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Diagnosticity of Masculinity and Femininity in Processing Advertising Messages
Unformatted Document Text:  7 in ad-self-congruency literature. Implicit in this line of research is that a brand, like a person, has a personality. A research review indicates that brand personality has been explored using human personality traits (Bellenger, Steinberg & Stanton, 1976; Aaker, 1997). For example, Aaker (1997) has applied a total of 309 human personality traits to establish the number and nature of brand personality dimensions and has identified five primary dimensions. Among the five brand personality dimensions, the first dimension, “sincerity,” which contains personality traits such as “family-oriented,” “honest,” “sentimental” and “friendly,” seems to correspond to the femininity dimension described earlier. On the other hand, one of the other dimensions, “ruggedness,” which is composed of personality traits such as “masculine” and “tough,” appears similar to the masculinity dimension. Therefore, it seems important to explore self-congruency effects with regard to the two dimensions of personality traits, masculinity and femininity. Indeed, past research has demonstrated that products described as having masculine qualities appeal to masculine subjects to a greater extent than to feminine subjects, whereas products described in feminine terms generate more positive responses among feminine subjects than among masculine subjects (Worth, Smith & Mackie, 1992). How individuals’ self-perceptions regarding masculinity and femininity affect their attitudes toward advertising that appeals to different user profiles has also been examined. For example, Jaffe (1990; 1994) has explored the effectiveness of role portrayals that are consistent with women's self-ratings on masculinity or congruent with their self-ratings on femininity. Her findings suggest that female subjects’ degrees of masculinity and femininity moderate their responses to congruent and incongruent ad messages, with subjects scoring higher on masculinity favoring modern positioning more than subjects scoring lower on masculinity, and subjects scoring higher on femininity favoring traditional positioning more than subjects scoring lower on femininity. Exploring the influence of both female and male subjects’ femininity on their evaluations of

Authors: Chang, Chingching.
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in ad-self-congruency literature. Implicit in this line of research is that a brand, like a person,
has a personality. A research review indicates that brand personality has been explored using
human personality traits (Bellenger, Steinberg & Stanton, 1976; Aaker, 1997). For example,
Aaker (1997) has applied a total of 309 human personality traits to establish the number and
nature of brand personality dimensions and has identified five primary dimensions. Among the
five brand personality dimensions, the first dimension, “sincerity,” which contains personality
traits such as “family-oriented,” “honest,” “sentimental” and “friendly,” seems to correspond to
the femininity dimension described earlier. On the other hand, one of the other dimensions,
“ruggedness,” which is composed of personality traits such as “masculine” and “tough,” appears
similar to the masculinity dimension. Therefore, it seems important to explore self-congruency
effects with regard to the two dimensions of personality traits, masculinity and femininity.
Indeed, past research has demonstrated that products described as having masculine
qualities appeal to masculine subjects to a greater extent than to feminine subjects, whereas
products described in feminine terms generate more positive responses among feminine subjects
than among masculine subjects (Worth, Smith & Mackie, 1992). How individuals’
self-perceptions regarding masculinity and femininity affect their attitudes toward advertising
that appeals to different user profiles has also been examined. For example, Jaffe (1990; 1994)
has explored the effectiveness of role portrayals that are consistent with women's self-ratings on
masculinity or congruent with their self-ratings on femininity. Her findings suggest that female
subjects’ degrees of masculinity and femininity moderate their responses to congruent and
incongruent ad messages, with subjects scoring higher on masculinity favoring modern
positioning more than subjects scoring lower on masculinity, and subjects scoring higher on
femininity favoring traditional positioning more than subjects scoring lower on femininity.
Exploring the influence of both female and male subjects’ femininity on their evaluations of


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