Beauty and the Advertising Beast: The Sales Implications of Representing Real Women in Advertising

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Hallmat Ipaye, Westminster College


Marketers and advertisers allocate a compelling amount of resources to deciphering their target market, however, currently many women express that advertisements targeted towards and portraying women do not represent real women. An increasing disconnect exists between what an average woman actually looks like, thinks, acts and does and how a woman is marketed to in advertisements, specifically in women’s fashion and beauty magazines. Advertisers and marketers make important decisions regarding advertising and marketing without first consulting consumers about finished advertisements. Studies have shown that women do not relate, and often have lowered self esteem after looking at modern fashion and beauty magazines. This research and presentation focuses on categorizing what is important to women over the age of 18 to gain insight on how advertisers and marketers can better represent women in the advertisements of popular fashion and beauty magazines. July 2012 issues of fashion and beauty magazines Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan will be discussed in terms of presence of factors that are important for women to relate to the advertisements in these magazines. The conclusion of these findings will further demonstrate the sales implications of representing real women in advertising from a survey of over 200 women.