‘Portraying women as sex objects helps booze, cigarette firms’

This was according to a study aimed at understanding the influence of women in TV commercials.

Published: 12th May 2019 10:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2019 10:55 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes.

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad residents are more likely to buy alcohol and cigarettes if advertisements for these products portray women as “sex objects”, according to a study aimed at understanding the influence of women in TV commercials.

The study, titled ‘Impact of Role Portrayed by Women in Indian Television Commercials on Buying Behaviour of Fast Moving Consumer Goods’, by academics in association with the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad (JNTUH), was done on 384 residents of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts above the age of 15.

While portraying a woman as a “sex object” made consumers more inclined to buy alcohol and cigarettes, marketing these products with women depicted in a “homemaker” role had the opposite effect.

“If women are shown as homemaker for alcohol and cigarettes products, consumers are not willing to buy those products,” the study observed.

However, for home-care products and merchandise related to the food and beverage industry, consumers were more influenced when they saw women in an “independent and professional role” in the advertisements.

“This indicates that the decision-making power for home care products is completely with women as they are the users of the products. This result, in one way, exposes the still existing stereotype associated with women performing activities,” it said.

In terms of personal-care products, the study found that consumers wanted to see women in roles of “beauty”. The portrayal of women in independent and professional roles also had a favourable effect on customers.

“Female consumers are more influenced by portraying women as they are able to see themselves in the central figures of the commercials,” the study observed.


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