The aim of this study is to assess the impact of sexist advertisements on the perception of advertisements’ violation, ridiculousness and consumers’ intention to purchase a product by considering different cases of interaction between the type of advertisement (sexism without humour and sexism with humour), the direction of sexism and the respondents’ gender. The study uses a two-by-two factorial design experiment to investigate data obtained by means of a questionnaire (183 responses). Data analysis revealed that the involvement of humour in sexist advertising has a negative impact on the perception of the advertisement and consumers’ intention to purchase. Furthermore, the direction of sexism (against women vs men) appears significant when it is paired with humour. The results of the study fill a research gap regarding the impact of the interaction between the type of advertising, the direction of sexism, and the respondents’ gender on the perception of specific advertisements and intention to purchase the advertised product.
Barber, N. et al. (2012). ‘Measuring psychographics to assess purchase intention and willingness to pay’. Journal of Consumer Marketing 29 (4), pp. 280-292.
Barber, N. A. & Taylor, D. C. (2013). ‘Experimental approach to assessing actual wine purchase behavior’. International Journal of Wine 25 (3), pp. 203-226.
Baron, R. A. & Byrne, D. (1977). Social Psychology: Understanding Human Interaction. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Bohner, G., Ahlborn, K. & Steiner, R. (2010). ‘How sexy are sexist men? Women’s perception of male response profiles in the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory’. Sex Roles 62 (7), pp. 568-582.
Campisano, F. (2016). ‘A case study of comedian Hannibal Buress and humor as an agent for change’. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications 7 (2), pp. 25-35.
Chang, T. C. & Tseng, H. C. (2013). ‘Can sex sell bread? The impacts of sexual appeal type, product type and sensation seeking’. International Journal of Advertising 32 (4), pp. 559-585.
Cline, T. W., Altsech M. B. & Kellaris, J. J. (2003).‘When does humor enhance or inhibit ad responses? – The moderating role of the need for humor’. Journal of Advertising 32 (3), pp. 31-45.
Damiano, A. D. (2014). Let’s Get Zesty: An Examination of Sexual and Humor Appeals in Advertising. Buffalo: State University of New York at Buffalo unpublished dissertation.
Das, E., Galekh, M. & Vonkeman, C. (2015). ‘Is sexy better than funny? Disentangling the persuasive effects of pleasure and arousal across sex and humour appeals’. International Journal of Advertising 34 (3), pp. 406-420.
Day, L. A. (1991). Ethics in Media Communications. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Djambaska, A., Petrovska, I. & Bundalevska, E. (2016). ‘Is humor advertising always effective? Parameters for effective use of humor in advertising’. Journal of Management Research 8 (1), pp. 1-18.
Duncan, C. P. & Nelson, J. E. (1985). ‘Effects of humor in a radio advertising experiment’. Journal of Advertising 14 (2), pp. 33-64.
Easpaig, B. N. G. & Humphrey, R. (2016). ‘Pitching a virtual woo’: analysing discussion of sexism in online gaming’. Feminism & Psychology 27 (4), pp. 553-561.
Eisend, M. (2009). ‘A meta-analysis of humor in advertising’. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 37 (2), pp. 191-203.
Eisend, M., Plagemann, J. & Sollwedel, J. (2014). ‘Gender roles and humor in advertising: the occurrence of stereotyping in humorous and nonhumorous advertising and its consequences for advertising effectiveness’. Journal of Advertising 43, pp. 256-273.
Ford, E. T. et al. (2008). ‘More than „just a joke”: the prejudice-releasing function of sexist humor’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 34 (2), pp. 159-170.
Ford, E. T., Wentzel, R. E. & Lorion, J. (2001). ‘Effects of exposure to sexist humor on perceptions of normative tolerance of sexism’. European Journal of Social Psychology 31 (6), pp. 677-691.
Ford, E. T. et al. (2015). ‘Sexist humor as a trigger of state self-objectification in women’. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 28 (2), pp. 253-269.
Gaunt, R. (2013). ‘Ambivalent sexism and the attribution of emotions to men and women’. Revue internationale de psychologie sociale 2 (2), pp. 29-54.
Gambert, I. & Linne, T. (2018). ‘From rice eaters to soy boys: Race, gender, and tropes of ‘plant food masculinity’. Animal Studies Journal 7 (2), pp. 129-179.
Glick, P. & Fiske, S. T. (1996). ‘The ambivalent Sexism Inventory: differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70 (3), pp. 491-512.
Glick, P. & Fiske, S. T. (1997). ‘Hostile and benevolent sexism: measuring ambivalent sexist attitudes toward women’. Psychology of Women Quarterly 21 (1), pp. 119-135.
