Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Dennis Clayson


Human models are frequently used in advertisements to assist in selling the product. In particular, the use of attractive models is common and seen as a way to grab the viewer's attention and encourage purchase. The common theory is that attractiveness sells: the more attractive the model, the more positive the perception toward the product advertised. On the other hand, the effectiveness of this assumption is difficult to measure. Past researchers have looked at this idea of the effectiveness of attractiveness, but few have looked at specific elements of attractiveness like hair color or weight. Specifically, little research has examined how hair color and weight influence advertising effectiveness and overall product perception. This brings up several questions to research: Does changing the weight of the model make the viewer's attitude toward the product more negative or positive? Or does changing the model's hair color change the viewer's perception of the product? How do these two characteristics interact?

This thesis study expands on current research on attractiveness, hair color, and obesity and looks at print advertising and the influence of model appearance on product perception. The intent is to discover how these physical features play a role in advertising and what advertisers can do to best sell their product. The variables hair color and weight were used as objective measures in the study and were subtly changed in advertisements to determine if certain hair colors or weights produce more positive perceptions. This study helps to answer whether there is an ideal weight or hair color for use in advertisements.

Year of Submission



Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (20 pages)