Why do ads feature stereotypes?

My recently published journal article in International Journal of Advertising asks practitioners: Why do advertisements feature stereotypes? What functions do they serve?

Abstract: There is a long and diverse literature on gender stereotypes in advertising; however, US practitioners’ perspectives on the role and function of stereotypes in advertising remain unknown. Understanding professionals’ views on whether and how stereotypes communicate is important for anyone who believes it beneficial to reduce future stereotypical representations. Using qualitative interviews with 42 practitioners, this study detailed seven themes concerning professionals’ perceptions of the role and function of stereotypes in advertising, including beliefs that stereotypes are based in truth, are attractive to audiences, communicate quickly, simplify processing, prevent distraction, prevent thinking, and are the obvious solution. Practitioners felt stereotypes were used most appropriately when they were subverted or challenged in advertising messages. Stereotypes were most inappropriate when they reinforced negative perceptions. Four factors believed to drive the use of stereotypes in advertising are discussed.

Check out the article here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2016.1160855