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An exploratory study of how older Irish women engage with anti-ageing beauty advertising and the meaning they attribute to their beauty work

Gorby, Paula (2019) An exploratory study of how older Irish women engage with anti-ageing beauty advertising and the meaning they attribute to their beauty work. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

The pervasive obsession to look younger has reached new heights resulting in newfound attention from marketers towards the older female consumer. Media messages saturated with the ubiquitous portrayals of flawless female perfection, creates false needs for consumers and can result in severe pressures for women and lasting health consequences. Although it represents an increasingly lucrative target market, a gap in the literature has been identified whereby further research is required to provide an understanding for marketing practitioners of how media messages are affecting older women and the motives behind why women purchase anti ageing products.

The research objective is to understand the lived experiences of how older Irish women engage with anti ageing beauty advertising and the meaning they attribute to their beauty work. The author used a phenomenological approach utilising in-depth interviews, with six women over fifty years of age. Thematic coding was used to highlight key themes relevant to the research objectives. Results highlight that the women in the study reject the stereotypical images of models and call for more inclusive and diverse portrayals of females in the media. The women were accepting of the ageing process and just wanted to look well and be healthy. The purchase of anti ageing products was to enhance their appearance and not necessarily look younger. Women also reported an interesting paradox whereby they described only wanting to look good for themselves but also appeared to succumb to societal pressures.

Marketing practitioners can consider these findings to develop an appropriate marketing strategy that will resonate with this customer group. Consideration also needs to be given by this industry to the detrimental effect that the representation of ‘ageless perfection’ may have for some women, unintended consequences that marketers should be cognisant of.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Advertising
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2019 13:44
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2019 13:44
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/4043

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