First Faculty Advisor
Generation Y; Advertising; Gender; Roles; Marketing
Prior studies have demonstrated the complexities of Generation Y, and the difficulty advertisers are facing in reaching this group effectively. Due to the increasing number Generation Y females with advanced degrees high power jobs, it is important for advertisers to reach this group in advertisements. Research on gender roles in advertising indicate that attitudes about traditional and modern female gender roles have changed over time and vary by role identity. This study aims to help advertisers better understand Generation Y collegeaged women’s perceptions of gender roles in advertising so as to better target and reach this audience. Using a sample of 210 Bryant University undergraduate students, an online survey instrument was used to measure attitude toward the ad and attitude toward the product based on exposure to one of four randomly assigned advertisements. The questionnaire also measured role identity, as well as demographic and personal information. Findings from this study, similar to findings from studies in the 1970s, indicate that Generation Y females are not very critical of traditional role portrayals, but that they are rather positive and accepting of this role portrayal.