An exploratory study of the types and roles of skincare advertising visuals in magazines

Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of the Humanities, 2008, 6 (1), pp. 75 - 82
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Despite the observations that visuals are almost always present in skincare ads, and that they are noticed to a greater extent than the text in these ads, there appears to be virtually no publicly available research that has analysed the visual content of skincare ads. As visuals might be useful to consumers in assessing the effectiveness of skincare products, their role in influencing consumer behaviour needs to be researched. Before such research is undertaken, it is necessary to investigate visuals that are actually employed by skincare marketers given the large number of products and varied visual cues or stimuli that seem to exist. The purpose of this research is to identify some of the types (or elements) and roles (or functions) of skincare advertising visuals and examine the extent to which they are evident in ads selected from the April through August 2005 issues of four popular womens magazines in Australia. 24 elements and five functions of skincare advertising visuals were identified, and their presence or absence was assessed in a sample of 52 ads. Due to the exploratory and time-specific nature of this study, future research that audits the visual content of magazine advertisements in the skincare market over a longer period could facilitate an extensive investigation of its impact on consumer attitudes and behaviour.
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