Glick, P. & Fiske, S. T. (1999). ‘The ambivalence toward men inventory: differentiating hostile and benevolent beliefs about men’. Psychology of Women Quarterly 23 (3), pp. 519-536.
Glick, P. et al. (2004). ‘Bad but bold: ambivalent attitudes toward men predict gender inequality in 16 nations’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 86 (5), pp. 713-728.
Grau, S. L. & Zotos, Y. C. (2016). ‘Gender stereotypes in advertising: a review of current research’. International Journal of Advertising 35 (5), pp. 761-770.
Greenwood, D. & Isbell, M. L. (2002). ‘Ambivalent sexism and the dumb blonde: men’s and women’s reactions to sexist jokes’. Psychology of Women Quarterly 26 (4), pp. 341-350.
Gulas, C. S. & Weinberger, M. G. (2006). Humor in Advertising. A Comprehensive Analysis. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
Gurrieri, L., Brace-Govan, J. & Cherrier, H. (2016). ‘Controversial advertising: transgressing the taboo of gender-based violence’. European Journal of Marketing 50 (7/8), pp. 1448-1469.
Hair, J. F. et al. (2019). Multivariate Data Analysis, 8th Edition. Hampshire, UK: Cengage Learning, EMEA.
Hashim, N. H., Normalini, N. M. & Sajali, N. (2018). ‘The influence factors towards mobile advertising message content on consumer purchase intention’. Global Business Review 19 (5), pp. 1187-1206.
Hooper, J., Sharpe, D. & Roberts, S. G. B. (2016). ‘Are men funnier than women, or do we just think they are?’. Translational Issues in Psychological Science 2 (1), pp. 54-62.
Hornik, J., Ofir, C. & Rachamim, M. (2016). ‘Quantitative evaluation of persuasive appeals using comparative meta-analysis’. Communication Review 19 (3), pp. 192-222.
Huhmann, B. & Limbu, B. Y. (2016). ‘Influence of gender stereotypes on advertising offensiveness and attitude toward advertising in general’. International Journal of Advertising 35 (5), pp. 846-863.
Infanager, M., Bosak, J. & Sczesny, S. (2012). ‘Communality sells: the impact of perceivers’ sexism on the evaluation of women’s portrayals in advertisements’. European Journal of Social Psychology 42 (2), pp. 219-226.
Jost, J. & Kay, A. (2005). ‘Exposure to benevolent sexism and complementary gender stereotypes: consequences for specific and diffuse forms of system justification’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88 (3), pp. 498-509.
Klausner, A. (2014). Bad Taste? Coca-Cola under Fire For 'Sexist’ New Ad Campaign Which Features Naked Women Covered in Dripping Milk. Retrieved August 1, 2022 from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2856961/Coca-cola-criticized-sexist-new-ad-campaign-features-naked-women-covered-dripping-milk.html.
Lysonski, S. (1985). ‘Role portrayals in British magazine advertisements’. European Journal of Marketing 19 (7), pp. 37-55.
Loureiro M. L. (2003). ‘Rethinking new wines: implications of local and environmentally friendly labels’. Food Policy 28 (5/6), pp. 547-560.
Lull, B. R. & Bushman, J. B. (2015). ‘Do sex and violence sell? A meta-analytic review of the effects of sexual and violent media and ad content on memory, attitudes, and buying intentions’. Psychological Bulletin 141 (5), pp. 1022-1048.
Mandliya, A. et al. (2020). ‘What influences intention to purchase sustainable products? Impact of advertising and materialism’. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 69 (8), pp. 1647-1669.
Mayer, J. M. (2011). Asymmetric Consumer Responses to Humor: Two Essays on the Contingent Effects of Humor Process and Content. Athens: University of Georgia unpublished doctoral dissertation.
Mayer, J. M., Kumar, P. & Yoon, H. J. (2019). ‘Does sexual humor work on Mars, but not on Venus? An exploration of consumer acceptance of sexually humorous advertising’. International Journal of Advertising 38 (2), pp. 1-25.
Mayer, J. M. & Peev, P. (2017). ‘Do sexy mouthwash ads leave a bad aftertaste? The interaction of sexual self-schema and brand positioning fit on female-targeted sexual advertising efficacy’. Marketing Letters 28 (2), pp. 321-333.
Mickes, L. et al. (2011). ‘Who’s funny: gender stereotypes, humor production, and memory bias’. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 19 (1), pp. 108-112.
Moses, A. & Charles, M. (2014). ‘Sex as an advertising appeal: a review of its ethical basis, functions and effects’. International Journal of Management Sciences 4 (1), pp. 25-34.
Moya, M. et al. (2007). ‘It’s for your own good: benevolent sexism and women’s reactions to protectively justified restrictions’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 33 (10), pp. 1421-1434.
