||In daily life, information of losing weight or improving fitness can be seen everywhere. For example, being skinny is pretty and healthy. No matter in Western or Asian countries, we can observe that standardized ideal image has been established for years through models in advertising. Also, physical attractiveness pursuit becomes important in the global society because of advertising. Hence, more and more researchers interested in body image will take appearance and body shape into account. However, most of previous research focuses on the negative effect of self-consciousness induced by images of being thin. By distinguishing model’s body size into slim and large size, this research examines the factors that may influence the effects of model’s body size in advertising.|
The present study uses experimental design to investigate the advertising effects of model’s body size (slim vs. large), model’s race (Asia vs. Western), and product type (utilitarian vs. hedonic). Thus, a 2×2×2 factorial design is conducted. The ad effects are measured by product evaluation and attitude toward the model to observe the response under eight different and fictitious scenarios.
The results indicate that, a model with slim-size is more effective that with large-size. Such influences are stronger when an Asian model is used. Howerever, no matter slim or large the model’s size is, the effect of advertising on utilitarian product and hedonic product are identical when using a Western model. In addition, female participants generally give lower credit on advertising evaluation than male ones, reflecting obviously in their preference of model. According to these findings, this study suggests that marketers should consider not only the product they promote but also the congruency of race between ad model and target consumers, as well as attractive slim-size models, in order to enhance the advertising effects.