Abstract: It's All About the Man: Advertising and the Changing Male Market

Blaine J. Branchik


American men, as a culture and as consumers, are undergoing rapid change. These changes are attributed to male reaction to rapidly evolving gender roles and the transition from a production-oriented industrial economy to a more consumption-oriented service economy. These changes have impacted men's shopping habits and, as a result, businesses' communications with male targeted buyers. This presentation outlines a study to chronicle these changes by using advertisements for men's fashion and grooming products from fifty years of <em>Sports Illustrated</em> magazine. Advertising provides an archival record and normative guide for consumer culture; therefore, ads can serve as in important tool in this analysis. Using content analysis, this study intends to categorize the values expressed in these ads. Examining over 1,100 advertisements, I foresee a shift from other-focused values such as family or affiliation to more self-focused values such as vanity, eros, and fitness. This study will provide a tool for examining an important and lucrative market segment while giving businesses a view into a changing consumer culture.