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What If the Energizer Bunny Were Female? Importance of Gender in Perceptions of Advertising Spokes-Character Effectiveness

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An experiment was designed to determine whether and in what way gender makes a difference in the ratings of advertising spokes-characters. It was hypothesized and results confirmed that gender and product type affect the likability of spokes-characters and perceptions of target audience. A male spokes-character is perceived as more appropriate for a male-oriented product; however, a female spokes-character and a male product created the impression that the product was not quite so male oriented. It was also hypothesized that the spokes-character with the most positive ratings would be the most memorable. Results did not bear this out.

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Peirce, K. What If the Energizer Bunny Were Female? Importance of Gender in Perceptions of Advertising Spokes-Character Effectiveness. Sex Roles 45, 845–858 (2001).

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