The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Gender Role Portrayals in Indian Television and YouTube Video Advertisements

Article Details
Pub. Date : May, 2022
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Marketing Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJMM040522
Author Name :Ajeet Sharma
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 23



Two content analysis studies on gender role portrayals are reported in this paper. In the first, 987 television ads broadcast on top-ten all-India channels from 2016 to 2019 were analyzed. In the second, 397 most watched YouTube video ads in the same period were analyzed. Chi-square test results of these studies indicated that eight out of nine variables, i.e., all except credibility, showed either stereotyping or partial stereotyping in case of television ads; and six out of nine variables, i.e., all except age, arguments, and credibility, showed either stereotyping or partial stereotyping in case of YouTube video ads. The fact that television ads have greater gender role stereotyping than YouTube video ads is discussed, and implications are drawn for the benefit of advertisers in India.


Several global research studies, including in India, have proven that portrayals of men and women in advertising are stereotyped and not in congruence with the changing gender roles (Das, 2011). Repeated exposure to stereotyped advertisements may cause enduring adverse effects on an individual's beliefs and psychological and behavioral traits (Ganahl et al., 2003). Thus, the onus is on the advertisers to engender a balanced portrayal of men and women in their ads to make them more effective. One-dimensional advertising and media images such as those of a slender woman or a brawny man may lead to social comparisons (Bessenoff, 2006), causing an adverse effect on people's mood and body perceptions (Dates and Barlow, 1990). Similarly, sexual objectification of women or their portrayal merely for a decorative purpose demeans their status in society (Kilbourne, 1999). Such portrayals may reinforce beliefs (Allan and Coltrane, 1996) harmful to the society eventually (Gauntlett, 2009).

In India, a greater number of women have begun to work outside home and more men have accepted domestic or home-bound roles (Bhan, 2019). Gender equality for Indian women has a different meaning though-career-oriented women performing their familial duties (Wolf, 2009). Therefore, advertisers in India portray women as traditional, yet liberated (Munshi, 1998). By and large, gender role stereotyping exists in Indian advertising (Gupta and Jain, 1998; Munshi, 1998; Jha and Vohra, 2005; and Das,