A study conducted by the University of Illinois into the effect of advertisements depicting groups of lads clowning around has found that they arouse active dislike in men whose lives do not relate to the image.
Such ‘exaggerated male stereotypes’ lead, the report’s authors contend, to feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability in those exposed to them. Husbands and fathers were found to be particularly put-off by the depiction of young, attractive, single men.
The findings will provide food for thought for marketers in the knowledge that men still command the purse strings in around a third of households, potentially boding ill for any product portraying itself with a ‘buddy’ image.
To combat this the report’s authors suggest avoiding stereotypical depictions of men as drinkers, buddies or players and instead embrace the more wholesome lives of the un-noted majority.
The University of Illinois contains the first advertising department in the United States, established in 1959.