- Processes and effects of targeted online advertising among children
- International Journal of Advertising
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 3
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Increasingly, information from children's profile pages on social network sites is being used to target online advertising, a phenomenon known as profile targeting. This practice has raised concerns in society and academia; however, its effects among children remain unstudied. Therefore, we investigated the effects of profile targeting on children's brand responses (i.e., brand attitude and purchase intention). We examined two types of targeting: targeting of product and of form (i.e., color). In addition, we tested three underlying mechanisms: liking the advertisement, perceived personal relevance of the advertisement, and recognizing the targeting aspect of the advertisement (targeting recognition). A between-subjects experiment among 231 children aged 9–13 years showed that targeting the product leads to more positive brand attitudes and purchase intentions. In addition, the effects were explained by ad liking and not by perceived personal relevance or targeting recognition. These findings suggest that, unlike adults, children do not process profile targeting on an elaborate critical level. Rather, the processing seems to be less elaborate.
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