Will normal‐sized female models in advertisements be viewed as positively as small‐sized models?

Xuemei Bian, Gordon Foxall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    – Despite the call from the public domain to use normal‐sized models (NM) in advertising and the fact of the recent movement in the practitioner's domain concerning the use of NM, knowledge of the advantages/disadvantages concerning the use of NM in comparison to small‐sized models (SM) is lacking. Prior research indicates that framing changes attitudes by altering the underlying considerations used in one's evaluation, but there are few studies that test framing effects on consumers' judgments of commercial persuasion. Moreover, an actionable understanding of the brand effects on consumers' model evaluation remains unexplored. The purpose of this paper is to address these unresolved issues.

    – In two studies, the paper examines the effects of different instructional frames on consumers' evaluation of NM as opposed to SM for new brands. The paper also examines how and to what extent brand effects of established brands might alter the effects of instructional frame on NM and SM evaluations. Furthermore, the paper investigates the direct and indirect impact of consumers' health‐consciousness concerning SM on the results. Research findings are discussed.

    – The present research shows that considering instructional frame and brand effect offers insights into consumers' model evaluations.

    – This research contributes to literature by bridging four knowledge gaps. First, this research is one of the few which investigated consequences resulting from using NM. Second, knowledge of comparative advantages/disadvantages in the relationship to the use of unconventional models versus SM was lacking until the present research. Third, this research is one of the few which provides empirical evidence of framing effects on consumers' judgment of commercial persuasion. Fourth, brand effects on consumers' model evaluations were unknown until the current research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)485-505
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Issue number3/4
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2013


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