This study extends the consumer behavior research on vanity, and the results of the study have implications for marketers designing promotional communication for specific target markets.


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