Representations of Race and Culture: A Content Analysis of Alcoholic Beverage Print Advertisements
In recent years the alcohol industry has incorporated target marketing techniques as a means of maximizing their advertising budgets. One particular group of interest for many alcohol companies is that of young African-American men that reside in lower-socioeconomic areas. Advertisements aimed at this demographic utilize images and portrayals that strongly resonate with the audience. However those same images and portrayals may also be detrimental to the personal and social development of the members of the target group. Using a content analysis research design this study examines two groups of print advertisements. Group 1 includes print ads of alcoholic beverages in magazines aimed at the general population of men, such as Rolling Stone, Details, Esquire, and Maxim. Group 2 includes print ads of alcoholic beverages in magazines aimed at young African-American men, such as Black Men, Smooth, Black Beat, and Mass Appeal. The implications of the images and portrayals featured in each group of advertisements are examined from the perspective of social cognitive theory.
Keywords: Race, Advertising, Content Analysis, Target Marketing, Social Cognitive Theory
Doctoral Student, Advertising Department, University of Texas at Austin