Roles Portrayed By Women: A Content Analysis in Brazilian Television Advertisements

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 2:45 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Claudia ACEVEDO , Marketing, EACH-USP / FMU-LAUREATE, São Paulo, Brazil
Helenita TAMASHIRO , Marketing, FMU-LAUREATE, SÃO PAULO, Brazil
The main purpose of this paper was to examine female roles portrayed by advertising. More specifically, the questions that motivated this research project were “What messages about women have been given to society through advertisement?” and “Have these portrayals been changed during the past decades?” The study consisted of a systematic content analysis of Brazilian commercials from 1973 to 2000. The population from which this sample was drawn consisted of Brazilian commercials which got an award in international and national festivals. A probabilistic sample procedure was employed. Ninety five pieces were selected. The categories and operational rules used in the study were developed based on previous research. This study has proposed that female images in advertising are depicted in three different ways: stereotyped, idealized, and plural portrayals. Our results have revealed that some specific images have changed, however, they continued to be stereotyped and idealized.

Research related to female portrayals in advertising has been the focus of attention of many academic studies because mass media messages about women have often depicted them in a stereotypical manner, such as women are irrational, fragile, not intelligent, submissive, and subservient to men (Courtney & Lockeretz, 1971; Venkatesan & Losco, 1975; A. Belkaoui & J. Belkaoui, 1976; Goffman, 1978 Blackwood, 1983; Bretl & Cantor, 1988; Jolliffe, 1989; Luebke, 1989; Kang, 1997). In addition, these investigations have shown that these portrayals haven’t reflected changes in female roles in modern societies. Indeed, mass media has concocted women’s image mainly as sex object, wife, and mother whose primary goal in life is to look beautiful for men (Kosimar, 1971).