An Analysis of Advertising Strategies in Women’s Lifestyle Magazines in India (2013)

Women’s Lifestyle Magazines in India Dissertation – This dissertation is an analysis of the advertising strategies used in women’s lifestyle magazines in India. Because of the economic ‘liberalization’ that occurred in the early 1990’s, India has a booming economy with an ever-expanding upper and upper middle class. Today, citizens of India have a higher disposable income than ever before.

Many multi-national firms (including Unilever, L’Oreal, and Colgate-Palmolive) have increased their advertising budgets in India and the cosmetics industry in India grew from Rs 189.5 billion to Rs 302.3 billion from 2000 to 2010 India has a historical tradition of bias against those who have darker skin. I believe that multi-national corporations are profiting from the exploitation of existing social prejudices against dark-skinned people in Indian society by using fair models and celebrities to advertise products including skin-lightening creams.

Using content analysis and textual analysis, I examined a selective sample of thirty-six advertisements from Vogue India, Femina, and Cosmpolitan India. I found that the majority of the models used in the advertisements had either pinkish-white or fair-white skin. These women were more likely to be styled as a sensual/sexy beauty type in the advertisements. I discovered that the fair-skin women were used to advertise luxury goods such as watches and perfume and western clothing.

The darker-skinned models were used to advertise traditional Indian products including wedding make-up, gold wedding jewellery, and saris. The aims of the dissertation will be based upon previous studies conducted by other researchers, which is presented in the literature review. The aims will be;

  • To see how globalisation is impacting advertisements in Global and Domestic Indian women’s lifestyle magazines
  • To examine which advertising strategies are being used to sell products to upper class and upper middle class Indian women
  • To compare and contrast the way that advertising is depicting the ‘New Indian’ Women and Western women
  • To see if the products being advertised and images exploit existing cultural stereotypes which favour fair-skinned models
  • 12,000 words – 40 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes questionnaire
  • Ideal for media and communications students

1. Introduction
India’s Economy
Women’s Lifestyle Magazines
Theoretical Framework

2. Aims and Research Questions

3. Literature Review
India’s Media Market
Representations of the ‘New’ Indian
Emphasis on Fairness in Indian Society and Advertising
Women’s Lifestyle Magazines in India
Previous Research Studies

4. Research Methodology
Content Analysis Methodology
What is Content Analysis?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Analysis
Textual Analysis Methodology
What is Textual Analysis?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Textual Analysis
Content Analysis Research Design
Textual Analysis Research Design
Pilot Study

5. Results
Skin Tone
Graph One: Skin Tone of Models
Beauty Types
Classic Beauty Type
Sensual/Sexy Beauty Type
Cute/Girl-Next-Door Beauty Type
Trendy Beauty Type
Product Categories
Camera Angles
Globalisation’s Impact

6. Dissertation Conclusions

Appendix Section



Women's Lifestyle Magazines in India Dissertation
Women’s Lifestyle Magazines in India Dissertation

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