Authors' Names

Tyler SparingFollow

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Category

Social Sciences/Humanities

Abstract/Artist Statement

Tyler Sparing University of Montana Tyler1.sparing@umconnect.umt.edu Emotional Appeals in Advertising Directed at Women: 1940-1950 The 1940s were a transformative era in the history of American advertising. At the beginning of the decade the industry adapted to the needs of the war effort, while pivoting after the war to epitomize the growing consumer culture. Increasingly throughout this period marketing campaigns used emotional persuasion techniques to sell their products. In effect, this was the beginning of the era of “keeping up with the Joneses,” and emotional appeals in advertising served to help the new consumer-minded citizens identify personally with the products they purchased. Being that women were heavily targeted as the primary consumers within the household, they become the focal point of this paper. The intent is to gain a greater understanding of how emotional persuasion techniques during the war years were different (or not) from the post-war years, and what sort of gendered expectations it was producing. A variety of secondary sources will be used to help align the time frames of consumerism and women’s history. A couple primary examples: Lisabeth Cohen’s book A Consumers Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America will help situate women’s changing role in postwar consumer culture, while Juliann Sivulka’s Ad Women: How they Impact What We Need, Want, and Buy will help further situate women’s place more acutely within the advertising industry. These books and several others will help keep the themes of this paper consistent with the broader historiographical scholarship. The Saturday Evening Post will be one of the main primary sources for this project. Being a popular magazine that ran for much of the 21st century, and having accessible archives, I will use it to track emotional appeals year by year to pick up on the changing trends. I will also identify the primary emotions being promoted and how that played on the expected roles women were supposed to have in 1940s United States. Other popular magazines like Life and Ladies Home Journal will be consulted as well. What this paper hopes to achieve is to add more clarity to the broader impact of emotional persuasion techniques in advertising. The expectation is to see the ads become increasingly more emotional in nature, as by the early 1960s emotional techniques had supplanted product-based reason appeals as the primary method of consumer persuasion. As the 1940s were a time of great transformation, women become a primary interest not only because of the unique role they played in the world of consumerism, but also because of the shift in expectations for women after men got home from war. In other words this paper will track how emotional techniques played a part in women's perceived role going from Rosie the Riveter to the quintessential 1950s homemaker.

Mentor Name

Anya Jabour

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Emotional Appeals in United States Advertising That Were Directed Towards Women: 1940-1950

Tyler Sparing University of Montana Tyler1.sparing@umconnect.umt.edu Emotional Appeals in Advertising Directed at Women: 1940-1950 The 1940s were a transformative era in the history of American advertising. At the beginning of the decade the industry adapted to the needs of the war effort, while pivoting after the war to epitomize the growing consumer culture. Increasingly throughout this period marketing campaigns used emotional persuasion techniques to sell their products. In effect, this was the beginning of the era of “keeping up with the Joneses,” and emotional appeals in advertising served to help the new consumer-minded citizens identify personally with the products they purchased. Being that women were heavily targeted as the primary consumers within the household, they become the focal point of this paper. The intent is to gain a greater understanding of how emotional persuasion techniques during the war years were different (or not) from the post-war years, and what sort of gendered expectations it was producing. A variety of secondary sources will be used to help align the time frames of consumerism and women’s history. A couple primary examples: Lisabeth Cohen’s book A Consumers Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America will help situate women’s changing role in postwar consumer culture, while Juliann Sivulka’s Ad Women: How they Impact What We Need, Want, and Buy will help further situate women’s place more acutely within the advertising industry. These books and several others will help keep the themes of this paper consistent with the broader historiographical scholarship. The Saturday Evening Post will be one of the main primary sources for this project. Being a popular magazine that ran for much of the 21st century, and having accessible archives, I will use it to track emotional appeals year by year to pick up on the changing trends. I will also identify the primary emotions being promoted and how that played on the expected roles women were supposed to have in 1940s United States. Other popular magazines like Life and Ladies Home Journal will be consulted as well. What this paper hopes to achieve is to add more clarity to the broader impact of emotional persuasion techniques in advertising. The expectation is to see the ads become increasingly more emotional in nature, as by the early 1960s emotional techniques had supplanted product-based reason appeals as the primary method of consumer persuasion. As the 1940s were a time of great transformation, women become a primary interest not only because of the unique role they played in the world of consumerism, but also because of the shift in expectations for women after men got home from war. In other words this paper will track how emotional techniques played a part in women's perceived role going from Rosie the Riveter to the quintessential 1950s homemaker.