How Targeted Ads Change the Way We Think About Ourselves & Our Purchasing Decisions [New Research]

Behavioral marketing has been called creepy and an invasion of privacy, but new research is finding that it can actually change how people perceive themselves.
A study recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research by Rebecca Walker Reczek, Christopher Summers, and Robert Smith found that consumers adjust their self-perception when they view an ad that they believe has been targeted to them. The ad is seen as a type of flattery -- as long as it close to matching up with the consumer’s idea of himself -- causing purchasing intent to increase as he wants to “live up” to the brand's perception.