Effects of Model Body Size and Product Price on Advertising Effectiveness, Purchase Intention, and Body-Related Behaviors

Maxim Polonsky, University of Connecticut, USA
Ioannis Kareklas, University of Connecticut, USA
Our experiment employs a between-subject 3 x 2 factorial design, investigating the effect of exposure condition (ads featuring thin models, plus-size models, and average models) and price (low and high) on advertising effectiveness, purchase intentions, as well as on body-related behaviors. We show that short exposure to one print ad featuring thin-ideal model makes participants likely to normalize excessive dieting and exercising, and to consider personal engagement in such behaviors. At the same time, however, the same exposure condition is more effective in communicating product quality (when paired with high price), and in eliciting purchase intentions.
[ to cite ]:
Maxim Polonsky and Ioannis Kareklas (2010) ,"Effects of Model Body Size and Product Price on Advertising Effectiveness, Purchase Intention, and Body-Related Behaviors", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 880-882 .