Ouderen in tv-reclamespots: Lachwekkend of respectabel?

Translated title of the contribution: Images of the elderly in Dutch tv-commercials

M. van Selm*, G. Westerhof, T. Thissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study on images of elderly (over 55 years old) in Dutch commercials involved a content-analysis of 1003 commercials. Older adults were shown in only 28 commercials. Elderly persons, and especially older women, appeared to be highly underrepresented. Only a few commercials (i.e., health support products) are directed at older adults as a target-group. Elderly persons are mostly represented in roles that create a pleasant atmosphere, such as grandparent or a retired enjoyer of life. Besides, aging is used as a metaphor for quality and tradition. For men, aging involves authority and life-experience. Apart from these positive links with old age, commercials were found that present the elderly as physically weak or incompetent. A considerable amount of commercials were humoristic. The authors interpret the results as characteristic of a predominantly negative portrayal of the elderly.

Translated title of the contributionImages of the elderly in Dutch tv-commercials
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalTijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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