Document Type



While ethnic diversity in advertising has long been studied, researchers have found conflicting results when studying the attitudes of consumers towards multi-ethnic representation in ads. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of using an ethnically diverse or ethnically-specific cast in television advertisements in order to target ethnic minorities. This study seeks to determine if an actor’s ethnicity influences the viewer’s identification with the ad, depending on the viewer’s strength of identification with their ethnic group. Findings demonstrate that people who identify more with their ethnic group tend to identify more with ads that feature a member of their ethnic group. Further, higher identification with an ad correlates with higher behavioral and purchase intent, as well as more positive attitudes towards the advertisement and the brand.



Thesis Comittee

Stephanie Jacobsen (Thesis Director)

Adriana Boveda-Lambie

Jakari Griffith

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.