Flashy magazine ads portraying sexy women may not catch the eyes of
female readers, according to research. The advertising industry bases its
success on consumers being drawn to their products. But when it comes to
selling in magazines like Allure and Glamour publications with 100% female
readership what do consumers want?
To find out, a team of researchers at the University of Florida gauged
the emotional responses of more than 100 college-aged women to photos of
After looking at each photo, the participants would point to a manikin
that represented their emotional reaction.
For instance, one set of manikins represented arousal reactions,
ranging from disinterested to excited. The more seductive the model, the
more it left the women bored and uninterested, according to lead author
The findings seem to contradict the sensual images that saturate the
ads in female magazines. "It seems they missed the mark here," said Jon
Morris, one of the co-authors.
He added that the results also illuminate a gap between the male executives
who are marketing the magazines and the consumers.
In an initial survey, participants were asked to rate photos of models
according to six beauty categories, including sex kitten and classic
feminine. "These beauty types were determined by fashion editors at
magazines," Goodman said.
But rather than distinguishing between six beauty types, the
participants only saw two types. "After analysing the data, we found that
female consumers only saw two types of beauty: wholesome and
sexy-sensual," Goodman said.
For instance, Katie Holmes is an example of wholesome while the
Victoria's Secret models are sexy-sensual, she said.