August 24, 2010
The purpose of the research in the article, How Are Children’s Attitudes Towards Ads and Brands Affected by Gender-Related Content In Advertising, by A. Baker, and K. M. Palan, is to examine what the potential impact is of gender–related content in advertising on children’s attitudes toward those advertising messages and the associating brands. The framework for this study is based on biological, socialization and cognitive factors of children between the ages of eight and nine years old. The study itself examines if the children’s attitudes toward the ad’s and brands are influenced by the child’s own gender flexibility. In this research, gender flexibility is defined as “the degree to which and individual is open-minded about gender roles and stereotypes”. According to the research, children in the United States view more than 40,000 commercials each year, yet most advertising studies are focused on adults. The authors believe that there is a critical gap in current findings of marketing studies and they propose that a clearer understanding of the affects on the attitudes of children toward advertising and products will help advertising executives reach the younger viewer more effectively. The researchers also believe that by recognizing the impact of gender-related advertising on children advertising executives can begin to take proactive steps to reduce its gender based content in their advertising.
Data collection was conducted over a one month period of time. The researchers conducted group interviews with second and third grade children from several public and parochial elementary schools in the Midwest. Group sizes ranged from 2 to 10 participants at a time. The children were seated in a way that made it difficult for them to look beyond their own immediate space. Each child was given a plain...