Children are increasingly the target of advertising around the world, in large part because they represent a sizable audience. The large and influential nature of the children's market on purchasing behavior is manifest at the global level. With the growth in the children's market and advertising to children, it is imperative for practitioners to understand how the execution and content of children's advertising might vary around the world and the factors that might impact differences. Furthermore, specific concerns about food advertising directed toward children have also grown, along with the incidence of childhood obesity. The use of magic or fantasy is also much more frequent among advertisements targeting children. Children not only have a propensity toward fantasy, but also enjoy it and may not possess, access, or invoke persuasion knowledge in response to fantasy-based executions. Therefore, understanding how children respond to fantasy in children's advertising is important.
Dr. Bakir and her co-authors have published two critical studies on this topic. In their first study they content analyzed children's commercials from three countries, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States, thereby providing a contemporary baseline for the practice of advertising in three distinctive global markets. A comparative profile of the findings for each country reveals that the American advertisements, not surprisingly, relative to the commercials of both Mexico and Turkey, show evidence of more sophisticated advertising practices (e.g., animation). Both Mexican and Turkish ads appear to serve an instrumental purpose in providing information rather than the emotional and entertainment quality that emerged in the American advertisements.
In the second study, they examine the use and impact of fantasy in children's advertising. Perceptions of fantasy were positively associated with evaluations of an advertisement when perceived manipulative intent was low, which is consistent with previous findings that young children are naturally attracted to and respond positively to fantasy. High perceived manipulative intent, however, was associated with lower evaluations of the advertisements.
Bakir, Aysen, Kay Palan, and Richard Kolbe (2013), "A Comparative Content Analysis of Advertising Practices to Children," Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 34 (2), 247-262.
Gregory M. Rose, Altaf Merchant, and Aysen Bakir (2013), "Fantasy in Food Advertising Targeted at Children," Journal of Advertising, 41 (3), 75-90.
Aysen Bakir joined the Department of Marketing in August 2002. She came to Illinois State University from The University of Mississippi, where she pursued her Ph.D. Her current teaching interests include Integrated Marketing Communications, International Marketing, and Principles of Marketing.
Bakir's research interests include consumer socialization of children, gender roles, and cross-cultural consumer behavior. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, Journal of Consumer Marketing , and other journals and national and international conference proceedings. She also has published book chapters in the Handbook of Intercultural Relations and New Directions in Cross Cultural Psychology.
Bakir's professional experience includes working as a pricing specialist for Xerox in Turkey. She has also been a full time instructor at Kocaeli University. Before coming to Illinois State, she also taught Advertising, International Marketing and Principles of Marketing courses while completing her doctoral studies at The University of Mississippi.
Prior to coming to ISU, she was selected as an AMA Doctoral Consortium Fellow in 2000, and was an SMA Doctoral Consortium Fellow in 1999 to represent The University of Mississippi. She was honored as an outstanding doctoral student at The University of Mississippi for the 1999-2000 academic year. Dr. Bakir also received a World Bank Fellowship at University of Central Lancashire, England where she stayed 7 months in 1994 and 1995.
In 2008, Bakir attended a Visiting Professor Program at Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency for two weeks in July. She was one of the 17 participants selected for this national program by Advertising Education Foundation.
Bakir is a recipient of the Academy of Marketing Science Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award in 2010. She also received College of Business Outstanding Researcher Award at lllinois State University for 2009-2010 academic year.