Search Conferences

Type in any word, words or author name. This searchs through the abstract title, keywords and abstract text and authors. You may search all conferences or just select one conference.

 All Conferences
 EMAC 2019 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2020 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2020 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2021 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2021 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2022 Annual
 EMAC 2022 Regional Conference

EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Uncommon Beauty: Physically-Disabled Models in Ads Positively Affect Consumers’ Responses and Choices

Published: May 28, 2019


Martina Cossu, Bocconi University; Zachary Estes, University of Bocconi; Joachim Vosgerau, Bocconi


disabled model; advertisement; consumer attitudes and choice


Traditionally, companies have used beautiful models in advertisements as they have a positive impact on consumer attitudes and sales. Beautiful models, however, also enhance negative self-evaluation in viewers, and more and more companies are using models who deviate from classical standards, such as minority spokespeople, overweight models, and lately also disabled models. Theoretically, however, it is not clear how disabled models in advertisements—as compared to non-disabled models—will affect consumers’ attention, affective responses, and choice. Based on social categorization theory, we hypothesize and show that disabled models have a positive impact on consumers’ attitude towards the ad and the brand (study 1), evoke more pity but also more admiration for the model, and are judged as more novel (study 2). Disabled models draw consumers’ attention but not at the expense of attention paid to the brand (eye-tracking study 3), and energy drinks advertised with disabled models are preferred over those advertised with non-disabled models, in private as well as public choices (study 4).