What Do Couples Do? A Content Analysis of Couple Images in Consumer Magazine Advertising

Fei Xue, University of Southern Mississippi
Marilyn Ellzey, William Carey University


The authors conducted a content analysis of couple images in advertisements in six consumer magazines (Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Glamour, Men's Health, Esquire, and GQ) published in 2005 and 2006. The results suggest that the typical couple image protrayed in ads in mainstream magazines was a young, heterosexual Caucasian couple with thin bodies and a trendy style either posing in front of the camera or enjoying leisure time in a relaxing setting. Men's magazines contained more financial or technology products, more foreign brands, more recreational activities, and more sensory messages, while women's magazines contained more beauty product, more group context, more safety appeal, and more ration messages.