Article co-authored by Eser Levi and Kaan Varnalı

“The Match-Up Hypothesis Revisited: A Social Psychological Perspective”, co-authored by Eser Levi (PhD, BİLGİ Faculty of Communication), Kaan Varnalı (Assoc. Prof., BİLGİ Faculty of Communication) and Nurhan Babür Tosun (Prof. Dr., Marmara University Faculty of Communication), is published in International Journal of Communication.


Drawing on the social psychology literature, two studies are presented that examine the role of self-esteem and body-esteem in driving the effect of using highly attractive female imagery in ads targeting women. In two 2 × 2 experiments, model physical attractiveness and product category are manipulated. The results indicate that (1) while highly attractive female models perform better in the ads of attractiveness-related products, moderately attractive female models work better in the ads of non-attractiveness-related products and (2) self-esteem and body esteem play a significant role on how female imagery in ads relate to advertising effectiveness. We found rather consistent yet statistically insignificant evidence for the proposition that low self- and body esteem amplifies the reversal effect predicted by the “match-up hypothesis.”

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