Date of Award

Spring 2023

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Raghabendra KC

Committee Member

Dr. David Lynn Painter

Committee Member

Dr. John Shideler


Marketing research has examined consumer attitudes towards homosexuals in advertising since the late 1990s, however results have been mixed and continues to evolve as societal perceptions towards the LGBTQ+ community constantly change. Furthermore, there is a distinct lack of research towards these groups when placed in the context of a family. This research examines the representation of nontraditional family structures in advertising and their effects on consumer behavior, specifically focusing on attitudes towards the advertisement, attitudes towards the brand, purchase intention, and net promoter score. 880 responses were compared across 12 conditions, in which we examine the effects of a priming passage (neutral vs. primed), couple type being portrayed in the advertisement (heterosexual vs. gay vs. lesbian), and the level of physical intimacy displayed by the couple (implicit vs. explicit). Results indicate that priming and the explicitness of the images have very little effect on the overall participant responses. The overall sample also indicated very little difference in participant responses based on the three couple types. However, factoring in participants prior attitude towards homosexuality and sexual orientation, our results show significant impact of the couple type on participant responses towards the advertisement, the brand, their purchase intentions, and Net Promoter Score. Our results provide insights on current consumer perceptions of the nontraditional families in advertisements and provide implications for marketers as they weigh the implications of representing diverse populations in marketing materials.

Rights Holder

Connor Teague

Available for download on Thursday, May 08, 2025

Included in

Marketing Commons