Decoding Archetypal Images of Motherhood in Magazine Advertisements

Lilit Baghdasaryan, Shona Bettany, Bogdan Florin Mihaila

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Mass-mediated marketplace images produce culturally accepted ideals, archetypes of motherhood that help to legitimate and constitute mothering identities and ultimately shape the consumption preferences. This article focuses on the imagery representation of mothers in magazine advertisements and reflects on how the interpretation of hidden archetypal meanings could open up new windows for marketers specifically targeting this category of consumers. It builds on the theoretical dispositions of consumer culture theory and visual consumption to conceptualise the motherhood portrayal in print media and highlight its impact on consumption choices through the construction of mothering identity. Based on this study, methodological aspects of interpreting images have been extended which resulted in gathering insights from participants via the use of photo-elicitation methods. The findings suggest that mothers in the UK are inclined to conducted visual consumption of mothering images/archetypes that mirror their own ideals rather than prioritising the actual product or service advertised. The research also suggests that there are limited portrayals of mothering roles, ethnical and sexual diversity in magazine advertisements. It suggests further research on mass media advertisements and extended scope of a broader scale in-depth interviews to address the needs and expectations of mothers as consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinding New Ways to Engage and Satisfy Global Customers
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress (WMC)
EditorsPatricia Rossi, Nina Krey
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030025687
ISBN (Print)9783030025670, 9783030025694
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event21st Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress (WMC) - Universidade Lusiada-Norte, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 27 Jun 201829 Jun 2018
Conference number: 21

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


Conference21st Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress (WMC)
Internet address


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