Animal-companion depictions in women's magazine advertising

Patricia F. Kennedy, Mary G. McGarvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Via a content analysis of 1398 advertisements that include both people and pets and that appeared in women's magazines over a period of four decades, this study examines the changing roles played by companion animals and the changes in themes used in these advertisements. Considering both the pictures and text, the study codes advertisements for themes, pet roles, whether or not the pet appears on a leash, and the physical location of the pet. These data show the movement of companion animals from outdoor protectors and companions to loved family members sharing all areas of the home with their human family. The study provides a method for transforming qualitative data so that they can be rigorously tested using a quantitative approach. The findings support prior survey research and provide direction for positioning and marketing-communications strategies to allow for societal trends that influence consumers' self-identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Content analysis
  • Loved family members
  • Pets
  • Women's magazines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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