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Daria Davis   (MFA)

Major / Concentration:

ART / Graphic Design

Thesis Title:

Defining the Visual Aspects Of “Antidote Advertising” And Its Impact On Pressures Of Women In American Advertising

Thesis Year:


External Link:


Thesis document:


Learning from the past is how we understand the complexities or growth of a subject. For women, advertisements play a significant role in our interpretation of the world and ourselves. In this study, I examine specific advertisements targeted towards women by using the theoretical model known as ‘Antidote Advertising’, as defined by Stuart Ewen in 1976. The central thesis of this paper is associated with identifying the visual characteristics of “Antidote Advertising” through a qualitative analysis of various print ads from 1920s to the present, in order to understand the persistent pressures experienced by women in American culture. In this thesis a framework is created by finding patterns in visual characteristics (headline, image, and body copy) of ads. The framework led to sub-categories that were created and then grouped into larger categories with names that defined the overarching themes of the visual characteristics. Being able to identify the visual characteristics of this type of advertising can lead to better practices within design that helps avoid the creation of ads that reflect and imply the exploitation, humiliation and lack of diverse portrayals amongst women, while still being able to sell products.

Thesis Paper