The effect of goal orientation, model idealisation, and message framing on the effectiveness of cosmetics advertising.

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Commerce
University of Canterbury. Marketing
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Worsley, Rachael Elizabeth

Women from across the globe purchase and consume cosmetics in order to achieve their appearance goals and it is generally agreed that a consumers’ goal orientation may influence their interpretation of advertising materials and thus the purchase decision-making process. The cosmetics industry promotes their products using almost exclusively images of attractive, young, highly idealised women, and thus has a significant influence on female appearance ideals worldwide. Extensive research connects viewing idealised images to negative outcomes for consumers’ self-concept, however there are mixed results regarding the effectiveness of idealised models in advertising. Moreover, there are mixed results regarding the effectiveness of different message frames. The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the effects of possible selves and cosmetic advertising on the consumption of cosmetic products. This research draws together areas of literature which have been studied in varying settings in order to determine the individual and collective effects of these independent variables; possible selves, model idealisation and message framing, on women’s attitude toward cosmetic advertisements and purchase intentions in the cosmetic product context. To understand the effects that goal orientation, as well as the images and text of cosmetic advertisements have on cosmetics consumption, an online experiment was conducted using a 2x3x2 between-subjects factorial design. The study manipulated three independent variables, namely, salient possible self (hoped-for and feared), model idealisation (more idealised model, less idealised model and no model) and regulatory message framing (desired reference and undesired reference) and measured the impact of these variables on attitude toward the ad and resulting purchase intention. The final data set was comprised of 420 responses from 18-35 year old females. A series of ANCOVA analyses were used to determine the effects of possible selves, model idealisation and message frames on consumers’ attitude toward the ad and their purchase intention. The results indicate hoped-for selves, no model advertisements and desired message frames are independently the most effective in the cosmetics context. However, the goal-compatibility hypothesis was not supported. Furthermore, findings indicate an interaction between the image and the message of cosmetics advertising, which suggests cosmetic advertisers must carefully consider the combination of the images and messages they use to promote their brand and products. The theoretical and managerial implications, as well as direction for future research are discussed.

advertising, make-up, cosmetics, goal orientation, idealisation, message framing
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ANZSRC fields of research
Copyright Rachael Elizabeth Worsley