A Content Analysis: The Marketing And Advertising Of The Breast Cancer Movement

Open Access
Fitzgerald, Caroline Catherine
Area of Honors:
Women's Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Carolyn Elizabeth Sachs, Thesis Supervisor
  • Carolyn Elizabeth Sachs, Honors Advisor
  • Mindy L Boffemmyer, Faculty Reader
  • Breast Cancer
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Women
  • Pink Ribbon
Breast cancer is one of the most recognizable diseases in the world. Across the globe, the breast cancer movement unites under the universal symbol of the pink ribbon. With the creation of the pink ribbon and the rise of the breast cancer movement came a new era of political activism that was rooted in consumerism. The marketplace is saturated with a plethora of pink products that offer consumers an opportunity to financially contribute to the breast cancer movement. Marketing and advertising are the drivers behind consumerism. Social marketing efforts advanced by the breast cancer movement aim to influence consumer decision making and thereby raise funds for the breast cancer movement. Through their marketing strategies, these institutions convey calculated messages and ideas about what it is like to face breast cancer. Society’s images of and ideas about breast cancer are constructed by these institutions through the media that they share with the public. This study is a content analysis of the advertisements advanced by different players of the breast cancer movement. 200 advertisements were selected and critically analyzed. On the whole, these advertisements neglect to highlight what is really necessary in order for breast cancer to be eliminated. Additionally, they fail to accurately portray a woman’s breast cancer experience.