JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL CONSUMER MARKETING, vol.32, no.4, pp.336-351, 2020 (ESCI)
Ads making use of sexual appeals have the potential to attract attention, but they also run the risk of offending viewers. In this paper, two studies were performed to explore consumers' third-person perceptions of sexual appeals in advertising for hedonic and utilitarian products. This research examined whether the third-person perception mediates the relationship between attitude toward the ad and purchase intention. We also examined whether these relationships are contingent on attitude toward sexual stimuli (positive vs. negative). Canadian (N = 400) and Turkish (N = 400) undergraduate students participated in each study. Findings consistently demonstrate that third-person phenomenon was supported in each study. The exact form of the third-person perception, however, differs across product types and cultural contexts. Also, attitude toward ads significantly affects third-person perception. In turn, third-person perception significantly affects both purchase intention on self and purchase intention on others. Furthermore, these relationships are contingent on the attitude toward sexual stimuli.