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Gender and Advertisements: A Content Analysis of Pakistani Prime Time Advertisements

Authors: Aaminah Hassan


Advertisements carry a great potential to influence our lives because they are crafted to meet particular ends. Stereotypical representation in advertisements is capable of forming unconscious attitudes among people towards any gender and their abilities. This study focuses on gender representation in Pakistani prime time advertisements. For this purpose, 13 advertisements were selected from three different categories of foods and beverages, cosmetics, cell phones and cellular networks from the prime time slots of one of the leading Pakistani entertainment channel, ‘Urdu 1’. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are carried out for range of variables like gender, age, roles, activities, setting, appearance and voice overs. The results revealed that gender representation in advertisements is stereotypical. Moreover, in few instances, the portrayal of women is not only culturally inappropriate but is demeaning to the image of women as well. Their bodily charm is used to promote products. Comparing different entertainment channels for their prime time advertisements and broadening the scope of this research will yield greater implications for the researchers who want to carry out the similar research. It is hoped that the current study would help in the promotion of media literacy among the viewers and media authorities in Pakistan.

Keywords: Advertisements, content analysis, gender, prime time.

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