Date of Award

Spring 5-2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College Theses


Mass Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Cleo Allen

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


This paper is a qualitative and quantitative study of minority representation in commercial advertisement on Black Entertainment Television and Music Television. A content analysis of 200 commercials airing June 21, 1999, through July 2, 1999, between 4:00 5:00p.m. revealed that as the target audience changes, so does commercial type, the frequency of minority appearance and the role of the minority commercial. For the purpose of content analysis, individuals in each commercial were coded by ethnicity. Each commercial was classified by type and placed in one of ten categories. Differences in factors such as commercial type and commercial frequency were used as indicators of change in target audience. This analysis discusses as well as the differences observed in the portrayal on minorities in the commercial sample.