The beauty of marketing - it's all in the eye of beholder

May 05, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Monash University study investigated the concept of attractiveness and the effects of advertising on people’s attitudes. It examined the whole physical person rather than just faces as has been typical of previous beauty studies.

Dr. Nives Zubcevic, from the Department of Marketing said the survey of 1111 men and women revealed that categorise others into four different combinations of and attractiveness.

“Not surprisingly, some people were judged to be both beautiful and while others were neither. What did surprise us was that some people are considered beautiful but not attractive, and others attractive but not beautiful," Dr. Zubcevic said.

“This suggests that beauty and attractiveness are different concepts, which is a world first in this area of research and this will have significant implications for the way advertisers and marketers develop both their brands and communication messages,” Dr. Nives Zubcevic, from the Department of Marketing said.

According to Dr. Zubcevic people who belong to these four groups were found to have different perceptions of what benefits one can receive by being attractive, their self evaluations of body image and their likelihood to be influenced by models.

“Both the media and the models used in advertising were found to influence consumer attitudes of how attractiveness affects their everyday relationships and social acceptance. Unfortunately, both also have a negative impact on people’s perceptions of their own body image.

“Body image evaluations worsened for both men and women after exposure to images of models. Understanding how perceptions of attractiveness and the factors associated with it affect advertising impact and public policy is critical.

“This study highlights the need for marketers and policy-makers to better understand and promote body image and attractiveness that will positively impact on the health and nutrition of people across all age groups,” Dr. Zubcevic said.

“Advertisers who best understand how the portrayal of attractiveness resonates with their consumers will be well placed to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.” 

Explore further: Economist probes the high cost of health care

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