Gender roles in online advertising

Osnat Roth-Cohen, Halyna Sofiia Kanevska, Martin Eisend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This research focuses on gender roles in advertising on YouTube using a content-analysis approach that addresses the unique functionalities and characteristics of online advertising formats and its consumers. The data was collected from Germany and Israel, based on 311 advertisements providing 473 central characters. The results provide evidence for stereotyping in online advertising. These findings are slightly different from previous studies on gender roles in traditional advertising. Stereotyping in advertising on YouTube mainly draws on physical characteristics (e.g. body shape, height), but not occupational status (e.g. professional). In contrast, in traditional advertising stereotyping draws more on occupational status. The degree of stereotyping based on role behaviours is similar in both traditional and social media advertising. The country-specific results show that gender roles in advertising show cross-cultural differences, defying the assumption of YouTube as a uniform globalized online platform for ads. These findings have implications for advertisers asking to improve the efficiency of online ads that use stereotypes and for researchers and regulators, underlining the importance of the ongoing political debate on what constitutes appropriate regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-200
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2022


  • gender roles
  • gender stereotypes
  • online advertising
  • YouTube advertising


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