Evaluating the influence of racially targeted food and beverage advertisements on Black and White adolescents’ perceptions and preferences

Marie A. Bragg, Alysa N. Miller, David A. Kalkstein, Brian Elbel, Christina A. Roberto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: The present study measures how racially-targeted food and beverage ads affect adolescents’ attitudes toward ads and brands, purchase intentions for advertised products, and willingness to engage with brands on social media. Methods: Black and White adolescents were recruited through Survey Sampling International in 2016. Participants completed an online survey in which they were randomized to view either four food and beverage ads (e.g., soda, candy commercials)featuring Black actors or four food and beverage ads featuring White actors. Results: For the two components of the attitudinal outcome, Black participants were more likely to report a positive affective response toward racially-similar ads compared to Whites. However, White participants were more likely to like ads that were racially-dissimilar compared to Black participants. Data were analyzed in 2016–2017, and we used an alpha level of 0.05 to denote statistical significance. Conclusions: Both Black and White adolescents reported more positive affective responses to ads that featured Blacks compared to ads that featured Whites. Because there were no differences on two outcomes, future research should examine the influence of racially-targeted marketing in real-world contexts (e.g., social media)and longitudinal exposure to targeted advertising on dietary behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalAppetite
Volume140
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Advertisement
  • Brand engagement
  • Racially-targeted marketing
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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