Advertisements are an influential source for educating people about social issues such as gender inequality, remain far from achieving the desired results. This article identifies significant research gaps in advertising design for social marketing in the specific context of the stereotypical portrayal of gender, leading to biases. The study primarily focuses on available literature in advertising design, social marketing, gender representation, institutionalized social issues, and advertising media. A keyword search using online databases led to identifying influential journals in the above-mentioned areas, which were further analyzed and reviewed by implementing a systematic literature review methodology. The final articles undertaken for review were shortlisted considering their year of publication, 2015 – 2022, purpose, relevance, and critical findings—this led to identifying emergent themes and organizing them into an analytical framework to ease understanding. The study reveals that although advertisers employ social media for simulating interest in various social issues such as mental health, religion, environment, and drug abuse, they are yet one of the most underrated areas in the domain of stereotypical portrayal of gender. The study furthermore discloses that most of the preceding articles had focused on the repercussion of stereotypical gender portrayal in advertisements on children and their development, disregarding the effect of such depictions on adults. The article thus facilitates significant insights with substantive inferences aiding managerial implications and future research, executed by generating insights from interviews with experts, content analysis of social media campaigns, surveys for understanding consumer perception, and control group experiments.
Student, Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Assam, India Pratul Chandra Kalita
Assistant Professor, Design, Indian Institute of Technology. Guwahati
Advertising Design, Social Marketing, Advertising Media, Gender Representation, Social Issues
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