Beneath the kiss: Unearthing the ideological underpinnings of Kay Jewelers advertisements

Chelsea N Hill, University of Texas at El Paso


Advertising is a frequently used influential and persuasive means of communication, such as Kay Jewelers, a corporation whose advertising methods have been superficially appealing to a female audience. However, this study sought to investigate the ideological underpinnings associated with Kay Jewelers advertisements, employing an ideological criticism to argue through feminist theory that Kay Jewelers utilizes key elements of heteronormative love as a means to persuade and influence men to purchase their jewelry products. Through this underpinning of heteronormative romance, Kay Jewelers emphasizes the notion that an artifact, like a piece of jewelry, is necessary in order to properly express true feelings and communicate the message effectively to a heterosexual partner. This in turn, hyper-ritualizes the act of gift giving and appeals to a masculine population using feminine appeals, creating a unique discourse of masculinity. Moreover, Kay Jewelers advertisements also reinforce the construction of nuclear families, perpetuating normative family types and structures. Keywords: Kay Jewelers, heteronormative romance, hyper-ritualization, masculinity, nuclear family, ideological criticism, feminist theory

Subject Area

Marketing|Communication|Mass communications

Recommended Citation

Hill, Chelsea N, "Beneath the kiss: Unearthing the ideological underpinnings of Kay Jewelers advertisements" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10000783.