(Mis)Representations of older consumers in advertising: stigma and inadequacy in ageing societies

December, 2020

Autor(es)

Flávia Cardoso
Carla Abdalla

How do older consumers in an ageing society interpret and make sense of cultural media products, such as advertising campaigns, portraying their cohort? A qualitative study analysing 626 advertisements and drawing from 18 consumer interviews in Brazil shows how older consumers reject stereotypical images of their cohort in advertising even when the images are positive. Older individuals seek to distance themselves from stereotypical social images of old age, placing themselves in a liminal state of being ‘not too old but no longer young’. This research speaks to the opportunities of cultural media producers to better align their messages with legislative and regulatory efforts to portray older consumers more realistically to successfully destigmatise this section of the population.

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