Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

David J. Ortinau, Ph.D.

Keywords

In-group bias, Ethnicity, Advertising, Optimal distinctiveness

Abstract

This study investigates the meaning of advertising through the eyes of the Hispanic consumer and how that meaning is apparent in attitudes and purchase intention. Specifically, the study investigates how ethnic minorities judge print advertisement that feature ethnically diverse models as communication cues. For the first time, data of how minorities evaluate the compatibility of models from different ethnic groups featured together in an advertisement was collected. Qualitative data was collected from Hispanics and typologies of cultural pointers for Hispanics and African-Americans developed. Experimental design, 3x2 within-group analysis, was conducted to test the 14 hypothesized relationships. Finding clearly support the notion that perceived ethnic compatibility of models featured in an advertisement influence resulting attitudes (i.e., toward the actors and advertisement). Of crucial importance is the finding that when viewing an advertisement featuring mixed models (i.e., one Hispanic model and one African-American model), both strong and weak Hispanic ethnic identifiers did not exhibit an intention to purchase the advertised product. This finding challenges the value of multicultural advertising, which feature various ethnic models together to reach several groups simultaneously, to effectively connect with ethnic minorities.

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