Date of Graduation

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Jan L. Wicks

Committee Member

Igantius Fosu

Second Committee Member

Ron Warren

Keywords

Communication and the arts; Children's advertising; Content analysis; Social cognitive theory

Abstract

This content analysis study on licensed characters in advertising collected data in summer 2015 from three children’s cable networks: Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Using Social cognitive theory and based on past research (Barcus, 1975; Atkin, 1976; Calcott & Lee, 1994; Stitt & Kunkel, 2008; LoDolce et al., 2013; Castonguay et al., 2013), the study examined whether the use of licensed characters and emotional appeals varied in advertising for healthy or unhealthy foods, mass media genre and the character’s gender. The study found licensed characters are more likely to be used to promote unhealthy foods, originate from movies and reinforce gender stereotypes.

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