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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Influence of model’s body shape on consumer responses: online vs. print ads

Published: May 27, 2020


Safaa Adil, ESSCA School of Management


body shape; advertising; evaluations


There exist several studies in marketing and psychology demonstrating the role of perceived body shape in modulating observer’s responses. This study aims at investigating how a female advertising model’s body size (slim or large) influences consumer memory and evaluations of print and online ads. A folder test procedure was used where ads, with a slim or large body shape, were inserted. Results revealed two key contributions. First, thinner sized models in print ads resulted in consumers memorizing more ads content, expressing more positive attitude and higher purchase intention, whereas large models led to opposite effects. Second, compared to print ads, online ads condition showed hardly any difference between slim and large model ads in term of attitude and purchase intention. These indicate that ads medium can be considered as a useful variable for marketers using large models in advertising.