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Case Title:

The Woman of Substance”: Changing Face of Women in Advertisements?

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Ishani Chakraborty & Kisholoy Roy

Industry: Advertising


Case Code: MKS0109K

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Since the 20th century the status and role of women in society has undergone a massive change. Consequently, the way women were portrayed in ads has also altered. Conventionally, advertisers focused only on women’s physical beauty and portrayed them as glam dolls. However, in the 1990s, an enormous change occurred in the socio-economic status of women. As more and more women started doing jobs, the number of economically independent women increased gradually. This created a new segment of working women who had different needs and demands. In accordance, the companies launched new products customized to women. This prompted advertisers to portray women as confident, bold and self-reliant. Moreover, since early 2000s advertisers portrayed women as ‘super woman who could balance her career and family responsibilities with ease. Although the portrayal of women in ads has come a long way and women have been placed almost at par with men, the true equality is yet to be achieved.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the impact of society on advertisements
  • To give an insight into the socio-economic changes that occurred in the 1990s which led to a massive change in the way women were depicted in ads
  • To analyse the status of women in ads as well as in the society.

Keywords : Woman, Advertising, Society, Financial Independence, Purchasing Power, Potential Buyer, Marketing Strategies Case Study, Family, Primary Decision Maker, Submissive, Sensuous Objects, Woman Buyers, Physical Beauty, Tradition, Image of a Woman


  • The Conventional Representation
  • Emergence of “The Woman of Substance”
  • Blending of Images: Co-existence of the Conventional and the New Image

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