Does Sexual Humor Work on Mars, But Not on Venus? Exploring Consumer Acceptance of Sexually Humorous Advertising by Gendered Brands

23 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2015

See all articles by James Mayer

James Mayer

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business

Piyush Kumar

University of Georgia

Hye Jin Yoon

Southern Methodist University (SMU)

Date Written: April 11, 2015

Abstract

In this paper, two studies demonstrate that the efficacy of sexual humor in advertising is more complicated than the conventional wisdom of “works for males, but not for females." The findings suggest that males and females tend not to exhibit significant differences in sexual humor evaluation (how funny is this?) but that advertising utilizing sexual humor is more likely (less likely) to generate positive attitudes (do I like this advertisement/brand?) when a masculine (feminine) brand is communicating with male (female) consumers. However, brand gender differences and the resultant consumer attitudinal differences can be eliminated through the use of gender-atypical brand personality. Taken together, the results show that the mere presence of sexual humor does not drive gender-based differences in advertising response; rather, it appears to be the fit of such humor with brand personality.

Suggested Citation

Mayer, James and Kumar, Piyush and Yoon, Hye Jin, Does Sexual Humor Work on Mars, But Not on Venus? Exploring Consumer Acceptance of Sexually Humorous Advertising by Gendered Brands (April 11, 2015). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 15-40, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2593274 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2593274

James Mayer (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business ( email )

Indianapolis, IN
United States
317-274-3941 (Phone)

Piyush Kumar

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

Hye Jin Yoon

Southern Methodist University (SMU) ( email )

6212 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
118
Abstract Views
528
rank
278,959
PlumX Metrics