Nelson, J. E., Duncan, C. P. & Frontczak, N. T. (1985). ‘The distraction hypothesis and radio advertising’. Journal of Marketing 49 (1), pp. 60-71.
Peters, N., Holmgreen, L. & Oswald, D. (2015). ‘It’s just a joke: reactions to and justifications for sex stereotypes in advertisements’. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research 20 (3), pp. 160-168.
Plakoyiannaki, E. et al. (2008). ‘Images of women in online advertisements of global products: Does sexism exist?’. Journal of Business Ethics 83 (1), pp. 101-112.
Plakoyiannaki, E. & Zotos, Y. (2009). ‘Female role stereotypes in print advertising: identifying associations with magazine and product categories’. European Journal of Marketing 43 (11/12), pp. 1411-1434.
Pollay, R. W. (1986). ‘The distorted mirror: reflections on the unintended consequences of advertising’. Journal of Marketing 50 (2), pp. 18-36.
Ramos, M. et al. (2018), ‘What hostile and benevolent sexism communicate about men’s and women’s warmth and competence’. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 21 (1), pp. 159-177.
Rößner, A., Kämmerer, M. & Eisend, M. (2017). ‘Effects of ethnic advertising on consumers of minority and majority groups: the moderating effect of humor’. International Journal of Advertising 36 (1), pp. 190-205.
Royo-Vela, M. et al. (2008), ‘Adaptation of marketing activities to cultural and social context: gender role portrayals and sexism in Spanish commercials’. Sex Roles 58 (5), pp. 379-390.
Rubchak, M. J. (2015). New Imaginaries: Youthful Reinvention of Ukraine’s Cultural Paradigm. NY, Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Sallam, M. A. & Algammash, F. A. (2016). ‘The effect of attitude toward advertisement on attitude toward brand and purchase intention’. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management 4 (2), pp. 509-520.
Sari, D., Winton, W. & Trebilcock, P. (2015). ‘How sensitive are Indonesian customers to sexual appeal advertising? (A study of the Axe TV commercial, “Heaven on Earth”’. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 6 (2), pp. 149-154.
Sabri, O. (2012). ‘Taboo advertising: can humor help to attract attention and enhance recall?’. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 20 (4), pp. 407-22.
Schott, N. (2015). ‘Food marketing as a pedagogical act: Teaching women to consume ‘skinny’’. Journal of Social Justice 5 (1), pp.1-23.
Sen, A. (2012). ‘Humour analysis and qualitative research’. Social Research Update 63, pp. 1-4.
Sparks, V. J. & Lang, A. (2015). ‘Mechanisms underlying the effects of sexy and humorous content in advertisements’. Communication Monographs 82 (1), pp. 134-162.
Strain, M., Saucier, D. & Martens, A. (2015). ‘Sexist humor in Facebook profiles: perceptions of humor targeting women and men’. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research 28 (1), pp. 119-141.
Swani, K., Weinberger, G. M. & Gulas, S. C. (2013). ‘The impact of violent humor on advertising success: a gender perspective’. Journal of Advertising 42 (4), pp. 308-319.
Swim, K. J. et al. (2001). ‘Everyday sexism: evidence for its incidence, nature, and psychological impact from three daily diary studies’. Journal of Social Issues 51 (1), pp. 31-53.
Theodoridis, K. P. et al. (2013). ‘Male and female attitudes towards stereotypical advertisements: a paired country investigation’. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 18 (1), pp. 135-160.
Ulah, H. et al. (2016). ‘Gender representation in Pakistani print media: a critical analysis’. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies 12 (1), pp. 53-70.
Vistbhakdi, A. (2011). ‘The effects of sex appeal advertising on Thai consumers’ emotional and behavioral responses’. Journal of Management 9 (1), pp. 1-12.
Weinberger, M. G. & Gulas, C. S. (2019). ‘The emergence of a half-century of research on humour in advertising: what have we learned? What do we still need to learn?’. International Journal of Advertising 38 (7), pp. 1-46.
Wyllie, J., Carlson, J. & Rosenberger III P. J. (2014). ‘Examining the influence of different levels of sexual-stimuli intensity by gender on advertising effectiveness’. Journal of Marketing Management 30 (7/8), pp. 697-718.
Zawisza, M. & Cinnirella, M. (2010). ‘What matters more: breaking tradition or stereotype content? Envious and paternalistic gender stereotypes and advertising effectiveness’. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 40 (7), pp. 1767-1797.
Zawisza, M. et al. (2018). ‘Does it pay to break male gender stereotypes in advertising? A comparison of advertisement effectiveness between the United Kingdom, Poland and South Africa’. Journal of Gender Studies 27 (4), pp. 464-480.
Zhang, Y. (1996). ‘The effect of humor in advertising: an individual-difference perspective’. Psychology & Marketing 13 (6), pp. 531-545.