Title page for ETD etd-11152007-194712

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Santaella, Monica
URN etd-11152007-194712
Title Images in Fashion Advertisements: Their Role in Involvement and the Consumer Communications Process
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Teresa A. Summers Committee Chair
Anne Cunningham Osborne Committee Member
Betsy Garrison Committee Member
Bonnie D. Belleau Committee Member
Judith Anne G Folse Dean's Representative
  • elaboration of information
  • personal involvement
  • advertising
  • image-only
  • persuasion
  • visual
  • verbal
  • copy-only
  • consumer behavior
  • highly-involved
  • controversial products
  • information processing
  • risky apparel
  • clothing
Date of Defense 2007-10-03
Availability unrestricted
The importance of images as a means of persuasion in advertisements, with few exceptions, has been viewed as secondary to copy (text) in advertisements. Even though images play an important part in the communication of messages for fashion apparel, research to develop an understanding of how images influence consumers is needed. Hypotheses were developed to test the proposition that viewers’ level of advertisement and fashion involvement would be moderated by type of advertisement treatment for a fashion product considered controversial: (1) copy and image, (2) copy only, and (3) image only.

Involvement, as a state that can be measured along a continuum, served as the theoretical framework. The Revised Personal Involvement Inventory (RPII) was used to measure advertisement involvement. The Fashion Involvement Index (FII) was used to measure fashion involvement as a function of product involvement. Both scales had dimensions that provided additional information to test an overall state of involvement.

A mail survey was conducted of a sample of 1,200 women with intended household income of $75,000 or higher, living in eight major metropolitan areas of the United States. The response rate was 23%. In general, the respondents were highly educated; over 30 years of age; white, not of Hispanic origin; married; full-time employed professionals; and affluent.

Hypotheses were tested using multiple regression (MR) and Pearson correlation analyses. Variation in advertisement treatment produced no moderating effects on involvement with the advertisement. Age was the only demographic characteristic found to moderate the relationship between fashion involvement and involvement with the advertisement as measured on the pleasure dimension of the RPII. There were significant relationships between fashion involvement and ownership of leather products and between level of advertisement involvement and ownership of leather products. Results also showed significant relationships between fashion involvement and media exposure and between advertisement involvement and media exposure. Results in this study contribute to an understanding of the role of images in print advertisements for fashion apparel and further support the external validity of advertisement involvement as measured by the RPII and fashion involvement theory as measured by the FII.

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