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Annual Conference 2019

March 28–31, 2019

Marriott City Center, Dallas, TX

Proposal authors of accepted papers can use the tool below (scroll down) to see where they have been placed in the agenda. Note: Special Topics sessions - Only the submitter's name is searchable, not panelists. [If you wish an overview of the conference please click here: Conference Overview Agenda.

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3.3a Death in Advertising: The Last Taboo?

Friday, March 29, 2019 at 2:45 PM–4:15 PM CDT

Portrayals of death in advertising for non-death related products are exceedingly rare, in sharp contrast to numerous death portrayals in other media sources such as movies and TV programs. Additionally, advertising increasingly depicts other controversial topics, such as sex and violence, but not death. Is death the last taboo in advertising? This study examines death as a taboo topic in advertising through in-depth interviews with twenty consumers—half of the participants are in their 20s and half are older than 65. Participants were shown six current, non-shocking ads containing death portrayals to help answer the research question: How do consumers understand and feel about death portrayals in advertising for non-death related products? Themes are explored to understand if consumers’ responses are related to different types of portrayals of death in advertising, or consumers’ stage of life.

First & Corresponding Author

Jane Caulfield, University of Saskatchewan
Authors in the order to be printed.

Jane Caulfield, University of Saskatchewan; Michelle Day, University of Saskatchewan; Barbara Phillips, University of Saskatchewan

Additional Authors

Michelle Day, Edwards School of Business
Barbara Phillips, University of Saskatchewan