The Impact of Violent Humor on Advertising Success: A Gender Perspective

Document Type


Publication Date



Recent academic research has focused on the use of novelty and shock in advertising executions. One manifestation of this approach in American television advertising is the use of aggressive humor; a dramatic change in the way humor has historically been employed. This investigation examines two studies of the responses of men and women to violence in humorous advertising. The results of both studies reveal differences in the responses of men and women suggesting there may be a risk in coupling humor with high physical violence in ads targeted toward female audiences. The second study examines in a path model the role of perceived violations of social norms and perceived humor on the attitudes of men and women toward the ad and the brand. The poor response of women to more violence with humor ads is closely related to their perceived violations of social norms; for men, their more positive response to such ads is related to their perception of humor in the ads with humor and stronger violence.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users