Perfect Mothers? The Description of Mothers in Food Advertising

Jinhee Lee, Ji Mi Hong, Hyuk Jun Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explore diverse images of mothers that are used in both healthy and unhealthy food advertising and to identify the various types of models, model poses, and themes that are employed to present images of mothers in such advertising. A total of 201 food advertisements obtained from three magazines, namely, Parents, Family Fun, and Working Mother, were reviewed, and a content analysis was undertaken. The findings indicated that the most prominent images were those of mothers serving food and nurturing their children. Furthermore, children and family members were preferred as the models to present these mother images, while eating the advertised food products, playing, and hugging were the dominant model poses. Lastly, health and nutrition, fun and happiness, taste, flavor, and smell were featured most frequently as themes. Based on the results, the theoretical and practical implications were addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-611
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Promotion Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 6 2020


  • Food advertising
  • content analysis
  • framing theory
  • magazine advertising
  • mother images


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