The portrayal of older individuals in prime-time television advertising : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)

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Williamson, Holly
Robinson, Thomas E., 1962-
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Thesis (B.S.)
Honors College
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This paper is the result of a study conducted on the portrayal of older citizens in prime-time television advertising. Before beginning this study, previous studies on similar topics and demographic information on older individuals had to be researched; from this research, the questions included in this study were formed. To answer these questions, a content analysis of four television networks, consisting of over 36 hours of television was completed. The content analysis examined the products being advertised, the number of people in the ad, and if any of them appeared to be 50 years of age or older, further analysis was completed. The approximate age of the character, and his or her race, social positioning, role, personality traits, setting, and the target audience for the ad are just a few elements that were examined in this study. After compiling the data from the ads that were analyzed, the results were interpreted and conclusions were drawn from the findings. In its totality, this paper works to describe and explain how older persons are shown in today's prime-time television advertisements.